So it’s happening. My store is going live. It’s frightening, nervewracking, sweat inducing…oh wait I’m supposed to be telling you how easy this is to do.
Well, I plan on being up front about this whole process so that you can learn from my mistakes, or successes if we have those. 😉
I’ve been brainstorming this store for almost a year.
It started as a little light bulb of an idea. And then it began to grow exponentially until now, when I’m in the middle of launching my store, and writing about the process. We’re in the middle of take off for my store.
How did I get to this point? Lots of hours of research, learning, trying, and failing. And there’s lots more of that for me to do!
Why am I writing about how to set up your online store while I’m in the middle of doing it?
Transparancy. I wish I could have found someone who detailed all of this stuff for me as I opened the store. I want to give you a clear look of what it’s like opening the store. What works, what doesn’t. This way, it’s fresh in my mind. Sometimes, given a length of time you can look back and think how simple it was and then forget all the little details involved in creating something.
I want to be open about my store building experience. Like I said, I wish I had had that as I began opening my store. But I couldn’t find anything. Most tutorials were very vague, or simply talked about what a smashing success their Shopify store was so that you would sign up with their affiliate link. Just because you read about everyone’s astounding success doesn’t mean it will turn out like that for you.
Because let’s be real. There is a TON more involved to setting up an online store than just “signing up with Shopify.”
This series will be showing you HOW to do it with an honest and open opinion. So please, if you have any questions, comment on the post and I’ll do my best to answer them! 🙂
Guess what? Opening a store requires a little more than just waving a magic wand around, but it IS possible to do. Even if you’re a non-techy person like me. 😁
The following contains affiliate links. 🙂
Step 1: Decide on your business and store.
This is sort of a no-brainer. Know what your mission is for your store. Dream it. Plan it. Kill the idea. Kill it again. And then pitch the idea to all your pessimist friends.
Seriously, I’m not kidding. You’ve got to figure out what obstacles you are going to face when launching your business if you want it to be successful. That way you can adjust your business plan and find a business model that will work for you.
Think of a need you could meet with your store. Decide who your target audience is.
Creating and dreaming up a workable business model is what you should be doing in step 1.
Step 2: Decide which selling platform to use.
Just because I’m using Shopify doesn’t mean you have to. However, the rest of this series may be irrelevant to you if you choose a different platform. Checkout this post to find other selling platforms you could use.
Since you know what kind of store you are going to open, you need to pick a platform that can conform to your needs. I chose Shopify because of the versatility. I can sell digital goods, drop ship, ship myself, sell in person, etc. etc. The platform can change and adjust with my store growth.
Step 3: Create or source your products.
If you have nothing to sell, you don’t have a store. You simply have a web landing page.
Anyways. Now that I’ve stated the obvious, you need to have a few things ready to go for your store. If you’re wanting to run a drop shipping store, you need to find somewhere that’s going to manufacture and ship your products. If you’re starting a handmade store, you’re going to need time to create your products. Etc, etc. I cannot emphasize enough- start working on your products before you even figure out a store name. Bust your butt creating, planning, scheduling your products for your store.
That way, when you get to the launching point, you are ready to simply add your products and take off.
If you are interested in running a dropshipping company, check out Oberlo.
Another big place to find manufacturers is Alibaba. Find somewhere to manufacture your products.
If you creating printables, create them and print them yourself. Find any glitches that could be fixed.
With handmade items, this takes time. Get started crafting your products so they will be ready to sell.
Step 4: Sign up with Shopify.
Shopify offers a free 14 day trial. You can sign up and if you decide that you don’t like the way it works, you don’t have to pay anything. But I have a feeling you’ll like it. It offers so much versatility and help that I wouldn’t have been able to do it without it. (Remember, I’m the opposite of technological.)
All you have to do is go to Shopify, and sign up. Enter the name you want for your store. It will show a countdown of how many days you have left of your Shopify trial, that way you’re not caught by surprise when your trial ends. All they need are a few simple things like your email, your firstborn, and your life.
Just kidding. They just need your email and a few other personal details. You’ll creat a password that allows you to access your shop’s dashboard. And from there you’ll be able to customize your theme and products. It has a simple dashboard for you to operate and it has a great directions on how to do, well, pretty much anything.
And that’s the end of part 1!!!
In part 2 I will delve into setting up your Shopify store and adding products to sell. With all the nitty gritty and specific details.