Kickstart your side hustle: Startup Streams businesses can be setup in only 15 mins a day!
A 30 day guide to start your own business when you are too busy working a 9-5 job
Are you too strapped for time to start a business? Think again.
Typically, if you are someone in a 9-5 job role and dreaming of a ‘passive’ income, whereby you aren’t paid hourly and can even make money whilst you sleep, it is difficult to get out of a daily routine which takes up every waking minute and leaves you too tired to do anything productive in your time off. That said, it is small incremental baby steps which pushes you in the right direction when you are feeling unmotivated or overwhelmed to start a business. A small amount of progress each day is better than no progress at all. Every journey begins with a single step…
Escaping a full time job generally looks like this:
- Your 9-5 job fuels your side hustle
- Your side hustle fuels investment into assets
- Your assets replace your 9-5 income
Setting aside time for your side hustle can be a challenge itself and is where a lot of people fail. This is why we have created a 30 day plan whereby you would only need to set aside approximately 15-20 mins a day to setup, launch, manage and develop your side hustle - a ready-to-grow Startup Streams store. Of course, you can complete many of these tasks in one sitting if you’d prefer to work on your side hustle business at the weekend or during the holidays.
For your 15 mins a day, make sure you find a comfortable and quiet place where you can work undisturbed. This is the time of day when you work on your personal goals so you need to take yourself seriously and be strict with your ability to focus. So grab yourself some liquid caffeine, work when and where it is quiet and switch off from all outside distractions - get ‘wired in’.
If you still struggle to find 15 mins a day, just remember that everyone in the world has the same 24 hours in a day as you - no one is ever ‘too busy’, everyone just has different priorities. What are yours? Just know that there are people right now who are busier than you who still manage to work on their side-hustle…
This template is based on best practices and popular low-budget marketing methods. Do only treat this as a customisable template as everyone has different marketing budgets, skill sets and experience. Talk to your 1-to-1 marketing advisor for better suited advice catered directly for you.
30 day side-hustle plan, only 15 mins a day
After you have setup Startup Streams membership, booked your 1-to-1 marketing consultation, invited your co-founders (friends and family?) to your Startup Streams account and selected your favourite store for us to make for you…
Day 1: Come up with a catchy name
A rememberable name is important as it allows you to say what you’re about and helps people to think of your company unprompted and it is what your business’s first impressions will be based on. You can choose an obscure short one word name, like Google, or a keyword rich name like ‘Keto Guides Online’ as a few examples. Make sure the name you choose is available as a domain name (check here) and is untaken on social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (will come handy later).
Day 2: Buy a domain name
Next you need to acquire your prime digital real estate - the best domain name for your business. A .com domain is preferred in the USA, but you may wish to choose any one of hundreds of other domain extensions to help you to differentiate yourself from competition. In your Shopify store, go to Online Store > Domains > Buy New Domain, and enter your domain name of choice. Equally, you can use a domain name provider like GoDaddy to buy the domain and then link to your account.
Day 3: Read our support pack
Our support pack is a great resource to help you understand how Shopify (the ecommerce platform your store uses) works and how to manage your store. It would be better to read this early on in the 30 day plan, which is why it is today’s task, to give you a basic understanding of your store and to make yourself familiar with the other marketing content included which you can refer to at a later stage…
Day 4: Change store settings
Today is the time allocated to make sure the back end of your store is setup correctly. You will need to change items like the store home address and tax settings. Head from the store’s admin and go to Settings > General, and make your way through each of the sections to make sure the information is correct. You can change items like email addresses and currency later as this will take more than 15 mins to set up today.
Day 5: Write a short about page
Your about page is the second most visited page one your website when you first set out. This is because potential customers wish to know who they’re buying from and want to know you’re a trust worthy store to send payment for goods to. Make sure you include some quick background information, show your passion for the niche and leave a name and contact details (email address is fine at this stage - we’ll make a custom one later). A welcoming, professional photo of you wouldn’t go amiss either.
