Drop servicing: the new moneymaker for digital entrepreneurs

Darius Gaynor entered the world of “delivery service” just over a decade ago, when he was looking to make money online so he could leave his “cubicle” job at a Pennsylvania casino. Having achieved this, two years later he says that he then made a six-figure exit from the business he had built on this little-known practice.

Delivery service involves the resale of digital services, such as marketing, copywriting, and creative work. Individuals act as “intermediaries” for the Internet, outsource customer projects to self-employed online, and reap the benefits of the surcharge. Over time, these digital entrepreneurs can become the face of agency-style setups, use independent contractors, partner with white-label vendors (companies that sell brand-changing services or software), and eventually hire employees.

The name of the term is a game of an e-commerce trend called “drop shipping”, in which online stores have no stock of their own, but order third-party products to be sent directly to customers.

Gaynor started by helping crowdfunding campaigns with marketing and PR, finding freelancers in Fiverr, an online services marketplace, and a platform now called Upwork. “In the beginning, the struggle was just to get customers. Then I learned to build relationships with people. I learned to take advantage of those sales opportunities,” he says.

The 34-year-old has moved to Florida to spend more time with his parents and says he earns an average net profit of $ 22,000 a month with his latest search engine optimization company SumoGrowth, which specializes in search engine optimization and customer search. potential. “I just love digital services because there’s more of a race up than down.” He believes that the more you charge, the more your services are perceived as a premium value.

Gaynor says the delivery service has allowed him to work remotely and has transformed his future prospects. “Financially, it allows me to have more income to invest in wealth creation.”

Yassine Harouchi has run at least 10 drop service companies in the last four years, ranging from reselling logo designs to Instagram growth management services.

Mary L. Gray, co-author of Ghost work: how to stop Silicon Valley from building a new global lower class, says delivery service is not as new as it sounds. “[It] is the digital update of the old practice of outsourcing. . . the understandable extent of what happens when we create platforms and technologies to share the work ”. She expects the trend to grow in the coming years with the expansion of the hybrid work model.

Yassine Harouchi, a Moroccan transportation services entrepreneur, agrees. When the pandemic hit, the 30-year-old says he began to be approached by more people who asked him about the practice, many of whom had lost their jobs or sources of income. “Now with Covid and the advent of remote work, I think the delivery service is going to be more and more exposed. But let me tell you, to this day, very few people know about it.”

Harouchi estimates he has led at least 10 drop service companies in the past four years, ranging from reselling logo designs to Instagram growth management services. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.

Finding qualified freelancers to outsource and delegate has been difficult. When hiring, Harouchi experienced that several candidates were sending exactly the same portfolio. The time and energy spent managing deals or troubleshooting customers can also add up.

As for the drop service, Harouchi is now focusing on email marketing, which claims to make a net profit of $ 5,000 a month. He says resellers can get a margin of more than 1,000 percent on “high-end” services, such as lead generation for locally owned businesses. Harouchi used the practice to fund other businesses, including his dream of building an “Airbnb for internships.”

Professor Adrian Palmer, head of Henley Business School’s marketing and reputation department, believes the benefits of buyer prospects are greater flexibility and cost savings, with potentially fewer tax obligations. “As in many sectors of the service economy, we are seeing local markets replaced by global markets.” Palmer also points out that the culture of outsourcing that has developed in Western economies — traditionally large business transactions — is now leaking to individuals.

However, he believes that the concerns of corporations could include whether those who perform the services are paid a fair wage or may have their headquarters in countries with little regulation. “Then it gets a lot more murky,” Palmer adds. In fact, in some cases, businesses and the self-employed may not be wiser about who actually sells or buys the service in these transactions.

Like some of her colleagues, Faizah Mohammed Aruwa, 26, a freelancer from Nigeria who offers a variety of writing, audio and design services in Fiverr, has diverse views on the practice. She appreciates what she describes as the “small” proportion of resellers who are ahead on outsourcing, but says cancellations can result from poor communication about customer expectations. “Someone else benefits from my hard work without doing literally anything but reselling it leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth,” adds Mohammed Aruwa. Although other self-employed say they agree to set and could raise their own prices, she says raising rates is not feasible for new self-employed trying to settle. Concerts on these platforms are often priced very low due to the competitive nature of the market.

Lazarus, a freelance artist in Fiverr, Greece, is also strongly opposed to leaving the service. Not knowing who you work for is one of the main problems. “Decrease final service quality because of [the] communication gap, direct contact with the customer is key. “In addition, Lazarus believes that original sellers, especially in their field, should earn a percentage of the (re) sale price each time a transaction is made.” [drop servicing] it happens without the creator realizing it, it’s not ethical. “

Delivery services argue that they add value through experience and expertise, establishing relationships with customers and offering quality control. Professor Louis Hyman, a member of the Gig Economy Data Hub, believes that they also face the risk of companies finding out more and more about such platforms and hiring freelancers directly.

However, the download services business model seems to be growing. During the pandemic, a meta-industry proliferated to teach and facilitate potential newcomers. Gaynor promotes a virtual course and paid tutoring through a separate business website. Some like Harouchi sell setup services on Fiverr. Wise Money Transfer Group even posted an article on “How to Start a Delivery Service Business” on its website.

Dylan Sigley, who runs several transportation service companies, has launched a training program in 2019.

Fall service advocates have also turned to social media in an effort to become content creators and spread the word. Hyman cites a story of “you can be rich by doing this too” scheme. He asks, “If they could climb so easily, why wouldn’t they make money without selling how to do it?”

Dylan Sigley, 29, runs Drop Servicing Blueprint, a six-week program currently priced at $ 997. It says it has had more than 1,200 participants since its launch in 2019. According to Sigley, about three people join the day and students range from a 16-year-old from Finland to a 70-year-old from the United States.

Sigley entered service in 2015 after taking a $ 5,000 course while working at a call center in New Zealand. These days, he focuses mainly on his training program, but he also has three delivery service companies focused on animated videos, Facebook advertising, and graphic design, respectively. He claims that one company generates a low income of seven figures a year and that the other two generate six high figures.

Sigley now lives as a digital nomad. Formerly based in Australia, Thailand, Poland and Hungary, it is currently based in the United Kingdom. “These [drop servicing] Businesses are fully automated for me right now, “he says.” The most important thing for me is the freedom to travel. It has changed my life in every way possible. ”

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