9 Steps Guide: How to Start a Dropshipping Business (Practical Guide)

9 Steps Guide: How to Start a Dropshipping Business (Practical Guide)

Arif Chowdhury
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Last Updated on December 24, 2022 by Arif Chowdhury

Beginning a dropshipping company isn’t as simple as starting any other business. However, it’s a terrific way to get your feet wet in the workforce. The first thing you need to know is – how to legally start a dropshipping business.

In the dropshipping business model, products can be sold to your customer without purchasing and stored in your warehouse.

Therefore, you don’t need to put down a deposit for goods. All you have to do is build it for a dropshipping website host online.

However, you may have to work full-time to build a stable business. Thus, starting a new business might pay off if you’re ready to invest time and effort.

If you’re planning to start a dropshipping business, you’ll want to evaluate the steps below.

Doing this now will save you from having to do it later and incurring additional costs.

What is a dropshipping business?

Businesses may now sell things to end customers without having any inventory, thanks to dropshipping.

A third-party vendor may be expected to deliver things purchased through dropshipping firms straight to customers’ houses.

How to start a dropshipping business infographic.

How hard is it to start a dropshipping business? Well not hard at all. You will choose your profit margin by setting an additional price increase on your retail price, and this different price will make you profit.

Smartly use profit margin for your dropshipping business.

Forget about stocking up on supplies or dealing with merchandise; everything is done for you.

It is as easy as signing up for a dropshipping business with a supplier to provide the essential items.

You can find dropshipping suppliers for your new dropshipping business in several ways:

  • International supplier markets such as AliExpress for B2C or Alibaba for B2B business.
  • Utilize readymade eCommerce business solutions such as Oberlo, AliDropship, Printful, etc.

Oberlo is Shopify’s most acceptable alternative for dropshipping. Using AliExpress, you can easily import hundreds of products through Oberlo into your online shop.

Oberlo takes care of everything when a consumer buys anything from your business. Double-check your order information and order immediately to finish your transaction.

Regardless of where the customer is, the AliExpress registered seller will ship their goods to them regardless of location.

The dropshipping business throws all the responsibility for creating and promoting your store, and your selected items are entirely on you.

Your company will decide all shipping expenses and profit margins.

Besides, make sure you have excellent customer service 24/7.

Quick Note: Email marketing is one of the essential elements for your dropshipping business success. You must build an email list and market your products with various promotional offers to increase conversion rates.

Recommended Reading: 8 Steps: How to Build an E-commerce Shop Online? (Definitive Guide)

Step #1: Dedicate to your business.

Like any other company, dropshipping involves a lot of time and energy.

Don’t expect to become rich within the first year of your dropshipping business.

You’ll be less inclined to quit your work if you have a rational expectation about the amount of time and money you’ll need to put in and how much you’ll be able to make.

You’ll need to put in a lot of time, effort, or money to get your dropshipping business off the ground.

You may build a $2,000 monthly revenue stream in as little as 12 months if you spend 10–15 hours a week on your company and a handsome amount of money marketing your store.

You’ll need a $1,000 cash reserve to get your dropshipping business off the ground. You will use this money to pay for website hosting, domain, marketing, and incorporation costs.

Quick Note: Not just dropshipping businesses, almost all online companies require a considerable amount of time to establish. Those who give up early lose the chance of making lifetime wealth. However, dropshipping business owners have to acquire a business license.

Step #2: Find a lucrative business idea.

If you want to discover how to establish a dropshipping company, the next step is to do extensive market research.

When launching a retail business, you should thoroughly investigate the market, rivals, and trends.

Product ideas are challenging to come up with, though.

Use Google to find the best possible business idea for your dropshipping business.

It may be simpler to target specific demographics since niche items tend to have more committed followings, which helps to improve product awareness.

The fashion, cosmetics, and fitness sectors and electronics, mobile phones, accessories, and fitness products are excellent places to begin drop shipping with less investment.

Here are some examples of dropshipping stores for you:

  • Different pet products store
  • Various smartphones stores
  • Hiking gear stores
  • Gym and fitness equipment store

Use Google Trends or keywords finder tools to get the idea of a popular dropshipping business.

Recommended Reading: 5 Effective and Proven Brand Strategy for Small Business (Practical Guide)

Step #3: Utilize keyword tools.

As soon as you’ve decided which type of products you want to offer, you have to find out how your rivals do business so you may learn from them.

Competitors of your dropshipping store may be able to provide guidelines based on their successes and mistakes in marketing.

Many methods exist for doing competitive research, such as the following:

First, go to Google and type in:

There is no better place to start than the internet’s search engines. Compile your most dangerous rivals using Google and make a list.

First, type in “wedding dresses” as a primary search term. Next, find out your key rivals and their strategy for selling their items. You can do this by looking at the top ten search engine results.

Use Google to identify how many searches are made for specific keywords to select your dropshipping business niche.

Keep tabs on your competition by using spying tools:

Use these tools to keep track of your rivals’ internet activities.

  • Ahref
  • SEMrush
  • Moz
  • Ubersuggest
  • Majestic

This tool lists competing for websites and links to each site’s social media page and other traffic sources.

Quick Note: If you have business ideas, then you can utilize those in your dropshipping business. With print-on-demand, you won’t need a warehouse to store inventories.

Recommended Reading: 9 Best Competitor Analysis Tools to Beat Your Competitors (Review)

Look inside the realm of social media:

Spy on social media such as Facebook to find out which brands are the most popular in your industry.

Search in social media to find out your competitors.