Day 6: Add privacy, terms and refund policies
Day 7: Decide on your pricing structure (and currency)
You can charge any amount for the products you sell on your store - you just can’t give them away for free to customers on your website. This means you can take our recommended RRPs (recommended retail prices) which will automatically appear when you add the ebooks to your store in Shopify or you can edit each individual price from Admin > Products. The price range can be anywhere from $1-$50 but if you do choose to go for the upper price bracket, make sure you are providing enough value. Also bear in mind your expenses. How much will you a pay for each customer and keep in mind any payment processor fees? You can also change your currency to one of your choosing in general settings.
Day 8: Add a payment provider
How do you want to get paid? You’ll need to add a payment processor to your store in order to automatically take payments from your customers. Popular providers include Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay and PayPal. We highly recommend Shopify Payments (actually Stripe) which accepts most card types. Make sure that you check which provider is available in your country / geographic region. Adding this is super easy to do: From admin > Settings > Payments.
Day 9: Visit the Shopify app store
The Shopify app store has 1700+ readily available applications which can seamlessly install and run on your store. Apps greatly increase the productivity and customisation for your store and there are plenty of apps which may be worth looking into. Many are free, but as you’d understand some of the best ones are paid apps so be careful how much you spend each month on apps before making sales. We highly recommend an app called ‘Stickify' (sticky add to cart button) and ‘In Cart Upsell’ (you can recommend items to a customer on the cart page when they add something to cart). Both of these apps are free!
Day 10: Add a Cookie banner (EU only)
Keep it in the diary: 2 weeks to go before you launch your store!
According to EU Spam Law, you need to add a cookie permission banner to allow those in the EU to give you permission to monitor their activity on your website. Your Shopify store will monitor customer’s activity such as which pages they visit. You can install an app on your website, found on the Shopify App store, free of charge if your business is based in the UK.
Day 11: Create an email account
It may be a good idea to setup a dedicated email account for your business. This is to separate customer correspondence from your personal email account to make sure no messages get missed or lost in your junk box. You could either set up a free Gmail account (email@example.com) or a professional Business Gmail account which you will need to pay for each month (firstname.lastname@example.org). It is interesting to note that, at the time of writing, if you buy a domain through your Shopify store, it comes with free email forwarding so any email sent to your company’s email address (email@example.com as an example) will be forwarded to your personal account, or any account you nominate. You will have to respond to these forwarded emails from your own inbox but it is a great cost effective solution as you start out and before making any sales.
Day 12: Test website on multiple devises
Now we need to test and check. Even though you may be running the store from your desktop, it is important to note that the majority of search traffic is from mobile devices. This means your store needs to be mobile ready. Of course our custom coded themes are designed to look great on mobile, but it would be worth checking if you have made any additions or customisations to your store. From admin > Online Store > Themes > Customise. From here, toggle the views at the top of the editor - or simply visit your domain address on your smartphone and or tablet (or ask your friend to do so).
Day 13: Make a test purchase
To test everything is working properly and that you and the buyer gets the relevant post purchase messages, it would be a good idea to reduce one of the product prices to $0.00 and make a test purchase - this will also make you familiar with the customer journey. Just remember to increase the price back to the original before you start marketing the store!
Day 14: Create a Facebook account
The odds are that you probably have a Facebook profile? Today we shall make a page for your business. Head to Facebook, start a new page from your personal login and pick a name as close
to your business name to maintain brand consistency. Make sure that you fill all information as recommended by Facebook including, but not limited to, the about section, page descriptions, profile and header pictures (you can use the banner image from your website) and make sure you link to your ecommerce store. Setup your account to be ready for your launch so you are prepared to let people know as soon as you launch.
Day 15: Create an Instagram account
This time, you need to open a separate account and it’s be great to see if you can make it an Instagram business account as this will give you more features such as activity and engagement statistics on your page. Fill in all information and make sure you have an eye catching profile pic - but make sure it is basic and easily identifiable as the icon will be small on mobile devices. You can then link your Instagram account to your Facebook page so whenever you post on Instagram, you don’t need to post the same image on Facebook which makes the whole process of social media management very efficient. Extra bonus points for searching for the best hashtags (#) to use for your niche.
