eCommerce Lifestyle
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If I Were Starting a Drop Ship Store In 2022, This Is What I’d Do…

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Episode 317

Podcast Description

Want to learn how to build a drop ship store this year? Here is exactly what I’d do to get started dropshipping on Shopify after building dozens of my own stores and helping thousands of others to do the same.

 

Podcast Outline:

  1. Niche Selection
  2. Market Research
  3. Web Design
  4. Get Suppliers 
  5. Optimize For Conversions
  6. Get Traffic
  7. Outsource & Automate
If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast! The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.
Transcripts

If you want to build a profitable online store this year, then this video is for you. Guys, my name is Anton Kraly. My company is dropshiplifestyle.com. I've been building online stores since 2007, and I can tell you right now, there is more opportunity than ever before to get into this business. That is why in this video right now, what I'm going to share is the exact steps that I would follow if I was building a new store right now.

Now, few things to cover here. This is really the Drop Ship Blueprint, that's what I refer to this as. The seven steps we follow every time we build a new store. And the goal of this, every time we follow the system, is to build a highly profitable semi-automated online store. My company is called Drop Ship Lifestyle for a reason. We look to build businesses that can provide big incomes, big net profits, and allow us to put in a minimal amount of work. So, that doesn't mean we're lazy, that doesn't mean we're trying to just get by and not do anything. It just means as we go through these processes, and I'll show you all of them, what we're looking to do is find the leverage points. We're going to do this work anyway, so what we want to figure out and what I'll share with you, is how can we do this in a way that the work we put in will produce the biggest results, the most return for our time and the most return for money invested.

Now, the seven steps we follow, obviously it starts with niche selection. If you don't have a product to sell, you're not going to sell anything. So what I want to do is jump into the computer, and I'll cover how we start brainstorming niches. So in this step, the goal is to brainstorm at least 50 niche ideas, and to get them out of your head and onto paper, or if you're like me, onto Google Sheets, so that they're accessible from anywhere on any device as long as you have internet.

Now, what I want you to do here is again, just write this down or put it on the computer and make a list of at least 50 niche ideas. At this point, this is a very general list. It's not going to be perfect, there are not all going to be winners. But with that in mind, because we are using our intuition here, there's a few things that I want you to think about as you decide whether or not you even want to write these down on the list.

Now, the first thing that I want you to think about is the average price point. You don't need to actually write this down right now, but I want you to think about it when you're thinking of a niche. Is the average price point $200 or more? For example, if the niche you thought of was a standup desk, then it's safe to assume they cost more than $200 on average. If the niche you thought of was a set of silverware, then on average, the price would be lower. You wouldn't even want to write that on your list. If you're unsure, write it anyway because we're going to verify later.

Now the next thing you want to think about is, is the niche evergreen or not, meaning does it sell consistently year round. Next thing you want to think about is competition. This one, it's going to be almost impossible to gauge without actually getting data. Again, I'm going to show you how to get all the data for these moving forward, but competition is something we'll be looking back to later. And then finally, demand. How many people are actually looking for these things every month? That's something, again, I'll show you how to get the data for a little bit later on in this video. But for now, in step one, what I want you to do, again whether it's on a pen and paper, a Notes app on your phone, a Google sheet, an Excel sheet, whatever, brainstorm 50 niche ideas, and then we will move forward.

But what do we do now that we have a list, right? It's a good starting point, but we need to actually validate them and we need to find a winner. We need to do our market research so we're not basing our niche that we build a store around solely on intuition; instead, we're basing it on real world data. So let's talk about that data and let me show you how to find it.

So for the purpose of this example, I've listed out three different niche ideas that I think would all be great based on intuition to build a store in, in the new year. So what I'll do is start at the top and do the research, and if it fails any tests, I'll keep going. If it passed all the tests, then we are good. Now you'll see, I only listed three niche ideas here. You do want to have 50 or more. And if you're stuck and you can't think of anymore, just go to dropshipwebinar.com. I'll actually post it in the description. And when you go there, you can register for a free in-depth training for me, and I also give you 237 profitable product ideas as a downloadable ebook, and you can use any of these and add them to your list to make it super easy for you. Again, that's dropshipwebinar.com.

