You want to earn money. That’s why you’re here, right? Everyone needs money. Your friend needs it, your neighbor needs it, even Mukesh Ambani needs money. That’s why they work or start their own businesses. Similarly, you can start a dropshipping business in India, too.
But starting a business needs a lot of money, you’d be thinking. Right?
Wrong. If you don’t have a lot of money, you can still start small and grow your way out. Every successful business was small once.
Starting a dropshipping store doesn’t require a lot of money as you don’t have to invest in stocking, warehousing and logistics. (one of the biggest expenses for any business). Let’s look at the dropshipping business opportunity in India and see how can start the business without investing a lot of money upfront.
What is Dropshipping?
If you don’t know anything about dropshipping, don’t worry. It’s not rocket science. Dropshipping is an alternate supply arrangement where the seller (you) don’t stock up the goods but send the order details to a supplier who ships them on your behalf to the customer, directly.
In other words, you act as an intermediary and earn margins for bringing in business for the supplier.
The best part of starting a dropshipping business: you don’t need large investments. Also, it saves you the hassle of managing inventory on your own. You don’t have to worry about overhead costs, storing the material, buying fresh stock and wasting money on obsolete stock.
All of this means, you have minimal inventory risk and you just can focus on sales growth. In fact, you can think of growing your business without having to think about how the orders fulfillment.
How to start a Dropshipping Business in India: What all do you need?
Dropshipping doesn’t need a lot. So, if you’re planning to start a dropshipping store, you just need to have a car. 😀
Okay, okay! I am joking, but I meant to say, just like you have a car to reach your destination, you need to have a vehicle with all the features/functionalities to help you reach your goal of earning money online.
As you see, there are four elements to starting a dropshipping business. If you sort the four elements of the car at the beginning itself, you can think of growth, right off the bat. I will discuss these four elements one by one:
- eCommerce Platform or Your Store– The Vehicle
You need a vehicle to reach your goal, first of all. Your eCommerce platform is the vehicle that will take you places. Simply, see it as the website that people can visit if they want to buy a product from your store.
If a website seems too big a commitment at the beginning, you can even start with an Instagram page, Facebook group, Whatsapp group or any way you can show your products to the world.
Having a website has its own benefits though. It will allow you to list all your products in one place, accept orders and ensure people have an option to look at everything you have to offer.
You can choose to build a custom website and top it up via a free eCommerce platform like WooCommerce or can use Shopify to build a dedicated eCommerce store. Both options have their own benefits and costs involved.
And if you can’t start with these platforms because of technical or financial issues, there are two platforms, you should really check out.
- My Dukaan App: A simple, no-nonsense way to turn any offline business into online. You can list your dropshipping products and start sharing links with your whatsapp groups or on other online mediums.
- Glowroad App: A complete dropshipping app that allows you to find suppliers, build an online store and automate everything, without spending money.
Both these apps would give you a place to host your products, accept payments and share your products with the world. But you will have to build a community yourself to promote your dropshipping store and manage everything manually.
These apps are good for the start. But I suggest you build an independent store soon after you gain initial traction.
Best Platforms for Starting a Dropshipping Store in India
- Supplier – The Engine
You have a car. But without an engine, it is just a metal case. Suppliers in the dropshipping business are like the engine that would move your business ahead. Your relationship will define the results. If you have a good relationship with credible suppliers, you can be sure that you have satisfied customers and raving reviews.
Finding suppliers would take most of the time while starting a dropshipping business. So, be ready to vet different options and choose one that can give you desired markups and the quality you wish to be associated with.
You can go with international suppliers such as Alidropship. Here is a blog on how to start dropshipping with Alidropship. Or you can go with Indian suppliers like Glowroad (Read the blog on how to start a Glowroad store with Shopify here) depending on the niche you choose and your goals.
Remember, Glowroad will also give you an online store that you can start promoting right off the bat without any investment or spending time sorting out technical stuff. So, if you want to try the concept before going all in, you should check it out.
Also, it integrates with Shopify, so you can take your entire store to Shopify easily when you start earning money to invest towards a dedicated eCommerce store.
Best Suppliers for Starting a Dropshipping Business in India
- Marketing Plan – The Fuel
The car is there, the engine is ready to roar but without any fuel, the engine won’t be able to pull your store (car). You need the fuel that would start the engine and help you move ahead.
A marketing plan to drive customers to your store is the fuel you need. Without traffic coming to your dropshipping store, you can’t think of sales or success.
There are many ways to plan your marketing and get visibility in front of your customers. You can think of running Facebook ads, influencer marketing, focusing on organic growth or building a community of engaged shoppers.
Ways to Bring Shoppers to Your Store
- Facebook Ads
- Organic Marketing & SEO
- Building a Community
- Starting a Blog
- Influencer Marketing
- The Legal Stuff – The Seat Belt
You think you’re all set to start the journey once you get hold of a car with a functional engine and fuel. What if you get into an accident?
Getting on the road is never without dangers. Same is the case with starting dropshipping business or any business, in fact. That’s why we have seatbelts and airbags in cars, and legal compliances in the business world.
Before you start your dropshipping business, you will have to register your business the GST Act. Only then you can start raising invoices to customers.
Though, you can still run a business without GST registration if your revenues are under 20 lakh per year, but GST registration is free and will help you grow without thinking anything.
Also, GST registration would help you claim input tax credit for all the transactions you do as a dropshipper.
You will also have to register your business as a sole proprietor or company, eventually. If you are doing this with a friend or family, you can even think of a partnership.
This step would save you from unnecessary compliance hassles along the way and you will be able to speed up operations, without worrying about the roadblocks or chances of accidents. (You don’t want a tax notice asking you about the source of funds coming in your bank account from your small side business, right?)
So, you need to have a registered entity and set your in order so that you don’t end up losing more than you earned.
You can contact a chartered accountant in India who can help you deal with every regulatory compliance before you can start a dropshipping business in India.
Registrations you must Do before launching a Dropshipping Business in India
- Business Registration (Partnership, Proprietorship or Company Registration)
All this confused you?
Here’s are the best dropshipping platforms in India
Dropshipping wasn’t so common 5 years back. But the trend has picked up pace with lots of dropshipping businesses running successfully in India.
There are many platforms that help you find the right suppliers, launch a dropshipping store and take care of everything, if required.
If you don’t find the time to start everything and manage, it is better to have a managed platform taking the lead. Here are five platforms to start your dropshipping journey right away:
- Oberlo: The ultimate dropshipping solution
- Salehoo: Suppliers list from all around the world (Oberlo alternative)
- Printrove: Print on demand & dropshipping supplier in India
- Printful: Print-on-demand store and embroidery fulfillment with great features
- Dropship.me: Find winning dropshipping products for your store on WordPress
- Printify: Genuine printful alternative
- WooDropship: Automate dropshipping with Aliexpress & WooCommerce
- Importify: Import best-selling products to your dropshipping store
- Modalyst: Add products to your store instantly
Don’t give up your entrepreneurial dream. Take charge and start now
We all know it’s hard to start a business. But it will never get easier. The best time is now and the best thing about starting today is that you won’t regret it. So, stop thinking of the day you’ll leave your job and start a business like dropshipping.
Try taking small steps with options like dropshipping, freelancing, affiliate marketing or anything you want to do and take charge of your life now. If you face any hurdles on the way, drop in a comment and we’ll help you tackle those. All the best, future entrepreneur!