How Hard Is It To Set Up A Shopify Store?

Oh Shopify, the magic E-Commerce platform that allows any average Joe like you or me to setup a store in a matter of minutes. Have you ever seen all of these gurus out there marketing their massively successful Shopify stores that seem to make them millionaires in a matter of months?

Me too.

Unfortunately for most, these kind of results are not a reality. Yes, I generate an income from Shopify. I am net positive in revenue across the few months I’ve been running a Shopify store, but it has not been a walk in the park for me at all.

While it may not be hard to set up a Shopify store it may be a bit harder to actually make sales. Whether you’re planning to source and sell your own products, or you have stumbled upon this article searching for information on drop shipping and e-commerce on a more general level, I am going to provide you with the exact steps needed to set up your very own Shopify store. Let’s begin…

The Basics

First, let’s outline what E-Commerce and Drop Shipping mean.

E-Commerce:

E-Commerce is simply a way of describing a store that is primarily run online. E-Commerce sites provide a marketplace for customers to peruse different items, usually either a very general store or one within a particular niche. Take one of my E-Commerce sites for example: Wide Brim World.

If you check out that site, you’ll quickly realize that the niche I’ve selected is wide brimmed hats. This can range from fedoras all the way to Panama style hats, but nonetheless my niche is wide brimmed hats specifically.

E-Commerce stores can accompany brick and mortar businesses, or can be a stand alone entity that only sells products online. Many E-Commerce stores are run by folks who have a product that they themselves have created and now sell online. They handle all of their own packaging, shipping, essentially all fulfillment services.

The benefit when you are your own supplier is you have 100% control over the quality of your product, shipping times, customer service issues, etc.

This is a huge pro of having your own products but can require a lot of up front capital and a unique, exciting design that captivates the attention of your customers.

Many people prefer the next method and more specific subcategory of E-Commerce which is…

Drop Shipping:

Drop shipping refers to a type of E-Commerce website that doesn’t actually handle the product in house.

That concept can be confusing at first, and I totally understand how it can seem sketchy. However, I want to explain to you what goes on with drop shipping so that you aren’t scared of the idea of building this type of E-Commerce store.

With drop shipping you, the owner of the E-Commerce site, pick products from suppliers. These suppliers can be suppliers in the USA, or as most drop shippers prefer, China or Asian Countries (you simply cannot beat the cost of wholesale goods in those countries).

You then list those products on your site, where customers can view and purchase them. If a customer were to purchase an item through your store (marked up of course), you would then go directly to the supplier you’ve chosen and purchase that item at wholesale prices, but ship the item directly to the customer.

Keep in mind the customer has already paid so you are not coming out of pocket for the item, and there are many automatic fulfillment services out there that keep you from even having to manually fulfill orders. I’ll get to those later though… for now… let’s stick to the main concept.

Drop shipping is unique, because you essentially are just playing middle man. It is the same as if you were ordering a ton of product, storing it in a warehouse, and then selling those items. However, with the age of the internet upon us, you no longer need to purchase the items from your supplier until someone purchases from you.

Sounds like magic, right? Well it’s not. It may sound easy to get your Shopify store off the ground and bringing in huge stacks of cash, but it requires a lot of time and hard work.

I don’t want that to discourage you, as you very well know everything that offers any sort of lucrative return on investment (ROI) takes some time and effort. If you are looking for a get rich quick scheme I hate to burst your bubble but we don’t believe in those at Incite Wealth.

I know that you are a dedicated individual though, and that you are interested in pursuing this opportunity and at least giving it an honest initial effort.

You’re different than most.

You’re willing to put in a bit of elbow grease.

You’re willing to put in the leg work and make sure you build a social media presence.

You’re going to reach out to influencers and have them market your products.

You’re going to spend time on your SEO and really work to make sure Google recognizes your existence.

You will do all of these things, because you want to succeed.

You want the income that will allow you to travel whenever you feel like it.

You want to work from anywhere like so many of my affiliate friends at Wealthy Affiliate and so many of those before you who have built successful Shopify stores.