But the first thing we're going to do is take our first niche idea here, which is standup desk, and the first test we're going to do is the average price points. Now to do this, we're going to use a free tool that you may have heard of before, google.com. And all I'm going to do is search for standup desk for that niche idea. Now, what I'm going to do is click the second tab, which says Shopping. By the way, if you don't see the shopping tab, it's most like because you're in a country where Google shopping is not offered. If that's the case, you can use a VPN, change the country, and find the results. But if you're in a country where it's supported, you'll see shopping. So I'm going to click that.

And you'll see what I see by default, this top line of products are all what is known as Google product listing ads. These will come into play later in this video. Just know for what we're doing now for our market research, we're not paying attention to them. We're going to scroll down and we're going to look at everything under the gray line where it says, About this page. Because what we see from there and below are what are known as organic product listings. These are free. It's free to be here. Your store is going to be here too. If you want, I could help you get there. And it's just free traffic, free money. It's a win.

But what we're looking at now is the price point. And what I would do if I was really researching this niche and this video was going to be 30 or 45 minutes long in this section, is I would add up all of the product prices and then find the average for the first page results. So, let's ballpark it here for sake of time. You could see the first product here is $260. You could see we have $440, $243, $299. We have $269, $440, $420, $280. And you could see here, the average so far is obviously well above our $200 minimum. So far, there's only been one out of, what is it? 12 products that's under $200. Let's keep going here. We have $388, $245, here $119, $290, $179, $670, $500, $1300, $600, $230, $220, $230, $75, $300, $570. So it seems like the average is somewhere around $400. Again, I would actually add all of these up to find that true average, again, from the first page results in Google Shopping. But for our purposes here, I'm just going to put $400 as the ballpark average, which of course is well above our $200 minimum; so that means at this point, standup desks has passed the average price point test.

Now, the next test that we're going to do is the evergreen test. And for this test, we go to another free tool that is called trends.google.com. And here, I'm just going to post standup desk; and then in the search results by default, it's showing me in the United States for the past 12 months, I'm going to change where it says past 12 months to past five years. And what this is showing me is interest over time in standup desks, according to Google search volume. Now, what I'm looking for here in the evergreen test is: is this seasonal? Does it peak every year for a few months and then die out for the rest of the year, then come back, then die out, then come back, then die out? And what I can see from this chart right here is, no, it's very consistent. You can see when COVID really started. What, like July 2020, when things really got locked down, a little bit earlier, March, April, May. Then it peaked, but that's because obviously people were working from home, they bought more. But year over year, there's not a trend that this is seasonal. It's a very consistent graph telling me that this is not a seasonal niche. In fact, it is evergreen. So for my evergreen column, I'm going to put yes, because I could sell these things all year long.

Now, for competition. What we look at here is going back to the first page results of Google Shopping, and for the competition that I referring to here and what we look at and what I would look at if I was building a new store today, is for those organic results. Are there more than half of the products being advertised by 10 or more stores? If they are, that's a red flag, it means the most popular, in this case, standup desks according to Google, are too competitive. So, the way you tell that is under the product, it shows the product price, it'll show the store name; then it will say compare price at X amount of stores. If it says 10+, that is a bad sign. Now you'll see here. This one says two stores. The next one is just one store. Here, we have one store, one store. Let's keep going here. One store, one store, one store, one store. So far, I haven't seen any being 10 or more stores, which is again, a great sign. One store, one store, one store, one store, one store, one store. Here we have five plus stores, still fine. Four stores, one store, one store, one store, one store. One, one, one, one.

So to not bore you as I continue going through this, it's safe to say that this passes the competition test because... Let's see if there's any that are being sold by 10 or more stores on Google Shopping here. Here's one. 20+ stores. That, not good, but it's obviously the very small minority of search results. So when it comes to standup desks and competition, then this passes the test. So I'm just going to put pass here, because that means I'm not worried about competition on Google shopping, which is where we're going to be advertising our products as well.

Now, the next thing we look at is demand. Now demand is how many people are searching for these products on Google, on any given month. What's the average monthly search volume? Now this number you can get if you use Google Ads and you spend a lot of money with them advertising. Most people don't, so for that, it's a bit trickier. There's some paid tools out there. If you remember at Drop Ship Lifestyle, we just built our own tool that'll get you that data; so I'm going to use that for the purpose of this lesson. But for the demand, again, if you have an active Google Ads account, you spend a bunch of money with them, you can get that data from there. But what I'm going to do is log into the drop ship lifestyle software.

