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Even under ideal circumstances, being a parent isn’t easy. Kids are wonderful resource drains: they’ll cost you money, sap your spirit, and occupy your time and thoughts. Add major financial trouble to the mix and you get the horrible scenario of trying to maintain the perception of normalcy while battling hard to make ends meet. It’s why so many parents work so hard to ensure that they won’t struggle in that way.
Today, though, parents everywhere face some major challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the lockdown measures that have been implemented in an effort to limit the damage. Many parents who were financially stable are now somewhat less secure. Some have lost their jobs, temporarily or permanently. Factor in the closing of schools and you have a messy situation.
Due to all of this, the notion of setting up a side hustle is becoming much more appealing to parents looking to shore up their finances while stuck at home with their kids. If you’re in that position, eager to make some extra money, then I suggest you give dropshipping a try. It’s the perfect side hustle for parents. Here’s why:
It requires almost no effort past the setup
If you’re not familiar with dropshipping, the basic notion is that you serve as an ecommerce seller without having any stock or needing to ship anything. Existing suppliers offer huge ranges of products but don’t sell directly: instead, they pass that task to dropshippers who list the items, secure the orders, then pass them back to the suppliers for fulfilment (here’s a comprehensive guide if you’re curious to learn more about the specifics).
How do the dropshippers make money in this process? Well, they add profit margins on top of the supplier prices before they list the products in their stores. When they make sales, they keep those margins, with everything else going to the suppliers. The profits aren’t generally huge, but think about the practical significance of that fulfilment process: dropshippers don’t do much.
It takes effort to create a dropshipping store, curate a range of products, choose the profit margins, and polish the presentation. It also takes a little effort to provide customers with post-purchase support — but that’s it. That’s the extent of the workload. If your customers are ultimately happy with their buys, you can go weeks or even months without lifting a finger to manage your store, leaving you plenty of time for parenting.
It’s as close to risk-free as you can get
This isn’t a good time to be investing a lot of money in any side venture, but being a dropshipper doesn’t require any significant investment. In fact, the only necessary cost is paying for the store site: everything past that point (choosing products, listing them, selling them) can be done at no additional cost.
You can spend more, obviously: you can pay for an interesting site template, or hire a developer or designer to work on your site, or pay for product samples to be delivered so you can better curate your selection. You can pay for marketing to get the word out about your store. You just don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Given the low risk, you can even get your kids involved as a way to teach them about the entrepreneurial world. If they mess up your site, or choose horrible products, you won’t really lose anything (you could even set up a second site for your kids and let them handle it).
It fits neatly alongside parent blogging
There’s a huge market for blog posts from parents, and it’s easy to understand why. Aspiring parents want to learn as much as they can about what it’s really like, and new parents don’t have the time or energy to figure things out as they go, so they all look to advice from people who’ve already been through it.
Many parents already blog about their lives, building up decent followings, and they often end up making product recommendations — which strollers they use, which blankets they prefer, which toys they like, etc. If some of those products can be sourced through dropshipping, there’s an obvious opportunity: you can link to your curated products through your blog posts, giving you a straightforward way to pick up some sales. You could also create a roundup post (like this one, for instance) and work in some affiliate links.
There’s no need to hide what you’re doing, so just tell everyone that you’ve set up a store as a way to make some extra money and help people get some good products (you should only be selling products you genuinely think are worthwhile). No one will hold it against you: if anything, they’ll be more likely to support you by buying from you.
Dropshipping truly is the perfect side hustle for parents because it’s low-effort, low-risk, and the perfect moneymaker for anyone blogging about the parenting world. Why not give it a try during lockdown?
About the Author
Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. She’s passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.
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