Are you ready to learn how this is done? Good. Let’s talk details.

How To Setup Your First Shopify Store:

Got a valid email address? Awesome… let’s get started.

First you’ll want to head over to Shopify and click the “Get Started”
 button to sign up for an account. 

It’s quite simple to get rolling. Currently, Shopify is offering a 14 day free trial so you will not have to have a plan to set up your store. After you click the “Get Started” button you will see a screen that looks like this:

Here you will want to enter the information outlined in the graphic above. Throw your primary business email address in their, generate a password (something unique and hard to crack), and come up with a store name.

I suggest choosing a Shopify store name that pertains to your niche or something that will likely be an open domain when you go purchase one.

Shopify will then ask you a series of questions related to your history with E-Commerce and selling online.

You can answer these however you see fit. I am pretty sure this just tells Shopify the types of cards and apps to market to you once you have your own store setup and are looking to expand.

Just a quick note… I’ve found that Shopify struggles with Safari on my Macbook and that it may be best to work through Chrome while you’re setting everything up.

Shopify offers a lot of great tools and educational resources to get started with your site. Many of which I cover in other articles. I just want to touch on the basics of getting started right now.

Okay, you’re all signed up and have an account…so what’s next?

Next Steps:

First, I suggest inputting all of the information asked for in your settings. You cannot make a sale until you have all of your payment information enabled, and verify your identity.

Go ahead and click on “Settings” and you’ll see this dashboard:

Shopify does a pretty good job with their default settings so you really don’t need to change much when you are just getting started. In the coming months you will want to add some social sales channels, maybe incorporate Amazon, and dive a little further into images, videos, and docs for advertising purposes, etc.

One thing I do want to make sure you get done immediately is dealing with Payment Providers. Shopify requires you complete your account setup before you can accept payment on your store. Click “Payment Providers” in “Settings”and then navigate to where it says “Complete Account Setup” as shown below.

Complete the account setup and fill in the information asked for and choose your credit card plans. Everything should be good to go after that and you’ll be ready to build out your theme and start searching products.

There is one main thing that I want you to do before you get too deep into Theme Editing and searching for products…that’s install the key three apps I’ve outlined below.

Key Apps to Install Immediately:

To install an app, click on Apps within your Shopify dashboard. You will then be able to search any of my favorite three apps that are necessary for any starter or established Shopify store. These key apps are:

  1. Oberlo – Allows you to add products, purchase those products for customers, and fulfill ordered items directly. There’s even an awesome Chrome extension that can help with the process for products that are not yet imported into Oberlo.
  2. MailChimp – Allows you to send automated and prescriptive emails to customers. You can start an emailing list with an automated pop-up form that allows customers to opt in to marketing emails and then follow up when a customer abandons a cart or you feel like offering a discount for first time buyers.
  3. Hurrify – Creates a sense of urgency using count down timers. This can be for a “New Site Sale” or something of that sort that ends at a particular time. This app counts down so customers feel like the deal you are offering is limited time only and if they wait to purchase they may lose the deal all together and have to pay full price (which should be true).

Here are the icons so that you don’t get them confused:

Okay… got those installed? Cool. Let’s keep going.

Theme Installation:

Now that you have Apps installed and all your settings are ready to go we can focus on actually installing a theme on your site.

Hit the “Online Store” drop down in your left hand column under “Sales Channels” and then click “Themes”.

Your current theme selection will be outlined on the right and you will have the ability to Customize your theme:

Click “Customize” and you’ll see an entirely new screen that will allow you to edit all of your settings, insert photos for headers, and write up some catchy mission statement or slogan.

 

I don’t really have any specific instructions here except BE CREATIVE.

So many Shopify stores choose the most basic theme. Then they just grab the first stock photo they see that has nothing to do with their niche. Make sure that everything you incorporate into your theme, even the colors, match your overall site. A high quality site converts much better than a low quality, slapped together, untrustworthy looking site.