All right. So you'll see here, I'm logged in at research.dropshiplifestyle.com. Again, if you're a member, just go there and log in. And I'm going to be using keyword research tool for the purpose of this search. So I'm going to click keyword tool. I'm doing my search in the United States, because that's where I do business. I'm going to put the niche, which was standup desk, and I'm going to click search. Now what it's showing me here for search volume. This is average monthly search volume. The number is 49,500. So on average, that's how many people search for standup desks in the United States on Google. The minimum number we want to see here is 10,000. So this definitely passes that test. Again, 49,500. So we're going to come back here and for demand, I'm going to put that number for 49,500 and we are good.

So at this point of our market research, we see that standup desks have passed the price point test, evergreen, competition and demand. That gives me a very strong sign that this niche does make sense. There are some more tests will do that are a little bit more advanced and, honestly, would be a lot more than I can cover in this lesson. But as a starting point, this is a very good sign. It'll give me the green light to move on to the next step of the process.

So you have a winning niche. Good on you. I'll tell you a lot of people get stuck up here, right at point two, and they never make that decision to move forward. They keep it in their head too long, of will this work? Will it not? What if one's better than the other? The truth is, if your niches pass all of the tests in market research, any of them can work. That's the beauty of this. There's not one magic niche. If the niche passes the criteria from module too, it will work. Does that mean it'll make you $10,000 a month or $100,000 a month or $1,000,000 a month in sales? I don't know. What you need to do is build the store, and then what you do with it will determine how much you can make from it.

That's why we're moving right into step number three, which is building that store. And you'll see that we build a store before we even get approved with any suppliers. That's for a very specific reason. This is an example I like to give, but let's say you were building a real store, right? A brick and mortar store. And you wanted to open a store that sold handbags, like my wife loves. And let's say this was some brick and mortar location that you had in your head and you thought it would be a great idea. So you went and you called up Chanel and you said, "Hi Chanel. I want to sell your handbags." And they said, "Okay, great. Where are you calling from?" And you said, "Nowhere, but I might build a store." They're going to hang up on you. They're not going to let you sell their stuff.

So now let's take that example and look at it in a way that makes a lot more sense. Let's say you called Chanel and you said, "Hi Chanel. I want to sell your handbags," And they put you in contact with the appropriate person. And they said, "Hi, where are you calling from?" And you said, "Well, our store's not open yet, but we have a lease signed right on fifth avenue in Manhattan. Our store is going to be called XYZ Bags. And here are our blueprints, and here are the architectural mock-ups, and here is a rendering of what it will look like when you walk through, and here's where Chanel bags are going to go." Now, what are the chances that you get approved then? Or at least the conversation continues? It's much higher because you're not just some random person with a random dream.

The same is true when it comes to getting approved with legitimate suppliers online. They're not going to approve you if you call them and say, "I'm thinking about selling product. Can I drop ship your stuff?" What you need is a store to present to them. So that's why in step three, we create our store, and I'll show you kind of how we do that and give you a demo store of ours so you can see what these look like yourself."

So when it comes to our drop shipping stores, we use Shopify exclusively. If you're not familiar with them, it's an e-commerce platform that basically allows you to do everything, from designing a store, to managing orders, to accepting payments. It's just a one stop solution that, in my opinion, is grossly under-priced. Now, I'll take it. I'm happy that it's as low as it is. But this is something that I would gladly pay much more for.

So with some of our demo stores, so you can see them, again, get an idea for what yours can look like. These are all built on the Drop Ship Lifestyle Shopify theme, by the way. This one is Happy Paws. You can see it's a nice looking store, right? It's presentable, it looks professional; it looks like something where companies would be happy to have their products listed. So that is just one example there. Another one is what's up just a standup paddle board demo store. Again, built on the Drop Ship Lifestyle Shopify theme, but customized for the standup paddle board niche, trying to speak directly to the type of person that's shopping for them, and at this point, trying to impress future suppliers.

