Want to start a new store FAST? This episode is for you.
On a recent coaching call a Drop Ship Lifestyle student asked me if they could build their store in a weekend. The shorter answer is yes, but there’s more to it than that…
I break it down in today's episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast.
As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs to hear it.
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What's up everybody? Anton Kraly here from ecommercelifestyle.com, and welcome back to the podcast. If you're new, know that this show comes out twice a week. We have a brand new episode every Monday morning and every Thursday morning. They're all designed to help eCommerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations and become the authority in their niche. Now, today, this Monday, we are talking about something that definitely starts in the beginning of the process on your journey to eCommerce success, and that is building your Shopify store. Now I say Shopify store because that's the platform we use, but this can apply whether you want to use BigCommerce, Magento, Volusion, WordPress, whatever. The question is, can you actually build a store in a weekend? And if you want to build one very fast, then this is a good episode for you.
And the reason I'm talking about this today, the reason I just turned on the mic real quick, is because I actually just wrapped up a coaching call. If you're not aware my company, Drop Ship Lifestyle, that's my eCommerce coaching company. I host different calls every single Wednesday, the first Wednesday of every month, that are for Drop Ship Lifestyle students, where I basically go for like three hours and just answer every question they have. So, that's why my voice might sound a little short right now. But anyway, one of the questions came up was from somebody that had a free weekend and they wanted to know if they can build their store that fast. And the short answer is, yes, you can. If you're strictly talking about signing up for a Shopify account and logging in and doing the work.Now, what do I mean by doing the work? Well, Shopify is extremely user-friendly, and if you have your assets lined up, then you build fast. For example, you could sign up for a 14 day free trial, by the way, if you want to do that please go to shopify.com/drop ship lifestyle. I'll link that up below. But go there, make your free account, upload your logo. Literally you click a button that says upload logo. You can upload your custom graphics for your homepage. So things like either image sliders, or discount codes, you just literally click upload. You would change your font to whatever font style you wanted to use. Change the color scheme for your website. So what color do you want your heading font to be? What color do you want the body font to be? What color do you want your buttons to be? Right? So, you're literally just choosing your colors there.
Again, it takes five minutes to enter your information and then maybe it'll take them a day to approve you. What else do you need to do? You need to build your menus. So, your main menu, right? That's going to go across the top of your website. You need to build your footer menu. Again, in shop, literally clicking what you want to add to the menu and it's all drag and drop. This is where it starts. Okay? So all that stuff, anybody could do if they're brand new to Shopify, they can do that all within, I would say, maybe one to two hours. There's no reason it should take any more than that. But then what you want to start doing is building your collections.
So, what's a collection? Well, in Shopify, collections are categories. They call them collections. So, if you sold, let's say, stand up paddle boards, you had a stand up paddle board store, and you had a section, right? A collection of inflatable stand-up paddle boards, then you would make a collection called inflatable stand-up paddle boards. If you had paddle boards that were the non inflatable ones, just your standard stand-up paddle boards, then you would just have stand-up paddle boards, right? So, you'd be creating those.
Now, the next part. This is where it will take longer, and we're going to circle back to this in a minute. But the next step is actually uploading your products. So, there's different ways to interpret this question of, can you build a store in a weekend? Again, if you are approved with suppliers, if you're not just thinking, I'm going to start my whole business and get my idea for what niche I'm going to sell into, and contact suppliers, and do my market research, and get approved to sell for them. If you're trying to do all that in a weekend, then no, it's not going to happen. But if you've done that work in advance, like I teach in the Drop Ship blueprint, and you are ready to go, then uploading products when you get to this stage, again, two hours after you sign up for Shopify, how long that's going to take you is really dependent on how many suppliers you've been approved with and how many products you have access to.
It's also going to depend on how your suppliers provide you with their product information. So, if you get approved in advance, let's say, for 10 different suppliers, and they all have Excel sheets or CSVs, and they send you those files, then you can modify them for Shopify's format. You can upload them via the CSB method and you can have them all on your website extremely fast. Yes. In a weekend. But if the suppliers you're approved with send you a link to their site, or they send you a Dropbox folder with a bunch of images, or if they're really old school, and yes, some suppliers still do this, but if they send you a catalog in the mail and say, "Here's what you could send," then, no, there's no way that's going to happen in a weekend even if you outsource the product uploads.
