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Ecommerce Or Adwords Management?

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New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Aug 4, 2014
Hey everyone,

Hope you're having a great day - I've just been researching eCommerce dropshiping (using local dropshippers, not aliexpress, for faster shipping and presentable packaging) for about a month now and am about ready to pull the trigger and get into it, however there's one niggling thought on the back of my mind i can't shake, so would appreciate any advice, discussions or opinions to help me clarify my thoughts, as these things can always look clearer from another point of view.

GOAL: Essentially my long term goal is to own a location independent business that i can run and manage anywhere in the world that has internet. This has been my goal for a long time now.

PROCESS: Ecommerce using dropshiping seems like a good fit here as it fulfills 5/5 criteria of CENTS and can be done remotely, however from what i've read it will probably take a while to see success as SEO, and also building up an email list will take time. I don't mind this but understand that the longer it takes to see success the chances of success decrease due to the emotional uncertainty and the way our minds work.

So the niggling thought on the back of my mind has been the idea to focus on a different model instead - namely Adwords account management for clients, as I recently worked at an online agency for 12 months as an Adwords specialist and became quite proficient at it.

My concern is that this business model only fulfills 3/5 criteria of CENTS (i believe time and scale don't qualify unless i was to train up a team, which i guess could be an option in the long run) and that a significant part of it will be to get on phone calls with future and current clients which doesn't really fit in with my goal of working remotely as i would need to available business hours in my home country.

Here are my summarized thoughts on my situation.

- Fulfills 5/5 of the CENTS criteria
- No need to speak to customers on the phone
- No time or location constraints, can work completely remotely.
- Potential to scale big.
- Build momentum over time - larger email list, stronger SEO profile, heavily optimized Adwords & Faceook ads.
- Much more complicated to setup and manage
- Lower margins (assume around 20% Net Profit)
- Very competitive, harder to stand out.
- Time intensive early on (i work a full time job right now)
- I spent a year managing Adword accounts and know how to do it well, i can offer real value for clients here.
- I love managing accounts and creating success for clients.
- I can discuss clients accounts in full detail and confidently explain to them whats wrong with their account and what id do to make it better, whereas most salespeople have zero idea and are more dependent on pumping a buyers emotions to get the sale.
- This is where i could most likely get some faster successes.
- Only fulfills 3/5 CENTS criteria.
- Have zero sales experience and i'm a natural introvert - INTJ personality type. I consider sales a skill that can be learned by anyone, and while it intimidates me, cold/warm calling potential clients does have some fear/excitement feel to it - the same feeling you get when you expand your comfort zone, and i can see the value there. Whilst i'm sure i could improve my sales skills, this may take time and i'm not sure how i feel about building a business that relies heavily on a skillset that is not a strength for my personality type.
- The bottleneck of the business is me, my income is tied to my time and number of clients i can handle.
- IMO less profit compared to ecom in the longer run unless i scale up into a full fledged digital marketing agency.

So basically with ecom i feel like there's more potential for longer term profit due to the scalability of it all but that it will take a lot longer and i have no proven success here, but with Adwords i feel like there's lower long term profits, my ability to scale is strongly tied to my time, and i'd have to learn some sales skills, but there's a higher chance of success as it's an area i'm competent at and have proven success in.

Thanks for reading, i just had to get my thoughts out there on paper (or screen) and would love to hear some different opinions - Thanks!

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Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Nov 27, 2012
My advise would be to exploit your experience with AdWords account management and start helping other businesses.

Dropshipping looks like a great business model which is why so many people are try making this work. It also violates one of the most important commandments of CENTS. There is basically no Entry barrier. So that's why even more people are entering the market.

Competition is huge. You'll have to be a terrific marketeer to be able to win from the competition. Also, using local companies will make your price higher than your competition. This, unless your products are unique. You will have a very hard time to make money. Also don't ignore the fact that if you plan to use Facebook ads (for impulse purchases), the rates for Facebook ads are on the rise.

I would go for the business with a higher chance for success, which is the AdWords business. You will talk to other businesses, build a network and be able to spot new needs/problems for you to solve and build a business around.

Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014
Booking dot com uses AdWords (and other channels) to generate leads for their clients. I’d say they’ve scaled pretty well.

Whichever path you choose, you’re probably going to do better getting out from behind your computer.

Might be worth you listening to the call I had with @Contrarian for some ideas of where the AdWords management could go, and articles on


Silver Contributor
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Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Jul 19, 2017
Solving Pain
Which one will you commit to?

If you go with something that sounds great on paper, but lack commitment. You will self sabotage through inaction and drifty-washy actions.
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Andy Black

Pick a direction. Get started. Keep going.
Staff member
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
May 20, 2014

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