Keeping up with the company’s social media activity may be done by subscribing to the company’s feed and keeping up to date.

Step #4: Choose your supplier wisely.

To start a dropshipping company, you need to find the right supplier.

If a dropshipping company didn’t have suppliers, it couldn’t fulfill consumer orders.

For instance, AliDropship, an eCommerce platform, provides a simple way to identify new suppliers.

AliDropship plugin makes it simple to locate products for sale.

Use the AliDropship plugin to import products to your dropshipping store.

Dropshipping providers throughout the globe can help you identify and add popular products to your business with just a click, whether you’re searching for devices, clothing, toys, or anything else.

To help you locate and add goods to your business, AliDropship leverages AliExpress. Product quality, delivery timings, and supplier background checks may be seen on the AliDropship product page.

Quick Note: Do not focus on a broad niche; instead, focus on a specific niche, such as building an online store that sells exclusive fitness products. This way, you can create a powerful brand image.

Step #5: Build a professional eCommerce store.

A dropshipping company requires a well-designed eCommerce platform. In this location, you’ll be able to attract people, offer products, and receive payment.

An eCommerce platform makes it simple to construct an online store. A full-featured commerce store enables you to appear in several online and offline locations, offer multiple currencies and manage your inventory effortlessly.

We may use the following eCommerce platforms:

  • BigCommerce
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Wix
  • Ecwid

Recommended Reading: Which Is the Best E-commerce Platform for Beginners? Top 10 Reviewed

Step #6: Choose your corporation type wisely.

To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to incorporate your company.

The best way to form a business is first to use sole proprietorship, then when your business starts to grow, corporate your business using LLC.

Sole Proprietorship.

If you are new and have just started the business, this company structure would be best for you. Though, it does not protect you from personal responsibilities. Your assets might be at risk if your firm is issued.

It’s as simple as reporting your company’s net profit on your individual income tax return. Of course, you have to pay your sales tax along with it. No more corporation filings are required as you are not forming a company.

Limited Liability Company (LLC).

An LLC may help you safeguard your assets as a distinct legal entity.

However, it is superior to the single proprietorship business structure because it protects you from the liability of your business.

If you need to file further paperwork, you’ll have to pay for it upfront and continue.

The federal government rule is that every registered business must get an EIN. It is known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

This number is required if you wish to create a wholesale dropshipping account or a bank account.

Even more fortunate, obtaining an EIN has never been more accessible or free. Get your EIN from here.

Step #7: Proper financial management.

When startups start a firm by combining personal and corporate funds, a typical mistake is made.

If the IRS ever audits you, it’s a massive red flag. Not only does it create uncertainty, but it also puts your company’s obligations on your shoulders.

As far as possible, separate your company and personal funds. Most effectively, open a separate bank account under your company name.

Step #8: Smart marketing strategy.

Now that you’ve mastered the ropes, it is time to speak about advertising your new dropshipping company.

The marketing and public relations aspects of your business strategy may need a more significant amount of effort on your part.

Since dropshipping is primarily automated, you may put your efforts into marketing and publicizing your company full-time:

PPC advertisements campaign.

Assuming you’re just starting with Facebook advertising, you should expect to pay an average of $1.72 CPC to run one of your ads.

Different social media advertising CPC.

Ads on Facebook can be sized to fit any product and appeal to people’s desire to buy right away, making them ideal for businesses.

Low, competitive keywords with a greater chance of conversion may be targeted using Google Shopping Ads.

Influencer marketing campaign.

Influencer marketing” refers to the employment of celebrities to promote a product or service.

The marketing budget of first-time dropship businesses is likely to be modest.

Influencer marketing is a perfect way to boost sales.

Consumers’ trust in influencers is greater than the trust they place in conventional forms of advertising, making influencer marketing a more cost-effective strategy for reaching your target demographic.

Content marketing strategy.

A dropshipping business should implement content marketing if you want a steady stream of consumers in the long run.

Make content that is both informative and educational for your audience by creating a dropshipping blog.

Successful internet businesses maintain tabs on which platforms are effective and which aren’t, especially when putting money into them, such as sponsored ads.

Quick Note: Content marketing is one of the best ways to reduce PPC advertising costs. Most big brands are now doing this, and they open a blog section to drive potential customers to their business.

Step #9: Provide quality products and service.

You’ll be able to see the growth of your business more clearly as your dropshipping company expands.

eCommerce platform analytics feature will enable you to find a variety of critical insights regarding your online business, such as:


What marketing tactics are the most effective? For example, should you spend more on social media or search engine ads? What are the most popular items in my store?

What can you produce and sell that will earn you the most money?

To do that, you must learn which type of customers are the most important to your business.

When and where people go to buy items:

More and more people are choosing to shop on their mobile devices or computers. But what is the device’s conversion rate?

Profit margins:

Let’s say the retail price for the product is $100, but you set a profit margin of 15%, then the final price for your customer will be $115, and $15 will be your profit.

You have to find out what are the most lucrative items and SKUs. Then, what is the trend in your annual or monthly revenue and gross income over a year?

You can utilize Google Analytics to monitor and optimize your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts over time.


Knowing how to start a dropshipping business is not all; you have to make it happen with many trials and errors.

However, dropshipping is a fantastic option for first-time entrepreneurs and seasoned eCommerce veterans to start selling online with minimal risk and price.

Running an online store is no longer challenging, thanks to third-party applications with automation technology.

With the help of this guide, you may follow in the footsteps of many great eCommerce entrepreneurs and develop the company you’ve always wanted.