Month: May 2021

  • How To Create A Dropshipping Business (6 Steps)

    Dropshipping is a popular online business model that’s often glamorized and promoted by online gurus. It’s one where you can potentially earn huge profits, but also one where many people fail.

    In this post and video I’ll be sharing how you can start your own dropshipping business in 6 steps.

    You can also watch this video about how to start a dropshipping business in 6 steps on YouTube.

    What is dropshipping?

    Dropshipping is a method of fulfilling retail orders where the seller does not keep the product in stock at their physical location. Instead when the store makes a sale of a product using the dropshipping model, the seller then purchases the item from a third party who directly ships it to the customer. With this method the seller never handles the product directly. 

    Dropshipping is popular because not handling inventory and fulfillment cuts down on many of the negative aspects of selling physical products. This allows you many benefits like lower capital to start your business, lower overhead to run the business, and location flexibility. It also makes it easier to test things and scale your business when things work.

    For these reasons and many others, dropshipping is a popular online business method.

    Dropshipping is not a get rich quick plan despite what some gurus or YouTube videos might tell you. Like any other business idea it will take a lot of work and a long term perspective to see success. If you are hoping for six figures in six weeks then you’ll need to readjust expectations to avoid being very disappointed.

    However, once you create realistic expectations about the work and results you can achieve, this can be a great business with huge potential profits. This is a great business idea for someone working a 9-5 job to build on the side and many dropshipping stores can generate over $1,000 per month within 12 months from part time efforts.

    Now let’s look at the steps you’ll go through in order to start a dropshipping business.

    Step 1: Choose Your Dropshipping Business Idea 

    When setting up your business you’ll need to invest into choosing the right business idea and setting it up for success.

    For people setting up a dropshipping business for the first time it’s always a good idea to invest time so you understand how it works and build up a knowledge base for making improvements. Investing your time into building a dropshipping business will teach you how the business works, how your customers and markets operate, and new skills to make you a better entrepreneur. 

    Choosing your dropshipping business idea will determine what products you actually sell so it’s necessary to do market research. 

    You’ll want to look at trends, competition, and profitability in various potential niches in order to pick your idea. That idea will determine which products you actually sell in the store.  

    Picking products to sell can be difficult but you can draw inspiration from trending product lists, browsing product ideas on Google Trends, and doing keyword research on sites like Keywords Everywhere. 

    With dropshipping the most successful stores tend to focus on specific niche areas like small dog lovers or overnight campers where you are selling products to a very specific customer. 

    Step 2: Source Your Products 

    Once you have done the research and selected a business idea with a specific niche and target market, you’ll have to decide what products to sell and where to source them from. 

    There are several options for this with the leader being Alibaba.com. If you haven’t heard of Alibaba.com before, it is the world’s leading global business to business trading e-commerce marketplace where you can find and source products from more than 100 thousand suppliers across the globe in 40 major categories.  

    Alibaba.com is a marketplace that makes it easy to find products to sell online from dropshipping suppliers.  Whether it’s electronics, fashion, toys, or other trending items, you can find products with good profit potential from dropshipping suppliers around the world. You can evaluate the product quality, shipping times, supplier info and further vet each supplier by contacting them directly. 

    Choosing your dropshipping supplier will be critical to your business success. A supplier will be the backbone of your business. Your business will fail without a good supplier constantly shipping products to your customers on time as promised.

    On Alibaba.com you can connect with and find the right supplier for your dropshipping business. For every product you might potentially sell you can reach out to suppliers across the globe to make sure they can provide the high quality service you will need to grow. Alibaba.com offers helpful tools for this like Verified Sellers and Trade Assurance.

    On Alibaba.com you can also evaluate potential products you may want to add to your store based on their lists of top products and trending products. 

    Once you’ve decided on the products you plan to sell and the supplier who will ship them, it is then time to build your e-commerce store.

    Step 3: Build Your E-Commerce store website

    Building an e-commerce website is the next step.

    I highly recommend you use an e-commerce platform like Shopify for this step as you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches instead of trying to use other services that you’ll have to mold to make fit this business type. 

    This e-commerce store you will build will be where you send all your traffic, take orders, and process payments. Shopify makes all of this a breeze and it’s super easy to build and launch a new e-commerce website. Since Shopify is a complete commerce platform it makes it easy to then manage products, payments, and make sure orders are fulfilled. 

    Shopify offers a free 14 day trial so you can build an online store and familiarize yourself with the platform to see if it will be a good fit for you. 

    Step 4: Get Your Finances In Order

    Before you start marketing your store and receiving sales you’ll want to make sure you have your finances in order.

