Want to start a mail order business? Our startup guide will provide you with a clear roadmap to success. Available with or without our award-winning business plan software, the Mail Order Business Startup Guide will put you on the fast track to small business success!
Thanks to the boom in online shopping, mail order businesses are more profitable than ever before—and this updated startup guide shows entrepreneurs everything they need to get started.
If you want to work from home, running a lucrative business that costs little to start and requires no specialized skills, mail order may be for you. Working from a kitchen table, you can take orders, process payments, and dispatch shipments picked up by a parcel service from a remote warehouse run by yet another vendor.
This exclusive guide to mail order takes you step by step covering every aspect of startup and operations, including hard-won advice and helpful hints from successful mail order entrepreneurs. Learn how to:
Busy families no longer need to take the time to run to the mall and shop for the perfect item. They simply click their mouse and have their treasures delivered from any corner of the country right to their doorstep. Shopping has never been so convenient and the opportunity for starting and running a successful mail order business has never been so great!
Mail order offers the option of starting as a part-time business, which allows you to get your feet wet without jumping into the pool. In fact, many direct marketers insist that moonlighting is the wisest way to go. John Schulte, chair of the National Mail Order Association (NMOA), believes traditional and internet-based mail order are the last frontiers for the little guy. “You can find ways to make things happen part time from your kitchen table,” says Schulte.
Competition in the mail order biz is tough. But if you start out part time, you can allow yourself on-the-job training without on-the-job financial anxieties. And if you don’t want to sever the ties with your full-time employer until you know you can make it on your own, mail order is an ideal business for you.
What else makes mail order shine for the startup entrepreneur? You don’t need a lot of inventory. You can sell merchandise through a drop-ship arrangement. No, we aren’t suggesting that you parachute goods to customers like in the Berlin Airlift. Drop shipping is an arrangement in which a third party, such as a manufacturer or wholesaler, sells you the merchandise while keeping it in their warehouse until you make the sale. Then it is shipped from them to your customer. Or you can start out with one product or service, rather than go the L.L. Bean 16,000-products route, and keep your inventory manageable as you grow.
Keep in mind that mail order lends itself to services as well as merchandise. You can offer everything from antique appraisal to desktop publishing to genealogical research—and for most services, your inventory list will be minimal.
Yet another mail order plus: You don't need to ship the product until your customer's check or credit card clears the bank. Unlike your store-bound retail colleagues, you've got no bounced-check worries.