Now that you’ve got your store setup. You’re ready to start adding products. Whether you use Oberlo, upload your own products, or whatever route you choose to take, you are well on your way to becoming a Drop Shipping or E-Commerce success.

If you want more information on adding products to your Shopify store check out my next article that deals with AliExpress and Oberlo. I’ll also explain just how the Google Chrome Oberlo extension works and why it’s helpful.

Unanswered questions?

Want to learn more about Shopify and drop shipping?

No problem! Drop a comment below or feel free to head over to my profile at Wealthy Affiliate and drop me a Personal Message. I’m happy to help you out in any way I can.

How Much Money Do I Need To Start A Business?

Have you ever asked yourself, “How much money do I need to start a business?” Well, let’s dive into that topic right now.

A lot of people out there believe that you must have substantial savings, take out a huge personal or business loan, or be gifted some large sum of money in order to create a successful business.

Let’s face it, most of us don’t start with the six figure income you need today to save a substantial amount of money. Maybe you don’t want to put yourself in outrageous debt. Maybe you just don’t have the qualifications to be given a “small loan of just one million dollars”. Maybe you don’t have a rich family or generational wealth that allows you to gamble all your money away on startup costs. Do any of these sound like you?

Yeah, it used to sound like me too.

So are there options for people like us in this world? Are we still able to chase our dreams, become entrepreneurs, retire early, and be our own boss?

You bet! It can be done, and we are going to talk about some options that you have and how much money you really need to start your own business.

Spoiler alert: It’s not near as much as you think.


Types of businesses:

Let’s first outline the types of businesses. We can start with the most expensive and as we move down the list we will talk about some of the less expensive options and why these might be the best options to pursue in this day and age.


Brick and Mortar Retail:

Brick and Mortar retail businesses may be the oldest small business idea out there. Many people believe that they can start up their own apparel brand, find their niche in some sports gear, hiking gear, or some other category and start up a store for people to come visit and shop.

retail shop

However, this type of business can be extremely expensive to launch. First you have to invest in a space. This can’t just be any space. You have to think about foot traffic, location popularity, mall space or freestanding business. Maybe you aren’t in the best city for retail. Better yet, maybe you live in an extremely expensive retail area.

Do you really want to uproot yourself and move to somewhere that leasing retail space is cheap? If you do don’t you think your sales might decline? After all, that retail space is expensive for a reason.

On top of what could be a minimum $2,000 monthly lease you have to source your own products. Although sourcing on Alibaba or online spaces can be pretty cheap, you usually need a high order minimum to source at wholesale rates. Your minimum investment could be as little as a few hundred dollars for only one type of product.

The issue is that you likely will want to source multiple types of products. Now you are suddenly at a few thousand dollars in product sourcing, racks, shelving, and displays.

Lastly, if you are not in the most prime location, you will need a significant amount of startup advertising. For a brick and mortar business you will still need to establish an online presence for this. You can do this via social media, your own website, or even utilize affiliate marketing.

In addition you will need banners and window advertisement. It would be a wise decision to advertise within other business and use radio or billboards.

If this doesn’t yet seem like it would cost a great deal to start up, let’s look at some other options and understand why they may be much cheaper and possible much better options.

Lastly, don’t forget about your actual time before you make your first sale. This means all of these costs are sunk start up costs that you may never make back if you don’t have all the right pieces of the puzzle in place just how they need to be.


Brick and Mortar Service Firm:

The primary difference between brick and mortar retail and a brick and mortar service firm is that your startup costs are not as dependent upon product sourcing as they are initial employee salary. Yes, employee salaries can be cushioned utilizing a commission structure but base salaries may still be necessary.

To start this type of business you also need a significant amount of education and expertise in a particular field to consult or provide a service in that field. For example, if you were to start an engineering firm from scratch you would need to have a degree in engineer, years of experience, and perhaps even a professional engineering license.

Engineers are also pretty expensive in terms of salary. Many are not willing to work for free or on commission for startups, so the sunk cost of employees may be significant as well.

Overall this may be a cheaper option than brick and mortar retail, but it still comes with its own logistical expenses that can be a little out of control when you aren’t well off to start.

