Drop shipping is neither a sport nor a game. It is a business. And in business, customers neither want to deal with beginners nor intermediates.
Customers want advanced service, advanced communications and advanced reliability. Simply stated they want to deal with someone in the advanced class.
When you start your drop shipping business it is like jumping into the middle of the ocean. If you are a beginner, you will simply drown. If you are intermediate enough to stay on the surface, your competitors will try to put you under. And you will be torn apart from below by the sharks out there that prey on the newcomer. It is not the time to start learning how to survive. You must be advanced before you jump into drop shipping.
More than 95% of the drop shipping businesses fail within the first year. There are many reasons. But generally it can be said that they did not have enough experience to understand how tough business really is.
Business is a constant war. You will be fighting competition for your market share. You will be fight competition for search engine position. You will be fighting to survive every day and it will never stop.
You will have to be set up to survive the fight. You have to start your drop shipping business in the advanced mode.
How do you jump from business level beginner to business level advanced? You do a business plan!
A properly written business plan is more than a writing exercise that you put in a soon forgotten book.
First it is a beginners training manual. In writing your business plan, you are forced to think through the details of what you must do to compete in the market.
For example, it will make you think about what is your unique selling proposition. Remember that tens of thousands of other drop shippers like you may be advertising the same products as you. You have to create yourself some unique position in the market to outsell them. .
Second it is a test procedure that takes you from beginner’s status to intermediate status. If you work up a proper financial analysis, you will actually confirm what your costs will be and what you will get for the money that you pay.
Also test to see if the drop shipper really delivers. Order something and check what happens. Just consider the disaster if set up your entire business around a drop shipper and find that the supplier is unreliable.
Third it is a procedure manual that you will follow when you run your business. It should contain your tutorials, source materials and the miscellany you found important when doing your research. It is your reference book. It is your planning and work procedure manual.
As soon as you start to work your plan, you are in the intermediate mode. That means as soon as you start spending money. Every spend should be in accordance with your plan.
You have to be planned to keep control of your budget. You will run into a lot of sharks just looking to separate you from your money with promises of everything that you really know is not possible but will likely buy if you are not working your plan. If you are not careful you will be soon over budget and wasting money that you could better use on something else.
It is in this mode that you get your web site finished and on line under your company name. And it is in this mode that you start testing it on friends.
When you think that it is ready, it is time for the final exam. Have several friends, family and anyone else that you can find make test orders from your site. Have them make comments on your site.
This is a real time test run of your business. You will find where the holes are. Go back, rework your plan and test it again. Test until your helpers and you are satisfied. You will not believe how trying this experience is. Endure it. It can mean the difference between success and failure.
Once you think that there is nothing more to be gained in testing, you are advanced enough to go live. You should now be prepared to make a good first impression on your visitors and start making sales. Yes, you will make changes, but you will have a chance to survive.
Think advanced, start advanced and be advanced.
You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links in the article and author bio active, do not edit the article in any way, give proper author credit by including the information about the author as shown in this page and follow all of the Ezine Articles Guidelines For Publishers
© 2005 Gary Granai. You are free to use material from this article in whole or in part, as long as you include complete attribution, including live web site link. The attribution should read: “By Gary Granai. Please visit Gary’s web site at http://www.masterpage.com.pl/ for additional information and resources on drop shipping. " Gary Granai works with small and medium businesses to help them achieve realistic growth targets. You may get free tutorials and more information about successful internet business startup and growth at http://www.polandbusiness.com.pl/