Do you want to start a yoga mat sales business? If YES, here is a guide on how to start a yoga mat drop shipping business with no money or experience. Yoga mats are specially fabricated mats used to prevent hands and feet slipping during asana practice.
Yoga mats are available in many colors and patterns. “Alignment mats” are printed with guides to proper alignment, helping the yogi to place his or her feet the right distance apart and accurately in line with each other. Some companies print custom images on mats, especially the more expensive ones.
Basically, with the yoga mat drop shipping and sales, you don’t have to purchase a product except you have already made the sale and have been paid by the customer. Even if you don’t have a major up-front inventory investment, it’s possible to start a successful yoga mat drop shipping and sales business with very minimal startup capital.
20 Steps to Starting a Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales Business
1. Understand the Industry
The ecommerce industry that yoga mat drop shipping and sales business is a part of is indeed a very large industry that can boast of creating business opportunities for loads of entrepreneurs all across the globe and generating multiple billion dollars annually. The industry generates well over $1 trillion annually on a global scale. For example, in 2012, ecommerce sales topped $1 trillion for the first time in history and the figure is still growing.
A recent report published by IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue has grown at an average annual rate of 6.6 percent to $93.8 billion over the five years to 2010. Despite revenue contracting in 2009 in response to the recession, the industry has performed solidly over the past five years, outperforming some other retail industries.
As the economy recovers and consumer sentiment and employment rise, revenue will increase. In 2010 alone, revenue is expected to rebound by 7.8 percent.
Demand for online sales is expected to grow at a faster rate compared with the rest of the economy, in part because recently frugal consumers will be more likely to look for deals online rather than spend their money in department stores or other retail outlets. Because online retailers do not have many of the property-related expenses that brick and mortar retailers have, they are able to sell products at lower prices, which will attract price-conscious shoppers.
The development of secure online payment methods such as PayPal has been instrumental to the industry’s success. Such payment methods are designed to make it easy for consumers to make credit card transactions or electronic fund transfers online, without revealing too much financial information.
Drop shipping Business model just like Amazon FBA, is a retail fulfillment method where a store does not necessarily keep the products it sells in a warehouse or a store of some sort. Instead, when a drop – shipping company sells a product, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. Hence, the merchant never get to sees or handle the product in question.
One obvious difference between the drop – shipping ecommerce business model and the standard retail business model is that the drop shipping company doesn’t stock or own inventory. Instead, the company purchases products / stocks as needed from a third party – usually a wholesaler or manufacturer of the products so as to fulfill orders placed by customers.
It is important to mention that there are loads of advantages in starting a yoga mat drop shipping business hence the increase in the number of players in this line of business. Some of the advantages of starting this business are low overhead, flexibility in choosing a location for the business and a wide selection of products from different manufacturing brands or wholesale distributors.
So also, if you start a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, then you will not have to crack you brain on how to source for money to lease or manage a warehouse, how to package and ship orders from customers, keeping track on inventory for accounting reasons, handling returns and inbound shipments and frequently ordering products and managing stock level.
The yoga mat drop shipping and sales business will continue to blossom because people will not relent in purchasing products from online stores. Despite the fact that the industry seems over – saturated, there is still room big enough to accommodate aspiring entrepreneurs who intend opening their own company.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own yoga mat drop shipping and sales company could be that the business is thriving and easy to setup and manage with minimal startup capital.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who purchase yoga mats from online stores via third party providers cut across all genders above 18 years with the financial means, hence the demographic composition of a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company is all encompassing.
In essence, your target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people or business, but all those who have access to the internet, and has purchasing power.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Yoga mat drop shipping and sales business is a niche idea in the ecommerce and drop shipping industry.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the yoga mat drop shipping and sales business goes beyond competitions amongst yoga mat drop shipping companies and other online stores in your city or country that retail yoga mats. This is so because the world-wide web is a great platform for any entrepreneur to launch a business and still make headway no matter the part of the world they live in.
So, it will be right to say the competition in the yoga mat drop shipping and sales business is tough. The truth is that, no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your products or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for their excellent services and products.
These are some of the leading yoga mat drop shipping brands in the united states of America and in the globe;
- Sunrise Wholesale Merchandise Dropshipper
- Safety Technology
- Rainbow Card Company
- Choice Promotional ProductsSunrise Glamour LLC
- Kole Imports Drop Shipping
Yoga mat drop shipping and sales business is quickly becoming competitive, as a matter of fact, you will come across several stores on the internet retailing same products (yoga mats) and offering same services like you do. So, if you are mapping out your economic analysis, you should also carry out thorough market survey.
If you are considering starting a yoga mat drop shipping and sales business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of building and maintaining your website, but also on branding and on how to build a robust third – party retailers and clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust retailer and clientele base and far reaching distribution network, you are sure going to maximize profits in your business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get a franchise of a drop shipping company to buy. Besides starting a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small – scale businesses which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, you should just try as much as possible to build a user friendly e-commerce store, build business relationship with retailers of yoga mats and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your company.
