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Business Strategy: Start With 1 Product

by | Oct 19, 2019 | Thoughts | 0 comments

When starting a new business, it helps to focus on just one product or service. There are numerous examples of famous brands using this business strategy. They honed their operations by making one or a few offerings, then expanding later.

Entrepreneur.com interviewed the successful dropshipping merchant Scott Hilse about how to provide good customer service in one’s online store. The article notes criticisms of the dropshipping business model in which a website owner simply mediates sales between customers and manufacturers. But dropshipping can still work, and be a great industry, says Hilse. The key is to focus on a single product or service, which is easier to track than a full store.

According to Hilse, dropshipping is very much alive and thriving, but what is gold is not always glittering: With so many competitors and such low barriers to getting started, the drop-shipping market has become heavily saturated. Even e-commerce platforms like Shopify have their drop-shipping plugins, making it merely a matter of clicks to get started. But that’s where Hilse saw an opportunity. Following Ken Segel’s book, Insanely Simple, Hilse focused on the purest version of the dropshipping model: one product, an iPhone case and one straightforward website. For most, the drop-shipping model is attractive because a single store can have access to an almost infinite supply of goods — from bicycles to beanbags. And while most dropshipping stores are thronged with long catalogs, Hilse started his with a single item. While his competitor stores stocked hundreds, if not thousands, of similar cases, he could refine his entire business around the customer experience of selling that one single iPhone case. 

While it’s nothing necessarily new in digital marketing, breaking down the dropshipping model to the bare-minimum has shown that it is still very much alive. By maintaining customer experience as the number-one priority, while still holding to the dropshipping fulfillment model, Hilse has been able to show that there is still a wealth of opportunity for budding drop-shippers out there. Unlike sites with thousands of products, entrepreneurs can build entire businesses out of a single product, with hyper-personalized marketing funnels, websites and advertisements, that no e-commerce super-store can ever compete against. 

“Focusing On A Single Product May Be The Key To Dropshipping”

It’s well known that Ralph Lauren began his clothing company making only neckties, and Amazon began as a seller of only books. This business model allows you to perfect your marketing and delivery method. Once you have success with one product, then you can scale and offer more.

I would temper this strategy by working in 2 different businesses. Selling merchandise is an emerging way for news media and bloggers to earn money. This enables them to perform their main job of reporting. (If you’re so inclined, visit my Resources page. I recommend the Udemy course on building WordPress websites! Shop Resources). It’s not well known, but McDonald’s actually makes as much money investing in real estate as selling fast food. But according to the film The Founder, McDonald’s first found success by cutting back its menu to just its top selling items.

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