    This step includes deciding on your business structure. You can definitely start a dropshipping store as a hobby but if you are serious you will want to set up a legitimate business entity. I’m not a lawyer and this is not legal advice so you’ll have to look into which is best for your situation from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company (LLC) to a C corporation. Most small businesses are either a sole proprietorship or LLC but you’ll need to do your own research and consult with a professional to make a decision for your business.

    Along with the business type you will also apply for an employer identification number (EIN) that is like a social security number for your business. That number is what you’ll use to file your taxes, open a business bank account and more. 

    Opening a business bank account is actually once of the first things you’ll want to do since blending your personal and business finances is a common new business owner mistake. Keeping these separate makes life much easier and opening a new bank account in your business name is one of the easiest ways to keep things separated. It will also make your business accounting much easier.

    Another recommended step is to apply for a business credit card that you use for business expenses only. Because you’ll use a card to place orders with the supplier after you make sales you’ll want a credit card that offers both protections and serious rewards. You can find many business cards that offer great promotions and I’ll leave a link in the description for my favorite business card that I use for my business.  

    Other things you’ll want to consider as you are setting up and getting ready to make sales are learning about and collecting sales tax, getting local business licenses, and any other legal or financial requirements that may apply to your location.

    Step 5: Market Your Store 

    You’ve done all the behind the scenes work and the final step is to market your dropshipping store. Standing out in any online space can be difficult so this step will be the hardest and also take the longest to find success. And as a dropshipper you’ll want to put in extra effort to the marketing and advertising efforts since they will be what sets you apart from others who may sell the same products.

    There are many different ways to market an online store. Some of the most successful for dropshipping include:

    Paid advertising

    • These ads on Facebook & Google are scalable and products perform well on both platforms since they tap into the desire to impulse buy.
    • Facebook and Google both have perfected advertising on their platforms and this work can help you market your store.
    • This is a very successful method for most businesses but it does take time to test and refine your ads and campaigns. 

    Influencer marketing

    • This method is a more affordable method to reach a larger and often more targeted audience.
    • Partnering with an influencer can help you reach a niche market and many people trust influencers more than traditional advertising.
    • You can negotiate either a flat fee upfront or an affiliate model where they get paid per sale they bring you.

    Content marketing

    • Long term strategies will include content marketing and it’s one of my personal favorites.
    • You won’t see success immediately but it will build a trust factor around your store and is a great addition.
    • Some examples include creating a YouTube channel, making a blog around the niche you chose, starting a podcast, growing a Pinterest account, or creating shareable infographics. 

    There are many other ways to market your dropshipping store but these are some of the most effective based on successful dropshipping case studies.

    As with any business plan you’ll want to keep an eye on what is working and what is not working and then work to adjust your marketing strategy as needed to lower costs and increase your revenue. 

    Step 6: Keep Testing and Refining

    The previous five steps are all you need to get started but the final step is what you will be doing ongoing:

    Testing. Analyzing. Refining your business. 

    After marketing for a while and making sales you’ll be able to look at results via your analytics and see what is working and what needs more work. Constantly asking questions and trying to evaluate better ways to do things will help you reach higher levels of success over time. 

    Make sure you look at and track the same statistics over time to measure your store’s success. Dropshipping is very much a numbers game and making sure you are measuring things will be key to your store growing over time. It will help you make smart decisions and get to the next level. 

    This method of online business is a great option if you are wanting a low-risk, low-cost way to start. Thanks to sites like Shopify and Alibaba.com it’s easier than ever to get this type of business up and running. 

    I hope this guide to getting started with dropshipping has been helpful and inspires you to create your own store and path to succeGss. Dropshipping can definitely lead you to financial freedom and the life you’ve always dreamed of as it has many other ecommerce income creators. 

    Remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get started.

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  • Start A Reselling Side Hustle (Where To Source Products To Resell Online)

    Buying and reselling items for a profit is a great way to make extra money and for some people it is even a career. In this video I’m looking at reselling as a side hustle and where you can find inventory in order to get started.

    Reselling As A Side Hustle

    My mother-in-law spent the last year changing her business from in person sales with Avon to becoming a reseller using eBay and Facebook marketplace. It’s been fascinating to watch her grow an income as a reseller and I’ve learned so much about the different ways you can make money.

    I also had multiple coworkers who started reselling businesses this past year with varying levels of success. One of them even left our company last month to do reselling full time because she was so successful. 

    Seeing all of this success with reselling around me got me super curious about the side hustle of reselling. So many people around me have been succeeding with reselling, but it also seemed overwhelming to many.

