A lot of the time, being an entrepreneur can seem like a leap of faith into the unknown. And it’s understandable to be flooded by fears and insecurities before such an uncertain adventure.
Most of the time, these smaller fears all lead to one big one: Failure. However, Rafel Mayol has learned that giving up on your dream is the worst failure you can experience.
- Rafel Mayol’s Story of Success
- A Successful Business Based on Trial and Error
- Each Entrepreneur Must Find Their Method
- Starting a Business
- Finding Your Niche
- The Reality of Dropshipping: Profits vs. Sales
- Creating a Brand
- Advertising is the Key to Getting Sales
- Outstanding Customer Support
- Entrepreneur Courses That Show the Reality of Dropshipping
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Rafel Mayol’s Story of Success
When he got started with his first project, Rafel jumped into an unknown world with minimal information. Of course, he thought his business plan was infallible, but soon he found himself in several unexpected situations that kept success at bay.
Things might not have turned out as he thought they would, but he never stopped believing in himself throughout it. And most importantly: He never gave up.
Like many great successful entrepreneurs before him, Rafel saw an opportunity to learn where others only saw failure.
A Successful Business Based on Trial and Error
One of the most prominent fears entrepreneurs have is the fear of failure, Rafel explains.
“I tried three or four different businesses over two years that flopped for different reasons until I eventually hit success. People don’t even consider failure as a possibility. They get caught up on what others may think or are ashamed for wanting to give it a try.”
“Instead of being so afraid of not reaching your goal on the first try, you really should be scared of staying in your comfort zone for the next 20 years. Staying where you are is a defeat in itself.”
When you decide to start a dropshipping business and don’t even know exactly what dropshipping is, it’s perfectly understandable not to feel confident. This is where Rafel is a huge advocate of education.
“A lot of people trying to start a business see this investment as an unnecessary cost. However, it’s of the utmost importance. Investing in your own education is key in your future success.”
Investing in products that don’t end up yielding the desired results is another thing that often makes people feel unsuccessful. As Rafel is quick to say, “you have to keep going and try again if you want to fulfill your dreams.”
He adds that while it might be hard to part with your hard-earned cash, spending money to test products is necessary.
“Part of your budget must be spent on testing and trying new things. That’s how you become experienced. I failed a lot of times because I didn’t follow a strategy, but I ended up using a method that works.”
Each Entrepreneur Must Find Their Method
From the very beginning, you have to keep in mind that not everything works for everybody. Each person must come up with a unique method adapted to the way they work.
This is achieved by trial and error – getting things right, getting others wrong, and learning from those mistakes. Often, knowing what not to do is as important as knowing what to do.
“I would rather start a business with minimal investment and reinvest whatever benefits it may yield than spending €50,000 right off the bat on inventory I’m not really sure I’m going to actually sell. Part of the fun comes from playing around with the different variables and getting better at it.”
“Be aware that there is a learning curve you can’t avoid if you want to achieve success.”
Though this observation might seem obvious, it’s easy to forget. Rafel knows first hand what starting a business, failing, and starting over from scratch entails.
“Success as an entrepreneur is never guaranteed 100 percent. Getting enough sales to cover investment and yield benefits depends on many factors.”
Starting a Business
Like many other entrepreneurs, Rafel didn’t start his own dropshipping business overnight. He first got started by working for a few years as an affiliate marketer. It was during this time that he realized the person making the most money was the store owner. And after this realization, he decided to start a business of his own.
Without much experience or a lot of capital, Rafel wanted to start a business that didn’t have a high initial cost. With a low barrier to entry and low risk, dropshipping was the answer.
“In my opinion, dropshipping is a great way to start as an entrepreneur because it gives you the possibility to prove you know how to sell, how much you know about marketing, and that you can solve problems that may come up.”
Finding Your Niche
When entrepreneurs start a business, they often make the mistake of creating something they would like. As a consequence, the only possible customer ends up being the store owner themselves. Rafel believes it’s essential to be aware of this pitfall beforehand, to avoid an easy mistake.
“The most important thing is the existence of demand. Many times, we find it hard to separate our hobbies and interests from what clients really want.”
This is the reason why when choosing what products you are going to sell,
Instead, Rafel suggests your store should target specific groups, but be mindful of narrowing your audience so much that you miss out in the broader market
“You have to find specialized dropshipping niches without falling in very small micro-niches where the chance of attaining significant growth is very little. If the product is too specific, it will only reach that specific audience interested in it.”
For this reason, before you start a business, you should carry out market research. Doing this will help shed light on finding winning products and getting them in front of the right people. After all, there’s no point in having a fantastic product if you’re targeting the wrong audience.
After gathering this information, you will know the niches with the least competition, and therefore have a higher chance of finding your spot in the market.
The Reality of Dropshipping: Profits vs. Sales
It’s a common mistake among new entrepreneurs to confuse their profit with sales, and falsely believe that high sales will always translate into big profit.
However, a company can have high levels of sales and yet barely have any profit. This is because the profit margin is not big enough, meaning that the costs are very
“A good online store has a profit margin between 20-35 percent after covering expenses such as advertisement, product cost, shipment, and other fees. If the margin is less than 15 percent, you need to start worrying.”
So, what’s the right profit margin to shoot for? Rafel has a pretty simple formula that’s served him well across his stores.