There’s no sense in blowing your entire savings on a brick and mortar business in today’s day and age when you have some options in the online space. Just what are these options? Glad you asked!


Online Retail/E-Commerce

I’m going to include Amazon FBA, Retail Arbitrage, and Drop Shipping in these categories as well but they may be slightly lower cost than a self sourced e-commerce site.

First, let’s once again talk about startup costs for an online retail or e-commerce store. The initial costs can include a domain, hosting, potentially web design, and likely a seller platform membership (Amazon Seller Central runs $40 a month at the time of writing no matter your level or volume of sales).

These can all be expensive startup costs. With e-commerce it is not ideal to have a domain anything other than a .com or at least something unique. Domains are relatively cheap and easy to setup. Most run about $15 when you first purchase a domain and the renewal fees likely run about the same every year or two.

This is still much cheaper than a brick and mortar retail store because you don’t have to worry about location and leasing fees.

So why would you choose the online route over brick and mortar? That’s easy. A large majority of shopping is now done online. Big Box stores maintain their business because of long-standing brand reputation but even large stores like Walmart and Target and struggling to keep up with Amazon’s prowess online. Even huge corporations like Toys-R-Us have fallen victim to the increase in online sales and low prices online.

There simply is no marketplace anymore for small business. Not only that, with modern fulfillment services like Amazon FBA you can’t beat them when something purchased online will arrive at a customer’s doorstep in just two short days for no added cost. With Amazon PrimeNow it may even be sooner if you have a fulfillment center nearby. (San Francisco and Los Angeles are prime examples of this in California… no pun intended)

While online e-commerce can be much cheaper than its brick and mortar retail counterpart, you still need to invest in product sourcing which can be very expensive.

The best combatant to product sourcing is drop shipping. Drop shipping allows you to avoid sourcing items, and you essentially only pay for what you sell. Is this the best option? It very well could be if you are dead set on selling what you deem as your own product. Don’t forget about the hosting costs for many drop shipping sites though. There may still be a better option out there for most folks without any capital at all.

What type of business can you build with zero start up costs other than a little bit of time and effort? That’s also easy.


Niche Affiliate Website

An affiliate site may just be the cheapest way to start your own business today. In fact, this is my primary source of income and has potential to earn far greater amounts as popularity of my sites only grows.

The reason that building your own niche affiliate website is becoming such a popular option for modern day entrepreneurs is because you don’t need to lease any brick and mortar space. Also, there is no need for excessive hard advertisement, or product sourcing.

In fact, there is a large abundance of opportunity for affiliate marketers today. Finding products to market is getting easier and easier with all the different options that I’ve talked about in many of my previous articles. The commissions can range anywhere from 5-50%. There are even a few affiliate offers out there offering 75-80% commission.

This business model is most lucrative because of all the free educational resources on the internet. In fact, many people are part of online communities like Wealthy Affiliate that teach you everything you need to know about affiliate marketing. In addition, these communities are very helpful when you have questions that might not yet be answered on the internet. Many of these folks are extremely experienced in the online space.

Not only can you learn everything you need to know about how to setup this type of online business, you can actually grab free domains, free web hosting, and more. In fact, if you sign up for a free Wealthy Affiliate membership you can easily get all three of these things in one place. Read more about that here.

 


Conclusion and Final Startup Cost

So what really is the startup cost required to start your own business? If done correctly you can start with absolutely nothing. Sign Up for a free membership at Wealthy Affiliate, learn how to affiliate market, and get started today.

You can even start your own website in as little as thirty seconds as has been proven time and time again. Check out some of my other articles on how I’ve built my own successful business online. Learn how I’ve created a completely passive income online that supplements my day job and allows me to earn over 6 figures a year.

Who knows, maybe then you’ll want to start your own brick and mortar business with the profits you’ve earned online.

If you have any questions about starting your own business, brick and mortar, online, or affiliate business, drop a line in the comments and I’d be happy to share more resources with you.

