I’m so excited that you have are considering opening your very own online store. Whether you want to create a small boutique for a fun side hustle or you want a large store to become your full-time job, owning and running your own online store is an exciting and incredibly rewarding opportunity. No matter if it’s a full-time gig or side hustle, starting an online store gives you the potential to earn extra dollars every month! The steps below are exactly how I started my store, Finding Rosie which now achieves thousands of dollars a month in sales!
How to Start an Online Store
My friends, it is SO MUCH easier than you could have ever imagined to create your own store and on a budget too! Setting up your own online store can be done within hours if you use Shopify (and follow my free ebook, details below). Here are some things you may not have known:
- No need to pay expensive upfront website build fees, you can use a free layout that comes with your monthly store subscription
- With your store setup, you’ll get a free URL with your store (if you already have one it’s easy to link to your new Shopify account)
- You’ll be able to take credit card payments as part of your monthly subscription (no additional plugins or application required)
- You can start building your store while you are still finalizing your products, getting bank account sorting, and any other administrative issues.
Step 1 – Create Your Account
Get a free 14 day trial of Shopify here via my referral link here. I recommend you get the most-common plan for $79 per month which includes detailed reports, cheaper credit card fees, discounted shipping, and allows you to offer gift certificates. *You won’t have to pay the monthly fee for 14 days when you sign-up here.* This gives you plenty of time to build the store ALL BY YOURSELF.
Shopify is where you will build your store including adding products, pages, taking orders and even fulfilling orders. When you sign-up you can get a URL (www.yourstore.com) included and your store will link straight to your URL! If you already have a URL, there are easy to follow instructions to link your URL to your new Shopify store. Yay for simplicity!
Remember – done is better than perfect. You will never have everything perfect before you launch and it’s best not to. I still have so many areas of my store that I want to fix and edit, but I’d much rather have it live and available to make sales before it was completely perfect. You can tweak things once it’s launched and you will always need to edit things. So GET STARTED, sign-up for the store. It’s time for you to make your dream a reality and get started selling online and making more $$$!
Download my free 22 page eBook guide showing you exactly how to setup your store. My eBook shares the exact steps I took to setup my own store, Finding Rosie that now achieves thousands of dollars a month in sales!
BONUS – If you sign-up via my Shopify referral link and use my guide to help start your store. I will give your store a shoutout on my Instagram stories giving you exposure to an audience of nearly 30k!
Incorporate a limited liability company. The process for this will vary depending on what country you are based in. However, it’s common that you will need to determine a company name, who the shareholders are, and who the directors of the company are. It’s fine if you want to be the only shareholder, director, and public officer!
You want to incorporate a company so the business to be taxed independently to you. If you run an online store under your own name, all of the income is assessed with your own personal income. In addition, having a company reduces your liability and increases your professionalism.
If you are making orders with suppliers, you want to be able to provide a company name and business number instead of just your own name.
Open a business bank account in the primary currency of your store. Shopify currently only makes deposits into bank accounts in the same currency as your store. If you are in Canada and your store charges USD, you won’t be able to get your sale proceeds until you have a USD account setup. Furthermore, when it comes to accounting and taxes down the road, a separate bank account to your regular account is a must so you can easily separate business transactions from your personal spending.
Launch your store! It’s as easy as removing the password page from your store’s homepage. Share this on Facebook, your email list (I talk about how to generate an email list for eCommerce here), Instagram, and any other platform you use. Don’t be shy, tell all of your friends and family about your store!
- I’ve been using Shopify for over a year to manage my shop, Finding Rosie. Previously I have used Woocommerce. From experience with both, Shopify is my preferred eCommerce provider for the following reasons:
- Ongoing support, you will never be in the dark if you have a big problem with your website. Using Woocommerce I changed the code on a couple of occasions, and my whole website went white and I could not see a thing, ‘the white screen of death’. There was no one for me to reach out to, instead, I spent hours trawling forums for help.
- Google indexed and listed the sub-pages nicely in the search engine for Finding Rosie. The sitemap is automatically updated and is very tidy with the Shopify URL infrastructure.
- You don’t have to play with code for everything. Adding products, pages, checkout and all of the core eCommerce tools come out of the box and don’t require any coding.
- Shopify automatically gives you an https SSL certificate encryption for FREE! This means that your customers won’t ever get a warning that the website isn’t safe. It offers protection when you are accepting credit card and personal details. More protection for customers = more sales.
- Shopify has its own payment processing option so you don’t have to spend hours trying to install one manually like you need to with other Woo.
- Shopify’s ultimate purpose is eCommerce, websites like WooCommerce and Squarespace operate as blog hosts and website hosts with the option of eCommerce. You want the most powerful option at the best price (Shopify!).
Have any questions?
Pop them in the comments section below. I’d love to help you out.
Pssst! Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for Shopify. This helps me create more content to help you!