So this is how we build it, again, as if it was going to be a real store. But the key difference here, I'll show you one more, Enlighten Chandeliers; again, built on the Drop Ship Lifestyle Shopify theme. The key difference is when we're uploading products to the demo stores, we're not obviously uploading things we can sell. We're not open for business yet. So what we do is upload what I call demo products, where we find stock photo images, we write basic product descriptions. Again, we're not doing this to try to deceive anybody or try to sell anything; we're doing it so suppliers can envision what their products will look like on our site once it launches.

Now, if you want to build your own store and you want to use Shopify, we have different deals with them from time to time. Right now, the deal is 14 day free trial, no credit card required. So if you want to get that, it's shopify.com/dropshiplifestyle. I'll link that up in the description as well. And that one is in affiliate link. If you sign up and end up paying them, we earn a small commission off that. If you don't want to use that, just go to shopify.com and sign up. Either way, again, it's a negligible price for what you get and you get a free trial.

So go ahead and do that. Build your demo store. Again, here's three for reference so you can get an idea of what they can look like. And once you do that, we can move right along.

Point four of the process is what I call supplier approvals. So this is when we actually reach out to the brands we want to sell for, and we become authorized retailers to sell their products. We're not just randomly trying to find products to find an arbitrage price discrepancy on. We're not looking for supplier directories that we pay a bunch of money to so we have access to products. No, we are finding the brands that we know drop ship that we want to sell for. We are reaching out to them directly, preferably via phone. We're getting approved, then uploading those products on our sites. Products that we're authorized to sell. So, let's switch screens now, and I'll just give you a simple example of how, in this case, I could find suppliers for standup desks.

So this is wayfair.com. You're probably familiar with them. High percentage of drop shipping sales, 90% plus. I think almost 100%. And it's multi-billions dollars a year in sales, so they do quite well. So what I'm going to do here is just search for standup desk, and then let's see what it pops up here in our results. I don't want to see the categorization. Okay.

So now I am looking at their standup desks they have here. What I'm going to do in the left hand column is click Show more filters. I am going to scroll down. And then here it says brand. I'm going to expand that. And then year I can see a list of brand logos and brand names. I can click show all brands, and this is going to be all of the brands that Wayfair sells for that have standup desks, right? And some of them are grayed out. Obviously, those don't have standup desks. The ones that aren't great out are the ones that do. And because I know the majority of products on Wayfair there are drop shipped. I know that these are companies that I can most likely sell for too, because my stores are already built.

So what I would do right now in this process, and what I recommend you do during the supplier approval phase, is make a list of all of the brand names you could find here. More importantly, though, this is kind of just like one quick example I can give you, you want to find all of the top, what I call future or competitors, the stores already selling what you want to sell that do not have a physical location. No warehouse, no retail store, no showroom. Sites like wayfair.com. And you want to find the list of brands they sell for and add them to your list.

Then again, you want to reach out to them directly, preferably via a phone call. Let them know where you're calling from. Remember you just built your store, so you actually have somewhere you're calling from. Let them know why you want to sell their products. And as soon as you get approved with the first two, it's time to upload them to your store, and then you can move forward. But just know supplier approvals never ends. If you to 300 suppliers in your niche, you want to get approved with 300 suppliers. It's not going to happen from day one, but over time, it's something you'll be working on in the background, and your supplier and product offerings within your niche will grow.

Look at you, moving right along, making progress. Up to step five here. Now, this is a really important one when it comes to making money, because what we we do in step five is conversion optimization. A big question I get and that I've got forever is, why would anybody buy from you? Well, you need to do certain things to make your store stand out. You need to do certain things that will turn website visitors into buyers. So in step five, what we're focusing on is how to make people buy from us once they find us. We want to do this before we get traffic so that people will actually buy once they eventually come.

So I could literally spend days talking about conversion rate optimization. Obviously I'm not going to do that in this video. I will say a couple things, though. If you are a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, you have all the best of the best tips and exactly how to implement them in the blueprint. If you are not a member and you just want more information... And if you're not a member, I have no idea why. Again, links in the description. But if you want more information specifically on conversion optimization, I did a video about a year ago. That is still just as relevant today. I will link to that in the description. It's called 15 Product Page Optimization Tips to Improve Conversion Rates. And look at that. It has no dislikes. Thanks, YouTube. I think that was a terrible idea, by the way, removing the dislike button. But yeah, that'll be linked up. And what we'll do to just give you some tips in this video to keep as much as possible within here, is pull up one of our demo stores and show you some things that might stand out now that you kind of start to understand what will have people choose you.

