How much time does dropshipping require? This is one of those questions that will have a different answer for every person and that I can only answer from my own experience. I can break it down for you into 3 sections:
Section 1: Starting Out
When we first started, we were both working (me from home as a doula agency owner and Nick from outside the home as an insurance agent), Nick was going to school, we were homeschooling, and we had 4 small children at home. We had no “free time” that people speak of. I spent the early morning, nap time, and late nights working to build my business an average of 10-20 hours a week.
Section 2: Things started to pick up
About three months into it, our business really started picking up and revenue was growing rapidly, I was BUSY. Other things had to take the back burner so I could make sure business was taken care of. Nick started staying home more to help me and I knew we would need to hire help to sustain the growth we were experiencing. I was probably working 40-60 hours a week at this point. (At this point, though, we were so excited that it didn't feel much like “work”)
Section 3: Outsourcing and Automation
About six months into it, we hired two employees and sales were booming. We utilized software and procedures to allow our business to “run itself” for the most part so we could focus purely on marketing. My husband quit his job because… well because we didn't need that money anymore and he would rather work from home doing what he loved. At this point, we could decide how much time we wanted to spend on our business. Obviously the more time we spent on it, the more successful it became, but it was no longer necessary for us to work every day for our business to work. We took a week-long vacation and didn't work at all and our stores made over $77,000 that week.
I work an average of 15-25 hours a week on marketing for our stores. I go through phases of creating new marketing content and testing what works, then not working much until I need to create new content again.
As you can see–the time that dropshipping requires will vary. You'll have slow weeks and super busy weeks. Welcome to the life of an entrepreneur! The ups and downs are not like what comes with a normal 9-5 but the benefits are so much more rewarding. Again, this is our own experience and yours could vary. Don't let the time required to make it work deter you because it's SO worth it!