What Is The Easiest Way To Build A Website? (Video Included)

Building a website can seem like such a daunting task. Most people don’t know HTML, Javascript, CSS, or any other coding language to design a nice user interface. Also, most people don’t generally have a hosting platform lined up to take care of the back end of their site.

I would know, I started the same way… with limited knowledge of websites overall. However, that’s no reason to NOT take advantage of all the great resources out there for building sites. It might seem hard right now, and I know you may be wondering… “what is the easiest way to build a website?”

Well, there’s always an easier way. That’s what I’m going to explain in this very article. So prepare yourself because by the end of this post you’ll be able to have your very own website.

  What’s the simplest platform to use?


Many people struggle with finding a convenient platform to host their site and edit the overall look and feel of the site all in one. Thankfully, there are platforms like that available. My favorite is Wealthy Affiliate.

Now, you don’t have to use Wealthy Affiliate. It’s just my personal preferred platform. There are other options out there like GoDaddy and WordPress alone.

Many bloggers and web builders have patched together their own web hosting platforms with some front end design that they do independently or contract out. The tough part about this method is that if you pay someone to work up a front end design for you you’ll then be attached to that designer or someone else will have to build out the code when you would like to add, remove, or edit the formatting of your site.

In addition, there have been countless reports of WordPress being tough to use when you are required to login independently. WordPress also lacks Site Support. When you have limited Site Support and install an update you risk the potential for a total loss of your site if you forget to back everything up prior to updating.

This is where Wealthy Affiliate becomes my preferred hosting platform. In addition to their amazing Affiliate Education Program they offer great web hosting and utilize a WordPress Express platform. However, Wealthy Affiliate’s version of WordPress comes with SSL capabilities allowing your site to be secured with an SSL certificate that helps your rank in Google. In addition, Wealthy Affiliate has unparalleled Site Support and SEO plugins.

wealthy affiliate site plugins

This ensures that your site will be supported and backed up within Wealthy Affiliate. If anything happens that you lose data, Site Support has a cached version of your site that they can restore. You may lose limited data but your whole site will not have to be reconstructed.

The SEO plugins help with Google, Yahoo, and Bing search engines allowing your content to rank. Also the built-in XML maps that come with WordPress allow Google to affectively crawl your site and find every post and page you’ve created thus far.

All of these additional features make it so easy to create a website without thinking about all the overwhelming details. Wealthy Affiliate and WordPress Express can also walk you through building the site step by step. This platform contains everything you need to know about building out a site and making sure it becomes a successful authority site. All you have to do is follow the basic training steps that they offer.

I know all of these things can still sound overwhelming. You may be wondering at this point how long it is going to take you to build a site with Wealthy Affiliate.

Imagine if it only took you 30 seconds to build it. Would you be interested? If so keep reading.

How long will it take to build a WordPress site on Wealthy Affiliate?


Wealthy Affiliate allows you to grab a domain, build a site, and start editing content all in one place. If you are thinking that this is going to take years to create a site, you’re wrong actually.

It’s super simple to create a site. Here’s a video showing you just how easy it is to create a WordPress site in just 30 seconds:

build a wordpress site in 30 seconds

Now that you’ve watched that video and you understand how easy it is to create a website from absolutely nothing, check out all the great things that Wealthy Affiliate has done for me.

If you don’t want to generate your own custom domains or pay for domains just yet remember that you can easily create a .siterubix domain for free. Give it a shot for yourself. Create a domain right now using this SiteRubix tool:

After you’ve created this domain, learn all about key words and ranking in Google by utilizing my favorite keyword tool Jaaxy below:

So that’s it! You should have your own website developed and ready to start populating with endless quantities of content that can easily lead you to making all sorts of money online. Whether it be through Affiliate Marketing, Retail Arbitrage, or whatever else you decide to do, you’ve now taken the first steps on your path to online success.

If you haven’t yet built a site, cruise over to WA, knock out the site and then come back and share it with me here. I’ll offer you free comments on your site and help you with new articles and ideas.

Good luck to you!

-Dalton