You’re all excited and can’t wait to launch your first online business, you’ve done your research, you picked out a niche and product you believe is going to be a bang, you’ve designed your online stone, and send out a couple of emails as pre-launch marketing – you’re confident of success, and you’re roaring to go live.
Hey wait, I don’t want to bust your bubble but you know things can go wrong. You know your wholesale suppliers may choose not to show up, the website could crash, people might not even like the products you carry – you see there’re a hundred and one things that could go wrong, so it doesn’t hurt to doubly make sure you’ve crossed all your t’s and dotted all your I’s.
Here’re questions to ask yourself before launching:
Is my return policy tight?
You might say – you sell hot products and your customers are going to love it. Well, that’s your opinion not your customers. The truth of the matter is: you’re going to get products return, a lot of them – whether selling hot products or not. This is the reality of online stores. So get ready for them.
How? By ensuring you have a water-tight return and damage handling policy that aligns well with your wholesale supplier.
Do you have reliable back up plan for your wholesale suppliers?
It does happen, you are in the middle of fulfilling major orders; business is moving swiftly – then it happens. An email from your supplier informing you they’ve ran out of stock. You’re stuck in limbo – with huge unfulfilled orders in your hands and no means of fulfilling them.
What do you do? To avoid such scenario, planning ahead of time and getting at least two suppliers for each product you carry will go a long way in saving your ass. So before launching check and cross-check all your suppliers and ensure each has a backup supplier in place.
Go over your marketing strategy again
Of course you know that the life blood of your business is buying customers. You may even have drawn up your marketing strategy and means to attract traffic to your online store. But before you launch as yourself; how effective is your marketing plan?
Taking a fresh look at your strategy could uncover some new insights you never thought of when you were drafting it initially.
Do you have a formal customer relationship management plan?
If you truly desire success with your dropshipping business, then your customer relationship management should be top-notch. And one way of ensuring that is through having a formal customer relationship management plan in place. You’d be surprise with the number of business owners who skip this and were hoping to just wing it.
Did you meet up with all legal requirements?
You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law after launching your business. Hence going over all the legal requirement in your region is a sure way to stay out of trouble. If you’re required to get a tax identification number – make sure you have it.
If you’re required to set up an LLC before operating – make sure you do. Make sure to check that you researched the different business types, like differences between LLC vs S-Corp, so you could find the one that suit you better. These are small details that could derail your efforts when not tackled initially.
So there you have it, its common sense and good business practice to prepare as much as possible for unforeseen events, before you launch sit back and ask yourself if you’ve done everything you need to succeed with your online store. If you check-out all the questions, then go ahead and launch.