Now I've mentioned this already, but we build niche specific stores, meaning we don't sell one product per store. We sell one product type. So if I was selling standup paddle boards, for example, I would have a standup paddle board store that sold for all of the best brands and had all of the best quality products in this paddle board niche. Right? Now, okay, that's one thing, right? We could speak directly to the customer. Everything can be built around that. It can go more detail about that, but for now just know that's one thing we do. Now, you'll see on the top of this site, it says, Save 10% on all orders. Use coupon codes, SAVE10, offer expires Sunday. And then we don't have an actual date, because this is a demo store at 11:59 PM eastern. Now we do expiring coupon codes that expire twice a week to build that urgency to increase conversions. That's another thing we do.

Now, let's come down and go to a product page. So I will come in here. We'll go to this one. You'll see some additional things we do are have quantities, left in stock. So here, this one says only four left. This one says free shipping, and it says when that offer ends. So again, using that urgency that, Hey, if you want this, you want free shipping, it ends this date at this time.

Now something else we do, because a big concern of online shoppers, especially if they don't know your store yet, is when am I going to get this thing? So we actually include estimated arrival dates and for orders in the countries where we do business, we, instead of giving just the ship date, give a window of when the product will arrive if the customer were to order today. Again, increasing that urgency. If somebody wants this thing and they want it soon, they'll know when they can get it.

Now we have live chat built in of course for instant answers. We have reviews built in, and we used tagged product pages. We do this so that all of the information the customer wants can be located in one place without them having to click through to different sections of our store, then have to try to find what they wanted again. No, give them everything on one page so they can make that buying decision without even leaving.

Now, you'll see, we also use a price match policy. This is important if you work with map supplier, which I recommend. Again, I'm not going to get into detail in that, in this lesson, but pricing controls are important. If you can get them, that's great. And if you can, then use a price match guarantee. So, those are some of the general things we do. Of course, having phone numbers so people can call and ask us if we're a legit business before placing an order. But if you want again, more information on product page optimizations and conversion rate optimization in general, if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, module five is all about that; sharing everything I know and exactly how to do it. And for some more tips for everyone out there that, for some reason, isn't a member of the Drop Ship Blueprint yet, you can watch the video linked in the description.

So at this point, our store is set up. It is optimized to convert. We have real products on that store. It is looking good. We're confident with all of our data, because we did our research. Now and only now is it time to bring on the buyers, it is time to get traffic. But not just any traffic. We don't just want random people walking into our online store that would never buy. We want a very specific type of visitor that is most likely to take out their credit card and buy.

When it comes to e-commerce and drop shipping, there are a million ways to get traffic. I've tried most of them. And what I found is when I keep coming back to pretty much the same ones over and over, they generate the best results, especially on newer stores. So if I was launching a new store for this year, I'll show you exactly what I would do and what my traffic split would look like; and more importantly, what you can do yourself how you can copy this to get similar results to what we get every time we build a new one.

So in the middle of all this, of course, we have our Shopify store. Our goal is to send people there and have them place orders. Simple enough. Now, how do we get them there? And not all traffic is created equal, so again, we're very intentional here, especially with new stores that we want to have them become profitable as soon as possible.

Now, the first traffic source that we use and that I recommend you use as well is Google. I'm going to put PLAs. That stands for product listing ads. These are that top carousel of products that you saw earlier when I was showing you how we do market research. These also appear on the homepage of Google when people search for something. If they search for a product that you sell, you can literally be right there at the top of Google, with your product image, the product price, your store name. These convert like crazy because the people that see them are people that searched for them, and the people that click them are likely to buy. So always from day one, a store goes live, we are using Google product listing ads.

Now, I mentioned this earlier as well, but you also have, I'm just going to list as Google PLs. These are product listings. These are the free ones that appear under that gray line. These don't appear on the first page of Google search results, but they do appear on Google Shopping and they do generate free sales. So there is no reason not to use these from day one. Again, they cost you $0, they make you more money, so you want to set those up as well.

