Sofia’s Story: How A Work-At-Home Mom Makes Her First Steps Of Dropshipping In Greece
What’s the best kind of a side job for a work-at-home-mom? How is it possible to have a source of income and, at the same time, never miss your child’s milestones?
There is no universal answer to these questions. Still, it seems like Sofia, our today’s guest, has found the solution that suits her. Let’s see how she manages it all!
Disclaimer: all the success stories published in AliDropship blog are the results of interviews conducted in the written form. Even though the editors may make some minor changes to the grammar, spelling, and/or punctuation, the respondents’ writing styles, views, opinions, stores screenshots and personal photos are left unchanged.
Hi, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, my name is Sofia, I am a certified accountant from Greece.
I am a continuous learner, and what motivated me throughout my career was the desire to learn something new and deal with new challenges.
I have been working in multinational companies for 12 years, but after I gave birth, my list of priorities completely changed. Working for a big company used to be glamorous, but after so many years and experiences I could not find something to attract me to this lifestyle.
I was disappointed to experience that big companies do not treat employees with respect: after many years of dedication and commitment, I was considered to be overqualified. So, for about a year, I was searching to do something of my own.
Why did you decide to try dropshipping?
Many ideas came up but, I found it strange to start a store, pay rent and be there for many hours. It would also be disappointing because my potential customers could only be found in the neighborhood and nowhere else. And of course, as a work-at-home mom I wanted something flexible. I wanted to enjoy my kid’s early years and be there when needed. And this was when my husband came across this business model.
Even though I had no relevant experience in this exact field, I still had some IT skills to begin with. I have a postgraduate degree in information systems. Plus, for 12 years, I have been working for transport companies that were using many online tools for daily business tasks.
How did your work-at-home mom’s journey begin?
I ordered a custom store from AliDropship. When it was ready and started running, for some time at the beginning, it felt weird not to have a 100% control of the whole process.
I thought: “How can I sell something I have not seen working and didn’t even touch?” And it’s funny that my family and friends didn’t really fancy the idea of not having stock to see! 🙂
Then, I thought that even retailers who own physical stores usually buy from their suppliers seeing nothing but a catalog’s image. In comparison to that, I have more data to analyze and see if the products are good enough to add them in my store. There are reviews from customers who already ordered them, lots of images, real-life photos from buyers, and other details to rely on.
The first sale came surprisingly early. The day we connected the payment gateway, I asked my husband to make the first purchase because I could not test it myself as I was driving. When I got back home and checked the orders, I found that some hours earlier a 50$ order was made and the customer was not family or friend. I felt excited and I thought that soon I will have multiple orders daily. I won’t lie, next sales were not that easy! 😀
I think that this first sale happened because the team that handled the project of setting up my store has activated Social Rabbit plugin on a very early stage. Also, I had all those social media channels activated with some posts, even before being able to receive an order. The day I get the order was the day I posted something personal, I believe that this also had to do with that.
I’d say that Social Rabbit is a blessing but I find some things that can be optimized like change the day/hour of a scheduled post. Support team also is great, whenever I had a question Victoria and her team is there!
How does dropshipping in Greece work for you in financial terms?
Here’s my sales report for the last 3.5 months:
Yes, it’s only one store as for now because I want to be sure in the next steps.
After 3 months, I am not where I wanted to be in terms of sales.
Nevertheless, I believe in my niche and I will test my advertising skills a bit more. Hopefully I will succeed with my first goal that is 1 order per day. Still not there.
What I have seen is that you have to build an audience, then build trust with that audience. I don’t believe in overnight success, and I don’t expect it.
How did you choose the niche?
The selection of my niche is a combination of personal interests, my daughter’s interests, and trends’ analysis. Of course, I have to thank Katya, my project manager, who was really helpful in every step of the project and helped me a lot also at that stage.
What’s your product strategy?
I read most of customer feedback, customers’ rating has to be 5* on more than 80% of the reviews. Also, the supplier’s store has to have at least a 95% rating.
To select and add new products, I do Google Trends analysis and check posts from Facebook groups and Instagram accounts related to my niche.
My pricing formula is supplier’s price*2+shipping cost. More or less, I follow the formula that was advised by AliDropship team with some modifications.
How do you promote your store?
I use Google Ads, Facebook ads and Instagram ads. For the right audience targeting and reach, I describe my demographics and then let FB pixel do its job.
Actually, Facebook has proven to be the most efficient promotional channel for me. Google Ads were cheap, but they gave no results in my case, and I gave them up. So, now, on average, I spend about 250 eur every month on marketing.
What’s your daily dropshipping routine?
I spend about 4 hours every day on the stores’ management – some days even more if I have to learn something new.
The most time-consuming task for me is the creation of appealing newsletters. And in general, the whole area of advertising is totally new to me and has many parameters to focus on. So, I dedicate time to read, test, read again, test again.
How do you deal with difficult customers (if any)?
With respect and kindness, I try to be in their shoes. I only had one such case yesterday and took corrective actions after the customer’s comment. I believe in kindness and quick response on customer’s emails.
What can you say about the legal part of dropshipping in Greece?
I registered my business officially, and I recommend that because we all have to think of the benefit of having a pension when we will be too old to dropship!
After registering the business officially, you pay some taxes and fees. A good thing is that they go into medical insurance and pension plan, which is great. Also payment gateway may want this as a prerequisite.
How has your life changed?
Financially not much as you can see from the figures. On the other hand, I have something of my own to cherish and build daily, and I believe it will bloom some day! Or I will bloom with all that knowledge I have gathered.
What are your dropshipping plans for the future?
For the whole year, I will be dedicating my time and effort and money to this niche. I’m trying hard to have multiple orders daily.
When I have a moment, I write down any ideas I come across. Once in a while I rank these ideas to see which seems more promising. If none of them works out and nothing grows, I will seek some other opportunity.
What can you advise our readers – those who already run their stores and those who didn’t start the business yet?
If you have a job, start it as a side business and dedicate your time and effort to it. By the time you are fed up with the current job, your online store will start having first orders. So, you’ll be able to decide what to do next!
As a work-at-home mom, Sofia is able to both enjoy quality time with her family and find enough time to educate herself and grow professionally. It’s a great honor for us to call this incredible entrepreneur our client and friend, and we hope her story will inspire you to try yourself in this business, too!