    Where do you start? What do you sell first? How do you pick profitable products? Where do you resell things? In this post we will look at some of the details like where you can sell items online and where you can find those products to sell.

    Where To Resell Items

    Reselling can be done in many different ways and on many different websites. I’ve seen people have success selling items on eBay and I’ve seen people have success reselling on Instagram. There is not one way to handle it successfully and you can sell on any number of the following sites.

    Where to resell:

    Once you’ve decided on a place to sell, you then need to find products that you can buy at a low price and sell at a higher price.

    What To Resell

    I discovered the first obstacle to this side hustle is finding things to sell.

    There are many different ways to source products that you can resell for a profit. These methods can get you started if you are interested in creating a reselling side hustle or online business. 

    Resell: Your own stuff

    Clearing out your own stuff and selling things you no longer use is a common way many people start reselling and it is how my mother in law started.

    Whenever you read lists of how to make money fast this is a highly recommended way to earn money. Many of us own more stuff than we know what to do with and can use the things we want to clear out of our homes to start a reselling venture. Personally I’ve done this and sold many things locally on Facebook marketplace. 

    My mother-in-law did the same and began with selling some items from her home when she was remodeling. Then she also sold things from a family member’s estate when she inherited all the belongings. Selling her own items on both Facebook and ebay was a great way to get started since it is something you can do at your own pace.

    Sourcing things from your own home as well as family members can get you started and is a safe way to learn how to list items and capture buyers’ attention before you start investing money into inventory in the following sourcing methods. 

    In this video I’m going to show you how to open a free Alibaba.com account in order to source products and packaging you can sell in an online shop. My husband recently opened his custom leather goods store and we decided to use Alibaba.com to source packaging for his products. 

    Resell: Products from Alibaba.com

    Many of my online mastermind friends who’ve started reselling online and are treating it like a business use Alibaba.com to source their products. 

    Alibaba.com is a site that connects you to manufacturers who produce products that you purchase and then can resell to your customers. It’s perfect for both large businesses and small business owners since there are over 100 thousand suppliers with loads of options available for products and quantities. It’s the world leading e-commerce marketplace so you can find exactly what you want to resell with over 40 categories of products. 

    When you use a site like Alibaba.com to source your products for reselling you have much more control over your inventory so you do not have to worry about the downsides to some of the other options on this list where your product inventory will be inconsistent and one of a kind. 

    Resell: Thrift stores finds

    My coworkers who started reselling used thrift stores as one of their main sources of products to resell. In thrift stores they focused on finding vintage items that were trendy again today and then built social media accounts around the specific type of items they were buying and reselling. 

    Thrift stores are a great source of products to resell especially if you’ve built a following around a certain type of product like vintage mirrors or vintage glass cookware that you can find regularly. Thrift stores are also a great way to find and resell items that could be grouped together.

    Resell: Garage & estate sale scores

    Garage sales and estate sales are another way to find things that you can resell. With these you’ll have to put in more time and effort to find worthwhile items because there will not be the same consistency. You may find a goldmine or you may come up empty when you set out to find items to resell each weekend.

    However the great things about using these sales to build a reselling business is that the financial rewards are often higher and for a lot of people the process is more of a fun hobby. You’ll often get a lower purchase price at garage sales since people just want to get rid of things so if you enjoy the hunt as much as the business side this is a great way to source items to resell.

    Resell: Clearance section pickups

    Clearance sections at your favorite stores are a popular method I’ve seen taught by reseller coaches online because it’s one of the most straightforward. You find products in your local store at a very deep discount and then you sell them online via sites like Amazon for a profit. This works well because things in your area on clearance may command a higher price elsewhere. 

    Clearance aisles at drug stores are a great low cost way to find new inventory to resell online. I’ve found really great products in those clearance areas and there are often discontinued items that will sell well online to people that want to get copies of those final products.

    Reselling Success

    Those are just a few of the ways you can find products to resell in order to create a profitable reselling side hustle business.

    There are so many options and possibilities and ways to combine and change in order to grow this particular side hustle idea.

    After seeing multiple people start from scratch and go full time it’s definitely one that is worth a look if you’re wanting to earn more income in the coming years!

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  • Free Websites To Start & Grow Your Online Business

    Over the last few years I’ve grown an online business that started from a hobby YouTube channel to a larger business with multiple income streams that help support our financial goals. I’ve done this all using mostly free websites so I could keep as much of the profit from this business as possible.

    Today I’m sharing some of the best free websites I’ve used or recommend for others growing an online business. After learning so much about creating and growing an online business I’m happy to tell you that it’s one of the best ways to start a business because you don’t have a ton of upfront costs thanks to websites like these.