Now, what about other traffic sources, right? Well, something we are intentional about from early on is search engine optimization. Now we do this without investing money into it. We do this with basically just onsite things; how we set up our stores, how we write product descriptions and what this allows, not from day one, but honestly typically within a few weeks, is traffic coming from the main Google search results, not Google Shopping, but you want to be intentional from very early on about how you set up your site and how you create it for SEO purposes. You want it to be SEO friendly.

Now again, for the purposes of this video, I'm not going to explain exactly how we set up our PLAs and our Google product listings and what our SEO strategy is. The combined length of trainings on these in the blueprint is most likely five, six hours plus, so it does get pretty technical. But again, this is just if I was starting now, what I would do, and things that if you're not a member of drop ship lifestyle, you should look into yourself because they generate the best results most consistently across the largest number of stores.

Now, you might be thinking, okay, is that it? Is it really that simple? Well, pretty much. That's where the majority of our effort goes. But of course, not everybody buys like we talked about, right? That's the goal. We send people and they place orders and we make money. Well, what about the people that leave our store without buying? We want to get them to come back and place orders. Because our traffic comes from these very targeted sources, we know a leave without buying, which most will, they most likely still are a good lead. They just weren't ready to buy yet. Maybe they have to think about it. Maybe they don't trust us yet, but it's our job to send them back.

So, we do this in a few ways, and this is all remarketing. The first is with Facebook. I'm going to put DPAs, that stands for dynamic product ads. And we also use Google remarketing. So with these two together with very small budgets, we're showing ads for the products that people just looked at on our store, sending them back so they can place their orders. Now, as far as our budgets and how the split works of how much we spend, what we will do is spend about 90% of our ad budget, whatever that may be, whether it's $10 or a $1,000, and put that into the front end traffic sources, right? The things that bring in the most buyers, the things that bring in the people that are searching for the products. 90% of our ad budget will go there, and then about 10% of it will go into dynamic remarketing. So much smaller budget, but again, it's a lot less people, right? We're not targeting everyone searching for the products there; we're targeting the people that have already found us and coming back.

So again, full trainings on all of this in the blueprint. If you don't want to be a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle for some reason, this is what you want to look into. This is what you want to focus on. This is what's going to give you the highest likelihood of success and the best return on ad spend. And by the way, at a minimum, you want to see no less than a 10x return on ad spend, and that could also be expressed as ROAS, and that means for every dollar that you put into ads, you want to see at least $10 back in sales. Okay? Not profit, but in revenue.

So now you have the traffic coming in; people are buying, there is money being deposited into your bank account. Now it's when you really figure out how your business runs. Because every business with drop shipping, while the steps are the same, they all have their own things that are a little bit different based on the suppliers you work with and based on the type of products you sell. Now, as you're really figuring this out and fine tuning it all as those first sales are coming in, this is where you start to document what happens. What happens if somebody orders a product on your store from supplier A? What if they order a product from supplier B? What if they want a shipping update? How does this all work? What do you do to respond to them?

Well, in step seven of the process is where it's documented, because we've done the work. Remember, we're doing this ourselves in the beginning. And once you understand how your business works and you create these standard operating procedures, SOPs for short, that is when you can start outsourcing and automating.

Now these go hand in hand, but they are different. Outsourcing is actually bringing people onto the team that are going to do the work that can't be automated for you. This is what requires real humans to get the job done. And automating is where you can use different tools online to have repetitive processes and tasks just happen automatically without a human needed. Now automating is my favorite cause automations typically don't break. Outsourcing there's a little bit more work involved to get people trained up and to make sure you have a great team, but that is what we are going to do in step seven.

So when it comes to outsourcing, I will say this is something that has taken me years and years and years to really perfect. Now, hiring somebody to begin with is better than not. Just know that the dream of hiring a virtual assistant and bringing them on board, and you stepping back from the business and doing nothing two days later, is not realistic. You need to train people. They need to learn your business. You need to work first with them, where they watch you work; then you work with them while you watch them work. Then they can finally do the work eventually and you can oversee it. So it is a process. It's not click a button because there's humans involved. And when there's humans involved, it takes longer. Again, though, it is still well worth it. But what I want to make sure you keep in mind is that you do not hire anybody, no matter how low the cost is, until your business is profitable, and until the profits from your business can at least pay that person's salary.

