Did you know that you can dropship services instead of physical products? This is known as drop servicing.
So What does drop servicing mean?
The concept behind this innovative business model is pretty simple. Think of yourself as an entrepreneur. You have an idea of providing certain services to clients. Entrepreneurs often work on the business aspect of the organization while hiring creative talent to deliver these services. All you need to do is select a service, find talent across virtual platforms, and advertise your services to potential clients.
This idea is quite relevant in the COVID19 Pandemic, where businesses are scrambling to meet their daily demands virtually. A simple search on remote working platforms like Indeed will show you the demand for such services.
When a client places an order for service on your site, you will hire one of your scouted talents at a subsidized fee, and you keep the markup.
Pretty simple, right?
How about we get into it. I have created a pretty easy step-by-step tutorial for those looking to create a home business based on this model.
For this model, you will need:
- Virtual Talent
- Domain Name
- Internet Connection
How to Create a Drop Servicing Website
Choosing a Niche
Niche selection is of utmost importance. You need to select a niche that is fairly competitive with an equivalent moderate return. You don’t want to go for services that are highly competitive because you will need to put in twice the marketing effort to see any kind of return. If you are a beginner, select a niche that you are fairly passionate about and knowledgeable on.
So how can you find such niches?
- Head on to remote hiring platforms like Indeed, Upwork, People Per Hour, Fiverr etc. For instance, if you are on the homepage of Fiverr, you will see the most popular services just under the search bar.
As you can see in the image above, Fiverr lists popular services like Voice over, Translation, Logo Design, and Articles and Blog Posts. This can give you an idea of the perfect niche for your service website.
- Use the search button to filter out services in terms of recommended/popular/recent. This will give you an idea of what people are looking for and which services are less populated with service providers.
- Another platform that can help you with this niche selection is Reddit. This social media platform has a plethora of platforms based on work-at-home opportunities, remote working, hiring etc. You can search these forums to determine which companies are hiring and the services that are needed.
- Choose a service that is moderately popular and has a significant number of service providers. Don’t shy away from the highly popular ones if you have good sales and marketing skills. Your ability to persuade a client to purchase your service will determine the outcome. Some common niches include Search Engine Optimization (Highly Competitive), Content Writing (Highly Competitive), Translation (Moderately Competitive Depending on Languages Offered), Graphic Design (Moderately Competitive).
There are a number of service providers that you can use to create your drop servicing website. However, some of them are complicated, while others are expensive and may affect your ability to break even as a business owner. You can choose to host your site on providers like Shopify and BigCommerce. These providers allow business owners to host their websites on their servers and provide many implements like support and plugins which can make it easier to manage your business.
However, these sites often lack flexibility as you have to pay a monthly subscription fee coupled with a payment processing fee that may eventually affect your profits. Additionally, with such service providers you do not have complete ownership of your site as you have to conform to some rules and regulations, which may affect your ability to interact with your clients or provide a service.
On the other hand, there are website hosts that allow you to host your site by only paying for a domain name and hosting. These service providers often use WordPress for website integration. If you are a newbie and do not have any WordPress experience, then they can be a hassle to set up and manage. However, these kinds of websites have numerous advantages, including complete ownership, payment flexibility, and website integrations. If you own a WordPress site, you are responsible for all the operations and have the flexibility of changing anything whenever you feel like.
One website provider that has integrated the advantages of host sites like Shopify and WordPress hosting sites like Namecheap is Wix. I will use Wix to illustrate how to create your site because it allows for the creation of a site through a wizard and also allows for a seamless drop and paste integration of components on the site. Wix has a free model where you don’t have to pay for a domain name and can use the Wix subdomain name to host your site. Additionally, its user interface is quite simple with guided questions that can help a newbie with no experience in website design and creation come up with a professional website in a matter of minutes.
So how can you create a drop servicing website on Wix? As usual, this guide provide a step-by-step tutorial to make sure that you have the blueprint to create a successful and sustainable online business without spending a lot of money.
How to Create a Website with Wix
After selecting a niche, the next important step is selecting a domain name and hosting for your website. Some service providers provide both services, while others only specialize in one. The domain name is the identity of your website that is found on the URL. You can use name generators to come up with interesting names.
For this type of business model, you will require a professional website. There are tons of website providers out there. However, I would recommend Wix for this kind of service because of the structure and support associated with the service provider.
