3 things you need to know before you start a Shopify Store
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission at not cost to you. In fact, if you use the links, you are directly supporting the creation of awesome content for the future. So thanks!
Side Hustles are incredibly lucrative, and one of the best platforms you can start your own business on is Shopify. Shopify is an elegant online store front with hundreds of templates that are customizable, and allow you to sell pretty much anything (that’s legal).
If you’ve always had an idea about selling… something, Shopify is the way to do it. They have incredible customer service, and the potential for growth is just outstanding. You can use their system online, or in a store as a POS system. Their fees are competitive.
A few years ago I had this idea to to start an independent bookstore, that catered specifically to indie authors. I started researching my options, and I eventually decided that I would build my business on Shopify. My reason? The other storefronts out there, just didn’t add up. Sure, you get wooed in by “free”. But once you add all the plugins you need, free is suddenly quite expensive. In fact, it ended up costing more up front and per year with the “free” store front, than it did with Shopify. And with Shopify, I got everything I needed for one low monthly price! Way better option in the long run.
Now, unfortunately, my bookstore never came to fruition. Sometimes life gets in the way, you know? But there is no reason why you can start your store today. All you need is an idea, some product, and little hustle.
3 Things you need to know before you start a Shopify store
If you’re going to start a Shopify Store as a side hustle, then there are at least three things you need to know first.
You need to know about their 14 day free trial
They have an awesome 14 day trial. You can sign up without using your credit card. It includes a domain. You can pick from one of their amazing templates, or build your own. Their back end is just beautiful. They have tons of free (and not free) tools to help you get started with names, logos, suppliers, marketing and more. With your 14 day Trial you’ll get immediate access to all the really cool features like gift cards, abandoned cart recovery, and selling through Pinterest, Facebook, and Amazon. They also have an app store to help you build the site you really need to grow your business. Once you’re ready. Right now, you’re just getting started.
Make sure you have your business plan in place.
When starting a Shopify Store, you’ll want to make sure you know what you want to sell. Make sure you have other important things in place like, how you’re going to build your audience or if you’re going to offer a pre-sell. They also have a subscription option.
Need help coming up with an idea? Take this quiz to find out what kind of store you should open. When you enter your email you’ll get a swipe file for directions plus you’ll get FREE Access to my Shopify Free Trial E-Course!
Even though the trial is free, building a business isn’t.
Where is your product coming from? Are you making it or sourcing it? What about dropshipping? Shopify makes dropshipping easy, but you’ll want to know what what kind of requirements are in place from the dropshipper themselves.
Starting any business is going to require start up money, but it doesn’t have to cost you your first born. You don’t have to go into debt to make a profit. With Shopify, you can sign up with an annual or monthly plan. If you see you’re not making money, you can opt out. Shopify has worked with over 300,000 store owners that have made over 29 Billion dollars in profits. Clearly, they are doing something right.
This post was written a while ago, and I have since opened my own Shopify store and have learned a lot in the process. And while all the information above is still true and good to know, now that I have a more intimate experience of using Shopify I wanted to add 3 more things you should know before you start your Shopify store.
Know your Ideal Customer Avatar
Knowing who you’re trying to sell your products to is almost the only thing that matters when you open a store. You can have a beautiful layout, splashy logo, and awesome products with great prices. But if you don’t really know who you’re trying to reach to sell your products to, that person/those people aren’t going to come looking for you!
So when you’re developing your ICA, consider where they hang out in person and online. How much they make in a year. And what sort of pain point you’re solving for them. How are they going to find you?
Next up is:
Have a Marketing Plan
Once I got my store up and running, I realized that it was too much effort to just randomly decide I was going to have a sale that week. Sending emails became cumbersome, and creating additional content for the store’s blog was a total drag. I tried a variety of different apps, programs, and ideas but none of them panned out the way I wanted. Because what I really wanted and needed, was to have a plan that was created, scheduled, and implemented for a couple of months at a time… that only took a couple of hours to complete, start to finish. I don’t have all day!
When you’re creating a marketing plan for your Shopify Store, there is a lot you need to consider, so doing things in batches and repurposing content will be your best friend.
Don’t forget to practice self care!
When I started my store, I was still doing this blogging thing and working full time and I found that spending time with family, friends, and generally taking care of myself went straight out the window.
When you’re doing all the things by yourself, it can be a lonely place where you don’t feel like you can even come up for air to ask for help because that would cause a disruption in all your plan making. If you feel like you’re getting there, you need to take a break.
But really, take a break anyway. I’ve become so passionate about self care for solopreneurs, I started a podcast which is aptly titled… Self Care for Solopreneurs Podcast. Each week I explore different themes of self care, chat with other solopreneurs, mental health clinicians, and sometimes talk about anything but business. It’s a place for solopreneurs to go where they can relax and take a break, so you can go back to taking care of business. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, or click here for more info.
Before you start your Shopify Store, learn the basics of setting it up and making your first sale through my free course, Shopify Free Trial E-Course.
What is it you’re looking to sell with your online Shopify store?
My favorite business and life tools
I use Tailwind Tribes to drive traffic to my business using Pinterest and Instagram
Freshbooks is great for invoicing and getting paid 11 days faster on average
I use Acorns to roll away $20 a week into investments
Interact is great for setting up givaways and quizzes to capture email leads
For self-care, I eat a Keto style diet based on Healthful Pursuit’s meal plans
I use Creative Live to try new hobbies and develop new skills for business
My go-to email service provider is ConvertKit because it makes staying in touch with my tribe easy breezy
Listen to Self Care For Solopreneurs Podcast on iTunes
My blog is powered by BlueHost, and has been for over 8 years