    Canva Canva is my go to free website for anything design related. I create all of my Youtube thumbnails, Instagram posts, and many of my digital products using Canva.

    I currently pay for a pro subscription to the site but you can do so much with the free version of the site. It’s an incredible tool that is under utilized by many.

    Alibaba.com – Alibaba.com is the first site I recommend whenever someone asks me about building a product based business instead of digital products. On Alibaba.com you can create a free account to research products, then also source manufacturers to create the products your want so you can order products to sell to your customers. 

    They make it easy to find products but also offer helpful tools like Trade Reassurance and Verified Seller accounts to make sure you are protected as you order products to build your business.   

    YouTube – This free website is obviously one of my personal favorites since it has allowed me to create a business, but it’s got so much potential for other business owners as well. You can create a channel to grow your influence in a specific area and then sell your services, coaching, or high ticket items.

    You can also create a channel and grow your business revenue by monetizing your videos with ads or things like affiliate marketing. In fact you can create a profitable YouTube channel without even showing your face.

    Trello – Once you’ve grown your business to a certain level you will likely need some sort of project management tool to help keep you on track for your deliverables.

    With multiple YouTube channels and Etsy shops I realized I had to get organized so I tried out several options and discovered a love for Trello to help me create a better system for my content ideas and processes. Like many of the websites on this list Trello has a free and paid plan but so far the free plan has been more than enough for me to get better organized.

    Trello can be a bit challenging to use at the beginning but it’s amazing how it lets you create projects and checklists that can then become daily and weekly tasks. It’s also excellent for keeping a running list of ideas which is something I always have going!

    Google Drive – All of the free Google apps are amazing for helping run an online business without spending any money. Setting up a Google account gives you access to so many free amazing tools and one of my favorites is Google Drive.

    With this free tool you can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more that are web based, easy to share, easy to edit, and accessible anywhere. I use Google docs to create all of my product outlines and blog posts and I know a lot of people use the tools to create products for sale like budgeting spreadsheets in Google docs.

    Start Without Spending 

    These free websites have all been an amazing help to my online business growth. It’s amazing that there are so many powerful FREE tools out there now that you can use to start and grow an online business.

    I started by online business using these free tools and I’ve grown it to surpass my day job income. I know from experience how you can utilize completely free resources online in order to grow. Not having money to start is no longer an excuse.

    If you want to start and grow an online business you don’t have to put up huge amounts of money. All you truly need is some time and the desire to build something. I hope these free websites help you get started building your business.

    Remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get started.

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  • How To Start An Online Business For Beginners

    Are you thinking of starting an online business but don’t know where to start? Today we are going to cover a very basic overview of how to start an online business online from scratch.

    There are so many options for starting an online business and when you start researching it is easy to get overwhelmed. It’s easy to give up before you start or worse, get sucked into a scammy offer about building a business that leaves you poorer with no real success.

    In this video we will walk through the basic steps so you know what your process will look like starting an online business as a beginner.

    Types Of Business

    First you have to decide the type of online business you want to start. There are two different types of online businesses you can start. You can start a services based business or a product based business.

    With a services based business you are selling your expertise or your skillset packaged as a service.   

    With a product based business you are selling either digital products or physical products through an online store.

    It’s that simple. The complications of starting an online business come through the different methods and types of products or services you offer compared to the competition. 

    Find Your Product

    Once you’ve decided on the type of business you are opening then it is time to decide on your offering. For the purpose of this video we will decide upon opening an online store selling a physical product. 

     If you want to sell a physical product online then you’ll need to decide on which product and where to source it.

    One option for this is to use a site that connects buyers with suppliers. You can use sites like this to evaluate products and purchase inventory for your online store.

    There are billions of product variations out there that you can source for your online store. You can look through many of these websites that sell inventory in order to find out what is hot and what others are buying. There are multiple ways for you to look for trending products that would sell well online in the current market. 

    When evaluating potential products to sell you will want to ask yourself several questions:

    • Does it have high profit margins? When you are running a product based business you will want to find a quality product that you can buy at a low price and sell at a higher price. The difference in price is what will be your profit. The higher the profit margin with your product the more money you’ll have to spend on other parts of your business like advertising.
    • Are people actively looking for this solution? Are your potential customers looking to buy what you have to offer? If you want a successful online business you want to sell something people are actively looking to buy. How do you find out if they are looking to buy? Instead of guessing based on your intuition, you should instead do keyword research. Are people searching for it? If they are searching for your product then there is existing demand and this would make a good product choice.
    • Is it trendy? Products should not only be a solution to a problem but also a trending product because it will be much easier to sell. How do you find a trending product? One of the best options to search for trending products on sites like Google trends, or similar research websites. You can look up different types of products or product categories and evaluate based on the increases in search volume. Once you have a few ideas of what is popular and trending you can then drill down to the product category you are interested in working with for your online business.

