Exactly how much can you make dropshipping?
I remember the first time I started a business. It was a mail-order business in a box for how to sell Waste Auditing Services to restaurants. The pitch we gave showed them how they could save a few hundred dollars a month on their waste removal service.
I was taking a risk and I didn’t know if it would pay off. What if I failed? What if I spent all this time and money but got nothing back in return?
It turns out, I did fail at that business, and there were definitely concrete reasons why. I didn’t know what those reasons were at the time but looking back now, the reasons for failure are very clear.
That didn’t stop me from trying again. And again. And again…
Let me ask you this…
When you evaluate a potential business opportunity, what’s typically one of the first questions you ask yourself?
For most budding entrepreneurs, it goes something like, “How much money can I make doing this?”.
Makes sense, right? We need to know what the reward will be for all the money and hard work invested. No one wants to spend countless hours and money to end up worse off than they were before.
While there are no guarantees for what you will end up making, you can get a good idea of what is possible. It’s also good to look at the “worst-case” scenarios too to see what happens if nothing goes as planned.
While these numbers sound exciting and might get you drooling at the potential, are they real? The answer is, “I don’t know”. It’s hard to verify someone else’s numbers unless you are there with them in person. With photoshop and other tools, it is easy to manipulate numbers and prop yourself and your results up so you can sell the next dropshipping course that promises buyers riches with little effort.
Here’s the truth on how much can you make dropshipping…
At the right end of the bell curve, there are people who really are crushing it with dropshipping and are doing huge numbers. I know this because we have dropshipping store owners on our platform and I can verify their results. These are the feel-good stories that really show the beauty and the potential of what can be achieved through dropshipping.
But it isn’t all fun and games for everyone. There is also the ugly side, the not so fun to tell stories of time and money invested with not much to show for it.
So what’s the difference?
Why can some people rocket to success while others crash and burn to failure?
The answer isn’t so straightforward. If you combine a person’s experience with online business, technical proficiency, marketing skills, copywriting, delegation, ability to manage finances, existing cash flow, time to dedicate to the business and other factors like product selection, customer service, and customer experience, you can see why it is hard to figure out why some make it and others don’t.
Think of it this way. You choose a product you think will sell. You write a great description and put together pretty product images. You create Facebook ads and put together a good price. You launch your ads and you get some traffic to your store, but no one buys your product.
Now you are at a crossroads. Do you tweak the product description or the price and try again? Do you pick another product? And what if you are already strapped for cash?
You can see how the pressure could start to build and you could crash and burn pretty quickly if your expectations are off.
There is some good news…
It isn’t always that bad. In fact, it can go really well!
If you pick the right product for the right price and put together a great offer, you can sell LOTS of that one item and it can carry your business for a while.
So yes, you can crash and burn and walk away with nothing or even losses. And yes, you can rocket to success pretty quickly as well with 6, 7, or 8 figure earnings.
But many times, it is a combination of both failure and success just like it is in any business you choose to pursue. There are ups and downs. It’s the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. How much can you make dropshipping really comes down to your determination for success.
So, what can you do to set yourself up for a better chance to have success?
- Come into the business with an existing source of cash flow.
- Give yourself time to learn the skills it takes to run an e-commerce business.
- Do it the simple way.
Come into the business with an existing source of cash flow.
Cash flow can make or break a business. If you don’t have money to invest in your business, you end up cutting corners. You start to feel the jaws of pressure clamping down and it is hard to escape.
My advice is to start your business with an existing source of cash flow. In other words, make this a side business to start with and use the money from your day job to help fund it over time.
It takes time to set things up. It takes money to pay for software tools to run your business, and your biggest cash flow need is paying for advertising to get prospects to see your offer.
Typically, especially if you are new, you won’t find a winning product with the first product you choose. The time it takes to find a winning product is different for everyone. Sometimes it happens quickly and sometimes it takes “forever”.
If you don’t come in with money to test, then you are basically running on low fuel with warning lights flashing right from the start.
Not everyone has the luxury of a source of existing cash flow; however, if you do or if you can set yourself up for that ideal situation, then you have more time to test products before you run out of fuel.
Getting started dropshipping doesn't require a ton of money, but it's important to have enough. Check out this guide on startup costs for dropshipping.
Give yourself time to learn the skills it takes to run an e-commerce business.
Have you ever started or run your own business? Have you ever studied marketing or had success with marketing? Do you have experience with setting up an e-commerce platform?
The truth is that running a successful dropshipping business is not as easy as some of the gurus make it out to be. This is the case with running virtually any business. Entrepreneurship can be tough and takes persistence to eventually find success.
You’ll want to ask yourself, “Do I have what it takes? Can I put in the time week after week to learn what I need to know? When do I truly expect to start making money?”
Everyone wants to be successful but not everyone wants to do what it takes to be successful. You’ll want to find out before you start if you are determined to do what it takes. For most, “doing what it takes” looks like this: nights spent studying after you worked all day at your “main job”, learning from previous failures, consistently making small progress over time, delayed gratification, taking calculated risks.
No one is guaranteed success. To have the best shot though, you’ll need to dig in and develop an entrepreneur’s mindset.
Do it the simple way
This mantra is something we practice and teach at Dropified. The simple way is not always the obvious way. There have been several times where I’ve come across our students who have essentially created extra obstacles for themselves that end up blocking their path to success. I’ve seen store owners get stuck on the smallest of details that actually have no real impact on the success of the business.
So, how do you “do it the simple way”?
It boils down to the following…
Find out what has the biggest impact on your success and do those things!
In other words, identify the small number of things you need to do and only focus on those things.
It’s only after you have completed those things that you can move on to other things.
In everything we do, in life and business, there are some things that have a greater impact on success than others. Your job is to identify those “few” things, and it typically is just a few things.
After you identify what you need to do, the power of focus happens. You zero in on the top priority and don’t stop until you have completed it. Then you start with the new top priority and don’t stop until you complete it.
There can only be one “top priority”. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you need to work on several things at once. You’ll spread your efforts too thin and end up accomplishing far less.
You’ll notice I didn’t give an exact number for how much can you make dropshipping. Hopefully, now you see why. You may earn nothing or even lose money, or you may be like several others I’ve seen and build your store into a 7 figure business.
There are a lot of factors that determine your earning potential. But the most impactful factor is you. It’s amazing what we as humans can accomplish and have accomplished with focus, determination, and persistence.
At Dropified, we are a small part of your potential success. It’s up to you to do what it takes. If you decide to take the dropshipping journey, you can be sure the Dropified team will be there to encourage you and support you along the way.