Honestly, have been going crazy for the past week trying to figure out where to even start with Shopify. Haven't done anything solid yet because i was busy searching for ways to shorten delay times and how to handle international customers. Before anything, my Shopify journey will be a long term one. I guess that means i'm building my own business. I'm promoting the products that i have sold before, about 4 years back and I have a lot of experience with it. That said, the only difference was before i handled everything from A-Z. I did physical handling of the items i sold and that taught me A LOT about shipping. I'll put that to good use now. Also, i originally didn't want to open a thread for this but i realized that my mind was everywhere. I couldn't focus on one thing at a time and whenever i did 10 things at once for my Shopify, i would usually end up back to where i started. So, this is my 'diary' of some sort. I will not be revealing my niche because this is my money pot. Go find your money pot! I'll just share my thought process and hope I can inspire some of you to go make a money pot out of your own out there. TRAFFIC SOURCE: Instagram (Main) & will test out FB ads These are my list of problems i have with this journey and i hope this becomes a reminder to me to check them off once i figured out how to. 1. Find a supplier that ships within reasonable time. So far, the best i have found for the products i'm selling are within 2 business days but the supplier does not have an extensive range of product that's enticing enough for me to promote. Maybe one or two but i need more than 30 products to sell. The one that i'm currently interested in takes 4 business days to ship the products. That spells bad news to me. 4 days is far too long to even process the products. I'm struggling to find a good supplier that offers good range of products + cheap shipping + short processing time. 2. Decide on whether to use only one supplier or use up to three suppliers. This is due to the fact that i would like a mixture of different products available from different suppliers as i am not satisfied with the full line of products one supplier providers. 3. Decide on a solid price to offer and whether to offer free shipping or not. I've done businesses in the past where i was too excited to push products and ended up having the tiniest profit in my pocket and had to fork out a lot of money to pay for shipping. This will not happen again. Not this time. I will take my time to set this up. 4. Decide where to ship. I think i must have some sort of restrictions as to where i ship. Different countries charge different shipping rates. This, i once again have to refer to my supplier. 5. Decide on a warehouse fulfillment. I'm outsourcing all packaging, wrapping and even receiving returns. This will cost me some money but after thinking about it, it's so much cheaper to outsource it rather than doing it on my own. It's value for my international customers as well because they are able to cut delivery time by 2 weeks and they can do it within 10 days. Value is important to me. Value is not just the product. It's your packaging, customer service, first impression of your product and a personalized touch to it. Adding value to your product may cost some money in the beginning but building value and trust is my priority right now. When i do this, profit will follow after. Aliexpress does not ship to China although it is from China. So, i'm trying to get this sorted out with my supplier and hopefully she can help me out in this matter. I read taxes are higher if they ship domestic. I have also researched about a few warehouses and asked for quotations. Will be waiting for replies within this week. 6. How many products to offer initially I already drafted out 4 different collections of products. Which i think i'm overdoing and overthinking. I need to decide on the amount of products i'll offer. 7. Strategies to push my products forward I already have many competitors in my niche and this makes me need to work extra hard to provide an edge to my products. Of course, that's just business though. If your business doesn't have competitors, then it won't keep you on your feet. THINGS I HAVE DONE THIS WEEK 1. Signed up for Shopify. 2. Chose a free theme. 3. Researched for suppliers. 4. Bought a .com domain. 5. Did customer survey for the products i'm selling. 6. Designed 3 banners for my store using my crappy Photoshop skills and amazing Google search skills. Honestly, there are a few key things i need to do before i even proceed to starting to input products in my store. 1. Obtain quotation from the fulfillment warehouse. I'm expecting a reply in two days as it is still weekend for me so i'll relax in this meantime. This quotation is literally the big rock of this whole thing. I know the prices from my suppliers. Now, I desperately need this quotation before i can even decide on the prices. 2. Get answers from my supplier whether she can ship to the fulfillment warehouse which is also in China. She speaks minimal English. Which scares me. A lot. I wrote to her a few questions and i think she just stomped on the keyboard and somehow it came up as 10% comprehensible. Bad communication with my supplier can literally mean life and death for this journey. I'll keep on searching for new suppliers that can at least speak English at a level where they can address the questions i have. THINGS I WILL ACHIEVE WITHIN THIS WEEK 1. Get quotation from the fulfillment warehouse. 2. Get a reply from my supplier on whether they can ship to the fulfillment warehouse. ONCE I GET A GREEN LIGHT FROM THE TWO ABOVE, I WILL THEN PROCEED TO THE ONE BELOW. 3. Scout potential Instagram influencers. 4. Decide on a logo for my products. 5. Choose a plan for Shopify. Going to pick the $29 plan for these first few months. 6. Outsource the making of my banners in Fiverr. I've done a terrible job with my banners. I have some prior skills with Photoshop but i could edit Justin Bieber's face and that's about it i think. So, i'll pay a few dollars for my banners and logo to be done. 7. Learn how to use SKU. Stock keeping unit. Need to get a tutorial from somewhere. 8. Check on my competitors strategies. List down many strategies and narrow it down to something that would work for a small business. 9. Decide on which products to offer. 10. Scout for a new supplier with better service qualities, range of products and shipping time. 11. Decide flat rate/shipping by weight/free shipping. Free shipping for US/UK/AUS/CAN & Flat rate for international countries? Most importantly, to remind myself to relax at times. Wow, that was a lot of things. Didn't even know the key problems were the two. Writing this down helped keep my thoughts organized i think. Although my priorities in my things to do many be a little jumbled up. By the way, i'm still growing 11 IG accounts on autopilot using FL and you can check out my other thread if you'd like to see updates on that one! So far, it's going fine. I don't worry about that as it's all on autopilot. It's just a matter of time until i can utilize all 11 accounts. Maybe in 3 months time. By then hopefully it would all already reach 20k! I'm gonna go and rest up for a bit. I've been researching almost for 6 hours now. Bye!