Step-by-Step Guide to Starting A Shopify Store Around Your 9-5 Job

By    Last updated March 20, 2017   Shopify

Everyone reading this has one thing in common. You dream big, right?

 

You’re full of ideas and bursting with inspiration. You can picture yourself as an entrepreneur, growing a successful business from home with an online store.

 

 

 

 

Perhaps you’d like a way to escape your 9-5 or just want a little extra cash coming in each month. There are so many good reasons to start a side-hustle or small business with Shopify.

 

Whether you’re building the next Asos or just want to sell your crafts, an online store is a great way to start.

 

 

We Just Lack One Thing… Time

 

Time is the most precious resource for any entrepreneur. We just don’t have enough of it!

 

Between your 9-5, personal commitments and family, how do you carve out time to start a business? The good news is that it is possible. Earlier this year, we interviewed Kalen. She makes $1,000 per month from her online store, working part time as a side hustle.

 

 

Kalen from Bon Bon Boutique

 

 

An even bigger success story is the guys behind Fringe Sport. They took a part-time business selling sports equipment and turned it into a multi-million dollar business.

 

Starting an online store on the side is possible. All it takes is commitment and great time management! Here are a few tips to get you started.

 

 

1. Identify The Gaps In Your Time

 

Most of us finish the day exhausted. It often feels like you’ve been going non-stop since you woke up. But if you stop and think about it, I bet you can pinpoint at least a couple of spare hours.

 

Could you have cleared your lunch hour to work on your business? Could you have got up an hour earlier? Could you have stayed an extra hour at the office and cranked out some additional work? Could you have squeezed in half an hour after the kids went to bed?

 

These times might feel inconvenient, but successful entrepreneurs make time.

 

 

2. Schedule Your Business Into Your Day

 

Now that you’ve identified some gaps in your working week, fill them with hard commitments.

 

 

mobile reminders

 

 

It’s time to crack out the Google calendar and start scheduling some tasks. Personally, I do this on a Sunday night before the week ahead. It’s much easier to get the work done when it becomes a scheduled part of your day.

 

Better yet, schedule notifications to remind you.

 

 

3. Invest Your 9-5 Income

 

People often say they’ll quit their job to start a business. The truth is, it’s much better to get started while you still have steady income from a regular job.

 

Not only do you have the financial stability to experiment with your business and build a strong foundation. BUT you’ll also have a steady cash flow to invest in getting your side-hustle off the ground.

 

If you’re running an online store, you’ll need to pay for inventory, set-up costs and promotion before you start turning a profit. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself!

 

 

4. Start With Just One Product

 

We all start with big dreams. And if you’re running an online store, you probably want to build it as big as possible. However, it takes a huge effort to manage hundreds of products at once – especially if you have a full time job on the side.

 

Instead, start with just one product. First of all, your startup costs will be lower as you won’t need such a big inventory.

 

 

online product packaging

 

 

Second, it’s much easier to target an audience with just one simple product. When you only have a short amount of time to work on your business, you’ve got to focus in on just one thing.

 

The team behind Fringe Sport started off selling just one product – gymnastic rings. As they gained more time and resources, they added more products.

 

 

5. Zone In On Just One Method Of Promotion

 

I get exhausted just thinking about promoting across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google AdWords, SEO etc, etc. Marketing is a full time job and it’s impossible to do it all when you’ve only got an hour or two per day.

 

 

mobile shopping

 

 

Instead, find one platform that you feel comfortable with (and resonates with your audience) and pour all your effort into it. One well-honed Instagram account is better than 8 social media platforms with no updates or followers.

 

Over time, you can start to build the others up.

 

 

6. Give Yourself Bite-Size Tasks

 

When you’re starting a business, every task feels enormous. Setting up a Shopify store, for example, feels like an enormous task. Instead, break it down across the week.

 

On day one, sign up and get a feel for the website. On day two, choose a theme you like and tweak it until you’re happy. On day three, add your first product and write the description. You see the pattern.

 

Growing a business always comes down to lots and lots of small steps. Break everything down into small chunks that feel manageable.

 

 

7. Outsource The Hard Stuff

 

There isn’t a CEO on the planet who got where they did all by themselves. If you’re not confident with creating a logo for your website, hire a pro to do it for you. It will save you hours of time (which could be a whole week when you’re only working part time!)

 

Try using inexpensive platforms like Fiverr (where everything costs a minimum of $5) to outsource everything from design to copy to social media management.

 

 

8. Cut Down Your Time & Costs With Drop Shipping

 

When it comes to running an online store, one of the most time-consuming aspects is packaging and shipping your products. Drop Shipping takes care of this for you, so you don’t have to worry.

 

 

drop shipping

 

 

It works like this: your customer places an order with you. You then place the order with your drop shipping partner. They package and deliver the item to your customer.

 

Drop shipping means you don’t have to buy or store more inventory than you need. You don’t have to worry about warehousing, packaging or shipping.

 

Of course, it does slim down your profits slightly (as you have to pay the drop shipper). However, it will buy you a lot of time to promote your store. It’s a great way to get started.

 

 

9. Relax & Have Patience

 

It may often seem like success stories spring up out of nowhere, but that’s rarely the case. Behind every successful business is a slow and steady growth made over several years.

 

True success comes in small steps that gradually add up to huge steps. Don’t be deterred by slow progress. Don’t burn yourself out, and remember to schedule in some down time.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

It is is possible to build a successful business alongside your current job. Work hard enough and you could eventually turn it into a full-time career.

 

Just remember, take it day-by-day, manage your time well and keep setting new goals. I’d love to hear from anyone currently running a side business. How are you making it work? Let me know below!

 

Ben Brown

Ben is a copywriter and editor from London. His work regularly appears in The Huffington Post, and he has worked on several successful copywriting campaigns for Sony UK. Feel free to connect with Ben via Twitter.

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