The world looks very different now from what it did just a few months ago. With the coronavirus pandemic causing disruptions just about everywhere, you might be nervous about your dropshipping store – especially given the delays and uncertain shipping times.
But that’s not to say that you should stop work altogether on your online store. In addition to making sales, there are tons of other aspects of your dropshipping business you can focus your time and efforts on.
And we don’t just mean the business side of things. If, like most of us, you have been confined to working from home, you’ll also need to work on your mental health to stay sharp. That way, when things return to normal and you can finally get your business up and running again, you’re at the forefront of things, pumped, and ready to launch.
So read on (or listen above!) for a list of ten things you can do during this downtime to continue building your dropshipping business and keep fresh.
1. Prepare for Delays
- Reduce or stop your ads altogether. There’s currently a lot of confusion about what can be shipped and what can’t. The safe bet would be to hold off on ads and sales altogether.
- Inform your customers about shipping delays. You can do this via email or even adding a note to your product pages and storefront. If you need help with your copy, seek inspiration from other emails you’ve been receiving or online stores similar to yours.
2. Reach out to Your Suppliers
- Get an update on the status quo. Ask them about stock, current processing times, and how long it’s going to take to ship the product to get a better understanding of their current situation.
- Hold them to their word. If they claim to have stock, ask if they can send pictures of them or ask them for more information so that you can access whether you’re really able to sell their product.
- Place a test order. This ensures they really have the merchandise in stock and you can also see for yourself how long shipping will take. But note that this may not make sense if your target market is different from the country you’re living in.
- Dropshipping is simple and straightforward. But that does not make it easy. Make use of the extra time now to learn and master the different aspects there are to dropshipping.
- Read, watch YouTube videos, or even take courses. Our dropshipping course, Oberlo 101, is currently being offered for free until April 17.
- Learning and preparing now helps you save on advertising costs down the road because you have the time now to dedicate yourself to it and master it.
4. Grow Your Social Media Channels
- It’s the best time to be investing time and energy on your social media accounts because people are spending more time on them now than ever.
- Build a community and audience now so that you can use it later to establish a customer base that you can sell to or even create a customer profile, which helps with Facebook advertising.
- By engaging with your audience genuinely, it also builds brand credibility as your posts won’t all be about products and prices.
5. Start Email Marketing
- Email marketing in ecommerce is important and useful because it’s a way to increase customer retention. Getting a returning customer to purchase costs less than acquiring a new customer.
- If it seems too overwhelming, consider starting small. The first thing we recommend doing is to set up an abandoned cart email, which you can do for free in Shopify.
6. Redo Your Website
- It takes time to get everything right on your website. That includes product photos, graphics, etc.
- Take advantage of online tools such as free logo makers to rebrand and redo your entire website.
- Start with your product page as that’s where most of your ads (when they’re back up and running) will be directing customers to.
- Basic Shopify accounts include 30 minutes of free design time. Take advantage of that to make adjustments and changes to your store theme.
7. Create a Budget
- Set limits. This includes ad spend and knowing when you should stop running an ad for a product as well as any monthly fees your store may incur.
- Establish clear next steps. If you’ve gone over your budget, seek out other free marketing channels and strategies. That way, you know what cost-free options are available before investing your money.
8. Find Alternative Streams of Income
- Consider doing some freelance work for some side income. Fiverr and Upwork are great freelancing platforms on which to start offering your services.
- It doesn’t have to result in anything lucrative, but it offers flexibility and helps create additional streams of income, which are important things to have to tide you over tough times.
- If you don’t know if you have the skills required, think about what you do best or what you can learn and master. Get creative with skills you already have or look up what’s popular and in demand.
9. Create a Healthy Workspace
- Exercise. It produces endorphins and is a great way to get the day started. Plus, it is important for both body and mind.
- Create a dedicated space for work and get into the office mood. That also means doing your daily morning routine and getting dressed as if you were heading into the office.
- Eat properly. Cooking at home has healthier benefits than eating out because you control what you put into your food. Eating healthily also has a positive impact on your mind.
- Keep your surroundings organized. Decluttering your workspace can help you feel more refreshed.
10. Stay Sane
- Focus on the positive. With everyone stuck at home and naturally feeling worried, you’ve probably socialized more during this period of time than before with friends and family who’ve checked in with you or with whom you’ve checked in.
- Laugh. Take some time to find podcasts or books that you can listen to and read that can make you laugh. These are small things that can distract you from the dire situation at the moment and help you clear your head. A little mental getaway never hurts!
What about you guys? How have you guys been using your time to build your business and what are you doing to stay positive? Do share them with us in the comments section!