Now, when it comes to hiring for us, we've done so many different things over the past decade plus in this business, from hiring people in person in office, to hiring us workers that are remote, to hiring people that are on the other side of the world. Right now, our virtual team is 20+ people strong and they are an amazing. And I'll tell you some of the best people who've ever found have been from this job board, onlinejobs.ph. This is a Filipino job board. Some really just amazing people that have been with us for years and years and years, that have just brought so much value to the company and are just amazing to have around.

So, when you're ready, again, when your business can pay for it, my advice is to first look here on onlinejobs.ph, but still know going into it, humans are humans, there is training involved, and it's not a magic button where you hire and you don't do anything anymore. With that being said, again, if you're a drop ship lifestyle member, I give you our standard operating procedures and give you tips on how to hire and train in module seven of the blueprint.

Now, when it comes to automation, this is something you can start early on because it's something you set up. And once you know a process in your business, it just is repeatable. It could happen over and over and over. Things like sending orders to suppliers; things like following up with abandoned carts; things like using email marketing. And for most of those tasks, you can and use the Shopify app store and just search for whatever you want to have done. Now, some apps are free, some apps are paid; but the Shopify app store, it's like a dream. There's an app for pretty much anything. Many of them are amazing with great support. So I would highly encourage you when you find something you want to automate to check the Shopify app store, see what they have available. Even if they are paid, they typically start with free trials; so well worth checking out and experimenting with when you are ready.

Now for us, a little more advanced, been doing this for a long time, we want to do some more customizable things. And the way that I do that and the way that I teach how to do this as well is through the Zapier integration. If you're not familiar with zapier.com, it allows you to create zaps that basically have triggers, so something that will cause an action to happen and then connect that action with what you want to happen. So this is the page on Zapier that explains what Shopify can connect to. They just give you some general ideas, but things like Google Sheets, Gmail, Airtable, Slack. Right? Pretty much anything you want to connect it to, you can.

So most of our automations, we do build within Zapier. Again, just that extra level of control, building some things that are a little bit more complex, and, honestly, you can save some money off going through some apps in the app store. But both great, both serve their own purposes when it comes to outsourcing and automating. But again, don't outsource until your business can afford it and until you know how to run your business. And you can use automations early on, but make sure you don't just automate things that don't need to be automated, and don't add in complexity where it doesn't need to be. But when you're ready, Shopify app store and Shopify Zapier integration are my go-tos.

So guys, those are the seven steps. Again. If I was building a store right now for the new year, this is exactly what I would do, just what we went through. Now, what I'll say as always is this gets us going, this gets us making money, this gets us profitable. But just like any business, we don't just build it and stop. We don't just sit back and say, "Okay, I worked for 21 days on this. I'm just going to be rich now." No. Over time, you're going to refine the processes, specifically from step four down; you're going to get more suppliers on board, you're going to figure out new ways to optimize for even more conversions, you're going to get better at getting traffic and get a better return on ad spend, be able to put more money into ads, and you're going to be able to source and automate even more so you can manage your business between 15 and 30 minutes per day.

Now, if you're watching this channel and you have been for any amount of time, you probably are aware, I have a training program that is the Drop Ship Blueprint. It is over 118 video lessons that go through everything we just covered, plus a whole lot more. Step-by-step, screen share, literally over the shoulder videos, where I show you exactly what I do; where I give you all of our templates, all of our frameworks and give you all the support you need to do this with the highest level of confidence.

So if you want that, if you want to move forward with the ultimate level of help I can offer you, even have my team build a store for you, what I'm going to do is post some links in the description. You can click them, see what we have available. If not, this is a great starting point for anybody that just doesn't have a budget and wants to start for as cheap as possible. But again, if you want my team to just help you as much as we can get our best programs, link will be in the description.

So as always, I appreciate you. I hope you got value from this video. If you did leave a like below. If you're not subscribed, click subscribe, click that little bell. You'll get notified twice a week, whenever new videos go live. So thank you, I appreciate you, and I'll see you in the next one.
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