Wix is a service provider that enables people to operate professional websites that simultaneously act as a marketing tool, online store, portfolio, a communication channel, and an engine for branding. Wix provides both domain names and hosting services for your website.
Can you do dropshipping on Wix? Yes, you can!
To get started, head on over to Wix
- Click the Get Started Button. You will be taken to a second screen where you will be asked to sign up. Input the details required, verify your email and proceed to the second step.
- Wix has a number of templates that you can use to create your site. Click on the create new site button; you will be asked which kind of website you want to create. Select the option that closely matches your niche.
- After selecting an option as illustrated above, you will proceed to a screen where you can either choose to work with the WIX ADI to create a website or do it from scratch. The ADI is a good option for a beginner with no experience in web design. However, if you have a knack for DIYs, then you can use the “create your website with Wix editor” option.
- If you decide to go with the ADI, you will answer a set of questions that will help the bot create a website that is tailored to your preferences. The ADI will ask questions ranging from the tools you want on your website to the color schemes.
- If you choose to provide services like graphic designing, you will need samples to display on the site. Head on over to Fiverr, hire a designer to come up with sketches that you think will be suitable for your target client, import these sketches into Wix. You can also import website content like translation portfolios, writing samples etc.
- Review and edit your information, then pick a theme on the subsequent pages. Choose a theme that is reflective of the service you are providing. For instance, if you decide to provide a service that requires a display of images, then go for a minimalist theme.
- The ADI will provide you with design options for your homepage. After selecting your design, it will take a few minutes for the ADI to load and organize your site. Don’t worry, sit back and let it do the job for you!
- You can choose to add widgets and features, including apps for customer care, forums, blogs, booking calendar etc. You can also format and edit the design features like fonts etc. If you decide to publish your site at this juncture, Wix will provide you with a secondary domain. For instance, if your website’s domain name was Diogeness, Wix will provide you with a free domain in the following format http://domainname.Wixsite.com. If you purchased a domain name from a different service provider, you could connect your domain after upgrading on the subscription plans.
Wix provides a number of subscription plans with several advantages, like free domains. The comparison of the premium plans are illustrated below:
If you want to accept payments online, then you can choose from the Business and E-commerce Subscription rates that range from $17 to $35/month.
PS: Do not forget to create terms and conditions where you let your clients know important issues regarding your service. This is the place where you tell them that you provide services through affiliated third-parties.
You can also hire a Wix expert on the homepage to create the site for you. If these subscription rates are out of your budget, don’t worry! You can use service providers like Siteground and Namecheap, where it will cost you less than $100 to host your website. You can also use free website host providers. However, I would not recommend these free services because they can compromise your integrity as a service provider. Dropshipping with Wix is a simple process that is suitable for a beginner with little to no experience with other website providers like WordPress.
Now that we have created our website, we need to find reliable service providers.
Finding Service Providers
Head over to my article on 100+ ways of making money online in 2020, and you will find a list of freelance marketplaces where you can find service providers. The most common platforms include Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and People per Hour.
- Search for the service you are looking for. If you choose to provide writing services, input content writing in the search bar.
- Filter the freelancers according to rating. This is because, in service provision, quality is better than quantity. If you can provide high-quality services at competitive prices, then you will outrank your competitors.
- Some of these platforms like Fiverr will rank the freelancers according to their ratings, while others like Freelancer, will allow you to create job posts where freelancers have to approach you with the best bids and offers.
- Select the best-rated freelancers. Read through the ratings to determine if the freelancers delivered what they were supposed to deliver and if they did so within the stated deadline. This is significant as Turnaround Time (TAT) is quite important in this industry.
- Approach the freelancers and ask them for samples or better yet hire them to complete a hypothetical project to gauge their ability. Retain the most skilled and cooperative workers.
- Ensure that you are familiar with the rules of the platform that you have selected the freelancers. Also, read up on the terms and conditions of each service provider to know how soon they can be hired and if they are always available. Make sure that you have at least five different options for each service. This is to ensure that all your clients will be serviced regardless of the deadlines.
It is important to note that prices may vary according to a number of factors such as TAT, service provider quotes etc. As such, you cannot use fixed prices on your site. Once you get a job, you will ask for quotations and TAT from your selected freelancers and choose one that suits you the most.
As time goes by, you can permanently hire freelancers for your company and provide monthly, weekly, hourly, or per-job rates.