Please note that most of the successful yoga mat drop shipping and sales companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own yoga mat drop shipping and sales company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established drop shipping companies and online stores on the cyber space that also retail same products (yoga mats) and offer same services as you do.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market. Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face are economic downturn and unfavorable government policies.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Generally, you have the options of either choosing a general partnership, Limited Liability Company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale yoga mat drop shipping and sales company especially if you are just starting out with moderate capital and covering just a city.
But if your intention is to grow the business and sell your products (yoga mats) to customers all across the United States of America and other countries of the world, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your yoga mat drop shipping and sales company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners and investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to study the various legal entities to use for your yoga mat drop shipping and sales company with the ability to sell your products (yoga mats) to customers all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable.
You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your yoga mat drop shipping and sales company so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Golden Bird® Drop – Shipping Company
- Eagles Wing™ Drop Shipping Company, LLC
- Prince Felix® Drop Shipping Company, Inc.
- Blue Bird® Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales Company
- Ariel® Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales Company, Inc.
- Pop® Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales Company, Inc.
- Park ‘n’ Sale® Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales, Inc.
- Cite® Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales Company, LLC
- Blue Rays® Yoga Mat Drop Shipping and Sales Company, Inc.
- Tammy Morgan™ e – Commerce Group
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your yoga mat drop shipping and sales company.
Here are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own yoga mat drop shipping and sales company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Credit insurance
- Motor Vehicle Insurance (For Delivery Vans)
- Deposit insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification. All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of drop shipping and e-commerce business processes.
On the other hand, you come across any form of certification that can aid you to conduct your yoga mat drop shipping and sales business pretty well, then try and pursue such certification.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own yoga mat drop shipping and sales company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Non-disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Contract Document
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale, but if you choose to start the business on a large scale, then you need to source for fund to finance the business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your yoga mat drop shipping and sales company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to a yoga mat drop shipping business, you can afford to start it from any part of the world without any problems since you will have nothing to do with the goods or their shipping.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
There are no special technology or equipment needed to run this type of business except for an e-commerce store/website, customized logistics, inventory-management software and other relevant software applications. So also, you will need computers/laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, etc. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff member to run a medium – scale but standard drop shipping company.
The Services Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to retailing products from an e-commerce store, there are no hard and fast rules about it. You have to make promotions to ensure that people know about the goods you are selling. Do all you can to attract their interest. Usually, drop shipping companies will go all the way to make available a wide range of goods and products from top manufacturing brands in the United States and other countries of the world to their customers.
When a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company sells a product (yoga mat), it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer. Hence, the merchant never gets to see or handle the product in question.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company, then you must employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands determining the market direction for e-commerce industry.
People and organizations will purchase yoga mats from you if they know that they are going to get cheaper and delivered to them as at when due. Your marketing strategy should center on reliability, swiftness, safety, pricing, secured payment platform, and above all excellent customer service.
You should ensure that whenever your customers order yoga mats, they should get it delivered within the stipulated time frame. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain our old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your drop shipping business;
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still meet their demands
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people who consider you an expert in the field
17. Work Out a Reasonable Pricing for your Services & Products
One strategy that will help you retail the products listed on your e – commerce store at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Aside from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your products.
18. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The availability of a wide range of yoga mats on your e – commerce store, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry. If you are into yoga mat drop shipping and sales business, then it is advisable that you create a user’ friendly store that clearly shows the various types of yoga mats you retail and their prices.
Another possible competitive strategy for winning your competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base and third – party retailer base.
19. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers
When it comes to business, no matter the industry that you choose to pitch your tent in, one of the easiest ways to increase customers’ retention and perhaps to attract new customers is to produce results and satisfy your customers always. If your customers are satisfied with your products and services delivery/shipping, they can hardly source for alternative service providers or products.
Statistics has it that one of the major reasons why clients source for alternative service providers or product is when there is a drop in quality. Another reason is poor customer service. If you can continue to retail a wide range of yoga mats from different manufacturing companies, and your shipping and customer service delivery is top notch, then you won’t struggle to maintain loyal customers.
Part of what you need to do to achieve this is to track progress, results or outputs with the aim of improving on them quickly as the case demands. When it comes to managing your customers, and building a loyal clientele base, you should purchase a customized CRM software.
With a customized CRM system, you can easily stay in touch with your clients (you can carry out quick surveys, you can introduce new products and prices to them without any hitch, you can felicitate with them on their birthdays and other anniversaries, you can keep track of their progress, you can send bulk sms and customized e – mails and above all, you can easily receive compliant and feedback from them).
20. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secrets of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them to be.
If your intentions of starting a yoga mat drop shipping and sales company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your yoga mat drop shipping and sales company;
- Sponsor relevant community – based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your products
- List your drop shipping company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your drop shipping company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.