Scale Or Fail Your High Ticket Dropshipping Business
The most important thing you can do after the purchase of your site is make a plan to scale your business using a team of inexpensive workers. Failure to plan is planning to fail. That’s the scale or fail dilemma that I see for most people who’ve purchased a website.
When it comes to doing business online, I believe that buying an existing, income-producing website is superior to building one from scratch. And to be specific, I’m talking about a high ticket dropshipping store. So, if you’re a career professional who’s looking to become an e-commerce store owner or you want to invest in websites for semi-passive income, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’m going to discuss scaling your site and some strategies for outsourcing certain tasks to freelancers.
I know not everyone who owns and runs a website does so full time. For some, it’s a side-hustle, and it always will be. For others, they’re just starting out and holding on to another job until their website investment becomes financially sustainable. Time is an issue. So, I’m going discuss what you can do to scale your website if you don’t have the time to run it yourself.
Why You Should Outsource
Let’s assume you’ve bought a small website. It makes $1000 to $2000 dollars a month, and it processes approximately 15 to 30 orders each month. Maybe you bought this site from a digital nomad like I bought my first two sites. Digital nomads tend to do everything themselves including customer service, supplier relations, product uploading, inventory updates, advertising and so on.
You’ve bought the site but you haven’t bought the knowledge of how to run it. So you want to make the same amount of money but you just don’t have the time each day for the learning curve and doing the actual work. That’s a problem, but if you outsource the work not only can you keep the business running, you scale up the business. This is something that the previous owner didn’t do.
So this is the biggest mistake I see early website investors making. They try to run their new business as a solopreneur. Running the store becomes a chore and chores get neglected. This leads to slow or no growth in the business and that doesn’t have to happen. You can work on your new business without working in your new business and that will bring the growth and success you’re looking for. This is the scale or fail moment.
I recommend bringing in people who can help you manage your website right from the start. There are qualified people in customer service, web development and pay-per-click advertising, just to name a few, that can help you scale your store quickly and keep it running smoothly. Let me be clear though, you do need to know enough of the basics of running an online store to hire qualified individuals and know that they’re going a good job. They do need to be monitored so that initial learning curve isn’t going to go away.
What Tasks Should You Outsource?
Here’s a short list of tasks that can be outsourced for your dropshipping store.
• website design changes
• social media management for channels like Pinterest and Youtube
• content writing for product guides and web content
• search engine optimization
• product uploading like entries and descriptions
• customer service
• pay-per-click advertising
Hiring virtual workers for these and other tasks can be inexpensive if you are organized and have a clear training system in place. With your basic education on how these tasks work you can create your own standard operating procedures for the workers to follow.
I will note that you don’t have to outsource everything. You have to do what’s right for your schedule and pay attention to the tasks you really want to do. For example, I recommend you be the person who talks to suppliers and keeps up the good relationship with them. You personally problem solve any issues your suppliers have. If you don’t have suppliers, you don’t have a business, so that’s a critical piece of the puzzle.
I have a friend Drew in LA who purchased a site that has high ticket sales, and a small number sales. He’s one of the busiest executives I know. He travels like a madman but knows his products cold and he’s delighted to get on the phone with a prospective buyer for one of his products. In the high-ticket dropshipping niches, customers have questions because they’re getting ready to buy a high-dollar item. They don’t require things be delivered right away, but they do want to talk to somebody knowledgeable that can answer their question. Even as busy as he is, he can handle it because of his low volume. So it’s the perfect task for him to take on.
My best advice is to take stock of your resources before you buy. How much time do you personally have? Do you have a partner that can contribute hours each week. I did and that was a huge help to me.
Understand what kind of store you’re buying? Is it logistics heavy? Does it require any technical customer service for product use? Make a plan to adjust your products to more high ticket items with fewer low price accessory items. The time you take to talk to someone about a type of bar stool is the same time you take to talk to them about the whole kitchen bistro set. It’s still your time, why net more profit for it?
Find Freelancers for Your Dropshipping Business
I get asked a lot about where we hire our virtual assistants and it changes as our stores grow. Different types of stores need different tasks completed at different times. For example, we have a very big store that has over 9000 products and approximately 20 suppliers of those products. There’s a lot of inventory updating that we do in order to keep it in sync with our suppliers. If the inventory isn’t in sync, that creates a bad experience for the customer. They buy something from us that they can’t actually get. So, we have several VAs and a web developer to help us with the trickier tasks that are more labor intensive.
A virtual assistant from the Philippines will cost you in the range of four to five dollars an hour. I know people that pay less. I can’t imagine it’s going to take more than 20 hours a week to begin with, but the real cost of a virtual assistant is in training the VA correctly. They have to understand all the idiosyncrasies in your business.
You have to craft a standard message that the VA can use for every possible inquiry that they’ll get from suppliers or customers. It takes time to get that on autopilot, but once you do, then you’re off to a great start.
We use software called Sweet Process, and we have over 100 screen-share videos that our VAs can refer to and access during their day if they forget something and it’s all very well laid out. If we lose or fire a VA it’s all there for the next person coming in.
We hire our web developers on Upwork and pay $0.50 per product upload up to $15 per hour depending on what needs to be done. We find our VAs at onlinejobs.ph. I’m in several e-commerce forums and we usually hire out our ads work to those recommend to us. People are pretty honest with you.