How to Set Prices
As mentioned above, prices may vary depending on a number of factors. However, make sure that you do your research on industry rates. When you still depend on freelancers on various platforms, you cannot provide fixed rates but rates based on quotes. After getting the quotes from the freelancers, you can add a markup of 10-50%. However, be very careful and do not overprice your services. Provide reasonable prices equated to service delivery.
However, as times go by, and the orders start becoming more consistent, you can hire permanent employees. This provides you with the opportunity of providing fixed prices and enhanced service delivery to your potential consumers.
How to Find Prospective Clients
Now that you have set up the dynamics of the business, you need to drive traffic to your website. You can do this through a number of ways including,
Networking platforms like LinkedIn provide you with a platform through which you can contact prospective businesses and offer your services. LinkedIn has an advertising platform where you pay to promote your business. You can invest $50 on advertising credits and start targeting potential clients.
Hint: Make sure you search for coupon codes that may provide you with free advertising credits.
Other social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, where you can reach potential clients through creating content that is reflective of your service. You can advertise on all these platforms.
This is an advertising platform that displays your ads according to users’ search queries. Check their site for available coupon codes.
If you don’t have a budget for advertisements, don’t worry! I got you covered! You can write guest posts on established blogs that can help you direct traffic to your own blog. Guest posting is generally defined as writing content for a different company’s website. To begin, do a simple Google search for similar blogs within your niche. Contact the blog owners and ask them if they allow for guest posts. In most circumstances, the blog owner will provide you with the topic to write on. However, in other cases, you will have to do your own research on relevant topics and pitch it to the blog owner. This article needs to somehow connect to the services that you are trying to provide on your website. For instance, if you decide to provide graphic design services, you can choose to write on how to manage design projects or attributes of successful designers. Depending on the policies of the host blog, you can either link your website within the article or attach it under your name at the end of the article. Readers on the Host blog may decide to click on your site and purchase your services. This method is quite significant because it will help you boost your domain authority using external links that originate from high authority domains.
Create a blog on your site where you provide content relating to your service. Optimize the article for Google, and you will be getting free organic traffic through the search platform.
Forums are a good source of niche-related traffic.
There are several other ways through which you can drive organic traffic to your site. A simple Google search will show you hundreds of thousands of techniques that will help you attract the right demographic for your content. This money-making opportunity is not for the faint-hearted. Patience and resilience will determine if you’re able to survive the competitive dropshipping business.
How to Retain Clients
Your ability to retain clients will determine how successful your business is. Think about it this way: let’s say you have a favourite salon or barbershop that you always use. What makes you return every other time for personalized services? When you provide a comprehensive and quality service then you will definitely have repeat clients. Additionally, repeat clients always offer the best referral and can help you reach an even wider client base without spending money on advertisements.
So how do you retain clients?
Providing High-Quality Service: At the beginning of your business, you will have to act as a quality control manager. What are the hallmarks or standards for the service you are providing? Do your research on what your competitors are providing and go above and beyond to provide better services. Read on the reviews of your competitors? Why are they highly rated? Can you replicate their success through quality? If not, why are they lowly rated? Can you improve the quality of the service? High quality will always retain your clients and motivate them to refer you to their friends and family.
Provide good customer care: Nobody wants to buy a service and not be updated on the process. You need to always interact with your clients to make sure that you understand what they need and are able to answer their questions regarding their issues. Fast customer care is key to retaining clients. Download the IM app for messaging like Google Hangouts etc. This will enable you to get instant messages and simplify the reply process.
Deal with Customer Complaints Efficiently: have you ever gone for a job interview and been asked if you have people skills? If so, have you ever wondered why people skills are considered integral for many businesses? This is because your client is the engine of your business. If you cannot interact with them efficiently and with good interpersonal skills, then they will move their business to your competitors.
Here’s an example of people skills in action: a client complains about the turnaround time of the projects. This is something that is out of your control because your contracted freelancers are the ones who determine how fast they can provide the assignments. The best way to attend to this complaint is to reassure the client that the assignment is in good hands and that you will make sure that it is provided at the earliest possible time without compromising on the quality. You can even offer a complimentary service to help them understand the process. You should never engage with a client like your competitor or in an aggressive manner regardless of their temperaments.
Dropshipping services using Wix will help you stay one step ahead of your competitors. This is accomplished through easy to create drag-and-drop website builder, efficient plugins, and a structured e-commerce process.
If this sounds like a business idea that you would be drawn to, take your time to select a niche and be motivated by your passion. You might not get a sale within the first day, week, or month. However, persistence is key!