So, I think the main point of this question was, and this is how I interpret it, right? Because this is how I think about things. Can I build something that is basically ready to be open for business in a weekend? And again, the short answer is, if you've done the research upfront, if you've gotten approved with suppliers and maybe you just have a demo store setup, then yes, there's no reason why you can't go from even a new Shopify accounts or a demo store to something set up, ready to, again, accept payments with products on it, you move your password and be good to go. There's absolutely no reason why anybody couldn't do that. But this is the thing I wanted to circle back to, because a lot of us, including me sometimes, we'll start on a project and we'll think, normally how people think is, how long will it take to complete this?
So, if the project for the person that asked me this question is building my store, how long will that take? Will it only take a weekend? Well, the answer is, you can have something fully functional, ready to make money, good to go in a weekend. But it doesn't matter if you spent 10 weekends, it doesn't matter if you spent 20 weekends, 30 weekends, 40 weekends, because with your store, it is always evolving. I started building my own stores back in 2007. And there are updates that obviously are still happening on all of them. It doesn't end. So, I don't want anybody to take that negatively. As in, okay, I'm going to work on this forever. Take that positively, because what's going to happen is, let's just go back to this specific person. They build their store in a weekend. Maybe they have, out of 10 suppliers they're approved with that send them their products via CSV, well, they're going to get them uploaded first because it's the easiest for them to do.
They're going to remove the password from their store. They're going to get all of those content pages loaded. They're going to have their logo, any custom graphics, they'll click the two buttons in the back end of Shopify, that I show how to click in my program, the Drop Ship Blueprint, to link their Google Analytics and their Facebook Ad account to it. And they can turn ads on and by the end of the weekend, and they can get traffic by the end of the weekend, and they can get sales by the end of the weekend. But it doesn't end. Because in that scenario, the other eight suppliers, they're still going to be working on getting those products what I would call, website ready, so they can be added to the store. Whether that means doing the work manually over time or outsourcing it to someone that's going to do it for you over time.
They're still going to be going back to the rest of the suppliers within their niche to get approved and then have those products uploaded. They're still going to be looking at different tweaks that they can do because in the beginning, what I do recommend, that if you just upload all of your products with the, what I call description your supplier provides you, well, over time, you're going to want to see what the most popular products are, and you're going to want to rewrite and improve upon the ones that are going to [inaudible 00:08:46] and get you sales. So, again, short answer, what I would call a minimum viable store that's going to make you money on Shopify. If you've done your research in advance, if you're approved with suppliers in advance, there is absolutely no reason why you can't build it in a weekend. But just know five years from now, if you're only going to work weekends, you're still going to be putting time into it because the process never ends. That is how we improve.
It's a little like tangent here, but people ask me all the time like, "Oh, Anton, how long is drop shipping going to last for? Is this business model dead?" And the answer is, no, it's not dead. And honestly, I don't see it ending anytime soon. People have been asking me that. And honestly, I asked myself that when I first got started. I started not by drop shipping. I got into drop shipping in like 2009. But even back then, I was thinking, how long is this going to last for? But what I've realized over the past decade plus, is that the business model, right? Basically eCommerce, fulfilling orders with other people's products, that doesn't die. What could die is how something worked. So, maybe the way you build your store, how you optimize for conversions, how fast your store is running, these are all things that you're going to spend the lifetime of your business while you're the owner, assuming you sell it one day, improving.
So, yes, you can get it up in a weekend. Yes, that version can make you sales. But don't put your hands in the air and say, "I'm done. I finished it. Let me sit back now and go to a beach." Just know it's constantly improving that makes stores grow and last for the long term, which I'm sure is what everybody listening in today wants. So, that's it for this guys. Again, just a quick episode one to hop on because this was top of mind. But as always, if you got value from this podcast, do me a favor and leave a review on Apple podcasts. I'm going to post a link in this podcast description that you can use to do just that.
And if you want to know more, you want to know how to build your store and do it the right way, you want access to my best trainings, to my softwares, to my supplier directory, then you're going to want to go to dropshipwebinar.com for a free training and a special offer on my flagship program that was voted best eCommerce course by Shopify, that is the Drop Ship Blueprint. And again, you can get started with the free training at dropshipwebinar.com. So, thank you everybody. I appreciate you. Have a great week. And be sure to subscribe to the podcast because on Thursday we have a brand new episode coming out called, Should you buy test products from drop ship suppliers? So, thank you everybody. I appreciate you. And I will talk to you on Thursday.