    Selecting a product will be much easier after you’ve asked yourself these questions and done the research necessary to find a good product to sell.

    Once you’ve settled on the product you want to sell you will buy the minimum quantity option so you can move on to the next steps and start to test your business idea. 

    Open A Website

    Once you’ve decided on your product and purchased your inventory then it is time to set up your shop by creating a website.

    For most online businesses I highly recommend you build your website with Shopify since it makes everything super simple to set up and manage. You’ll also only pay a flat month fee for all of the amazing inventory management and website tools instead of giving away larger portions of your profits via fees. 

    If you need a step by step tutorial on how to open a Shopify store I have other videos walking through that process which is very easy even for beginners.

    Shopify works for all online businesses including digital products and services so it’s a great solution no matter what type of online business you have decided to start. 

    I personally have used Shopify for digital products but it is even better when you are running an online business selling physical products.

    You can open up an online store, list your product, and go live in less than an hour with Shopify. Then you are ready to move on to the next step of starting an online business.

    Promote Your Products

    Promotion is incredibly important when you start an online business. The idea of “if you build it they will come” does not exist when you are starting an online store.

    You will need to promote your products and online store in the beginning until you have a regular customer base or online following.

    There are many, many different ways to promote a product online. You might try any one of these or combine many of them to see what works best for you.

    Types of promotion could include:

    • Sharing products on Pinterest
    • Making ads on Facebook
    • Creating TikToks showing the product in use
    • Creating videos of the products on YouTube
    • Sending products to influencers for reviews

    The method of promotion that will work best will depend on the product and the target market you are selling to. If one does not work, do not be discouraged, just try a new one until sales start coming in consistently.

    Refine & Repeat

    The previous three steps are all you need to start an online business. What comes next is refining your process and then repeating what works.

    This is the period where most people give up because it takes work to get it all right – the right product, the right market, the right price point. But once you do you can find success beyond your wildest imagination. Many, many people have done so with online businesses and it has changed their lives and their finances.

    Success is out there waiting for you too.

    Remember that you don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.

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  • Referral Codes For Free Stuff

    Many apps offer sign up bonuses if you use a referral code or referral link from a friend when you sign up. However, you might not always have a friend using the app before you which means you don’t get the free bonus money. If that’s your situation – don’t worry because I’m here to help.

    To help those of you who love getting free stuff I’ve listed all of my referral codes for various apps here so you can take advantage of the free referral bonuses! For most of these when you use my link or code I get the exact same amount in my account so thank you for using them to support this work!

    Investing Apps

    Cash App – Use this referral link to get $5 free on Cash App when you send $5 after signing up.

    Coinbase – Use this referral link to get $10 of free Bitcoin on Coinbase when you buy or sell $100 in any crypto.

    M1 Finance – Use this referral link to get $30 bonus when signing up to invest at M1 Finance after contributing a certain amount to the account. Check the details when you sign up as it changes often.

    Robinhood – Use this referral link for one free stock on Robinhood when you sign up for an account (will have my husband’s name). With this one you don’t have to deposit anything to get the free stock.

    Savings Apps

    Fetch Rewards – Use referral code MV7RR when you sign up for minimum $2 toward your balance to purchase gift cards. Also check out my Fetch Rewards tutorial and review post.

    Ibotta – Use this link with referral code vernepp when you sign up for a bonus in your account from $10-$40 depending on promotions.

    Why Am I Sharing These?

    First of all, referrals earn me money too! For every sign up you get a bonus and so do I! Just like the sign up bonuses you receive, the ones I get also range from $2 to $50.

    Second, not enough women in personal finance were sharing their codes. I wanted to sign up for a SoFi invest account and get the $50 bonus so I searched for a referral link and came up very frustrated that the first several pages of listings on Google and YouTube were all run by males. I actively wanted to give my referral to a female and could not find one, so I’m sharing all of mine for those who might want to do the same. Women use financial apps too and I want to share more reviews and referrals because the current landscape is lacking that insight.

    Finally, because it helps you. I’ve been in the position where I wanted to use an app or service but didn’t have access to a connection where I would receive a referral sign up bonus. It is frustrating! Putting these referral codes and links out there can help others avoid that situation and get a little bit of a kickback when they sign up for something. I love being able to give others free money!

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