We're starting a new YouTube series this week I'm really excited about - Shopify Zero to Hero. In this series, we're going to start from nothing but an idea and build a Shopify store from scratch - it should be a fun ride!

One of the really cool things about running a Shopify app business is you get to meet a lot of really smart business owners. And when your business is split testing, you get a first hand look at how shops become more profitable. In this series, we're going to put those learnings into action and attempt to build a profitable business.

I will document everything on this blog and on YouTube and post a couple of times per week. The video series is going to be the main spot for the series, but I'll use the blog to summarize, provide code examples if needed and keep records about expenses, revenue and traffic. So if you want to skip this text intro and dive right into the video series, you can watch the first video here:

The project

In this first part, we're setting some guidelines for the project and introducing our product idea.

We're not dropshipping

There's a lot of great info out there on how to build a profitable dropshipping business. But in this series, I'm going to be designing and manufacturing a new product. Mostly because it sounds like more fun.

We have a budget

One of the big draws of dropshipping is that you can start doing it for little or no money. Here, we have a budget. I've invested $2,000 into this business and we're going to try to keep costs under that until we've made our first sale. We'll reinvest in the shop as money starts to come in.

The product idea

A few tips on coming up with a great product idea

I recommend creating a product that you would buy yourself. There's a few good reasons for this.

  1. It helps you create the product. You already know what you like and don't like about things you're in the target market for.
  2. It helps you market. You know where people in your niche hang out online, because you hang out there too.
  3. You already speak the language. If I try to sell something I don't know anything about, it's going to take a lot of research not to sound inauthentic. I would rather spend that time growing the business.

Here's the product idea for this series

Our first idea is rashguards for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with traditional tattoo art printed on them. It's something I would purchase and I know a lot about the target market because I train (and suck at) Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

I say first idea, because I have no idea if this is going to work or not. Our goal is to test this idea as quickly and cheaply as possible. I don't want to spend our whole budget finding out that no one will buy these things. So, instead, we're going to run a cheap experiment over the next several videos to see if we can sell these things.

Next up

In the next video, we're going to choose a name, register a domain and hook it up to our Shopify store so that we can start validating the product idea. If you want to follow along, pop your email address in the box below and I'll make sure you receive updates as I release them.