“You always have to keep a profit margin when you sell. The product shouldn’t cost more than a third of what [your customers’] paid for it unless we are talking about a high priced product. In that case, we could be looking at [a cost of] 45 percent [of the sales price].”
Rafel firmly believes that if you want to profit from the products you sell, you need to try to be close to the figures above. While setting prices can be intimidating, he’s quick to tell other budding entrepreneurs that they should not be afraid of setting high prices for their products. After all, it’s a standard set by every successful business that’s gone before.
“Multinationals do it. They sell their products at prices that allow them to have a great profit if compared to the production cost.”
It’s also important to remember that we’re not only talking about what we pay suppliers when we talk about costs. You also have to consider all other things – operations fees, taxes, advertisements, etc. All of these things quickly add up and chew into your profits far more than you initially expect.
Creating a Brand
Deciding on a name for your store is one of the most important things when it comes to creating and bolstering your business. It can often lead to big things in the future, such as branded products or packaging.
For these reasons, reinforcing his brand is always Rafel’s primary goal.
“I always sell all my products with my own labeling and branding to build my brand. If possible, I do it in-house to keep the costs low. The idea is to work towards something big in the long term.”
To get to that point, you need to continually re-evaluate your business interests and reinvest part of the profits to continue strengthening the brand. It can be tempting to take the profits and run, but if you want to build a long-term brand, reinvestment in these things will pay off majorly in the future.
Advertising is the Key to Getting Sales
While many crucial factors go into running a business, Rafel believes the most important thing when you are starting is the right mindset. He compares it to going to the gym to lose weight.
“If you sign up to it, but you never go, well, you are never going to lose weight.”
In Rafel’s experience, the same happens with a business. If you don’t aim for success and leave your comfort zone, there’s no way you’re going to make it.
“You have to be more scared of being in your comfort zone for 20 more years than not reaching your goal on your first attempt.”
In Rafel’s experience, people usually think that the most important thing to start a business is money. However, he wants to dispel this notion and thinks new entrepreneurs should focus solely on their customers.
“The key [to success] is marketing and engaging clients. The more you know about your customer, the easier it is to sell the product.”
And, one of the most direct ways of addressing your audience? Through advertising.
“A thing that really surprises me is that people are willing to spend €5,000 on a course, but when you tell them, they have to spend €50 on ads they are suddenly scared. I usually advertise five or six products and play around a bit to test different options.”
This strategy allows Rafel to see which product generates the most interest so he can invest more. it’s important to analyze all types of data when running a business and this certainly includes ad analytics. For example, look carefully at what your audience does after seeing your ad.
“If people access the store through the ad, but end up not buying the product, the problem is the store. Instead, if people are not even clicking on the ad, then we can safely assume the problem is the ad itself.”
Rafel has tried everything to boost sales in his stores but says that the better results always come from investing more in advertising.
“I’ve tried influencer marketing to promote some of my products, but nothing beats a good ad.”
Another good idea is to use that data to analyze your niche and compare it to your competition.
The ultimate goal is to gather information and data to design more effective ads that have a greater appeal to your audience. With that said, Rafel warns that there are some things to keep in mind, such as how audiences in different places will react to your product.
“If you are thinking of trying your luck in a different market, be aware that some products may work in some countries but not do that well in others.”
Outstanding Customer Support
While all of the above is necessary, Rafel believes there’s one thing that sets your store apart.
“If you really want results, you must have good Customer relationship management (CRM).”
The use of CRM enhances customer support and customer loyalty, indirectly translating into an increase in sales. This is one of the reasons why Rafel uses Shopify.
“Before Shopify existed, everything had to be tailored specifically for you. This meant you had to hire a company and contact them if anything went wrong or there were changes to be made.”
One of the perks of dropshipping with Shopify is that it’s been created for entrepreneurs’ needs. This means that you, the store owner, don’t need any programming or coding skills to start.
“I look at the total costs. Shopify charges 1 percent, which is way less of what a developer would charge for the same service. In addition, you have the certainty that the platform will always be up and running. It is one less thing I have to worry about.”
Entrepreneur Courses That Show the Reality of Dropshipping
When Rafel first started in the business world, he didn’t know what entrepreneurship truly meant. No one within his family or friend groups owned a business, so he paid to take courses to learn about it.
Rafel failed several times before he found success, which is something that goes hand in hand with being an entrepreneur . However, once he had a method that worked, he decided to share it with others.
“My first idea was to cater these courses towards companies, but I was discouraged by the growth I expected in that field. That’s why I started to teach individuals.”
And after catering his courses to individuals, his students soon found success.
“Sooner than I expected, I had 40 students with up to €10,000 in sales.”
His mentoring company has grown ever since, and now four of his former students teach alongside him.
Rafel thinks that his course has helped others succeed because everything he teaches is based on his own experience. He also rebukes traditional education because it does not prepare people sufficiently for entrepreneurship.
“Traditional or conventional education is great to find a job but not to start a business. Teachers have never done it themselves and, therefore, they can’t teach others how to do it.”
With so much to teach his students, Rafel takes them through each step of running a business. However, one of the main things he’s sure to warn them about are the naysayers. Rafel always warns his students that, the moment they say they want to start a business, somebody will tell them they are going to fail and should not risk it and remain in their comfort zone.
“I always tell my students that doing nothing is the biggest risk you can take. You are an ordinary person that has decided to do something extraordinary. If people criticize you, take that as a sign that you’re doing things right.”