Day 16: Create a Twitter account
Twitter is a fantastic way to keep a running commentary about your business as you can project short snippets of your company’s activity to potential customers. Remember, that social media is in fact social(!) so make sure that you are actively engaging on the platform as well; which means re-tweeting, liking and commenting on other people’s posts (make sure the pages your interact with are on brand). Start a Twitter account today, again keeping the name similar to your company name and domain then fill in the required fields of information to finish setting up your account.
Day 17: Blog post: Structure a blog post
Getting excited? 1 week to go before you launch your store!
Content is king. Setting up a blog is fantastic as it can both educate potential customers about your services as well as bring organic traffic to your website from search engines like Google. All Startup Streams stores on Shopify come with a built in blogging engine meaning that you can setup a blog effortlessly. From admin > Online Store > Blog > New Post. Decide what your first post should be about. You will want to concentrate on something which is interesting, attention grabbing, relates to your business and has a call to action at the end to focus customers towards your product(s). We provide a list of blog title examples in the Startup Streams member area to help you to choose a catchy title. Once you have the theme and title in mind, structure the content of the blog post, and as we shall spend the next 3 days writing a blog post, plan no more than three paragraphs with a conclusion at the end. Spend your time today brainstorming only.
Day 18: Blog post: Write the intro and first paragraph
Start you blog post today with an introduction to your topic. You will want your blog post to respond to a problem with a solution (which you sell of course) and make sure that you are ‘speaking' to the customer. Also focus on the language you use - will you be formal or informal? How does it match your brand?
Day 19: Blog post: Write the second and third paragraph
Spend today writing two additional paragraphs, the core section of your content, and make sure each paragraph attends a problem solved by your solution (the products you sell).
Day 20: Blog post: Write the conclusion with call to action
Finish your first blog post today and make sure that you sum up your key points with the ending pointing towards your product(s) as the solution to your customer’s problems. Here you can link to your product(s), and that is how to do content marketing!
Day 21: Blog post: Proof read and publish
They say your best proof reading is done after you hit ‘send’. Make sure you read through your work, fact check any figures you used and when you’re ready, hit send. Rinse and repeat this formula for making more blog articles. You may aim to write 2-4 a month or you could outsource to cost effective article authors on freelancing platforms like Fiverr.
Day 22: Make a discount code
To aid your big launch (2 days to go!), you may consider making a discount code for people to buy your product(s). You can create hype around your product by limiting the amount of discount codes available. With Shopify, it is super easy to make a discount code. You can choose to offer a money off discount or a percentage discount. You can choose which product(s) you want the discount code to apply to and can choose how many times each discount can be redeemed. Once you have your discount code, make sure you add it to your social media account pages.
Day 23: Setup a competition
One of the best ways to create buzz around a new launch is a competition. You can use competitions to collect data from potential customers and then you can send a discount voucher to every entrant who didn’t win to divert a bout of paying customers towards your store. We use a service called Gleam which is great (but expensive) but you should be able to find some free, or at least cheaper, alternatives on the Shopify app store. You have digital products to sell, which means the competition prizes cost you nothing. You can also use a competition to cross promote by contacting other companies in your niche to see if they want to offer a prize as well and share the competition with their pre-existing audience.
Day 24: Publish your store!
Today is the big day! You have spent the last 23 days getting ready for now. You have your store built and ready to go, you have your social media marketing channels up and running, discount codes set… the last thing to do is launch! From admin > Settings > Billing and link a card to make your Shopify payments. This will open your store. Lastly go to Online store > Preferences and uncheck the password box so the store no longer needs a password to enter the store and you’re all set and ready to promote! Three, two, one… go!
Day 25: Tell all of your friends and family
Your first handful of customers would usually be people in your inner circle: Your friends, family, colleagues, next door neighbour, the staff at the corner shop, the postal courier… whoever you know. Contact your friends and fans of social media and link to your website to start to sending instant traffic to your store. Send an email out to everyone on your email contact list and write a quick personalised message to every number you have on SMS and WhatsApp.
Day 26: Post on all social media channels
Now you have started to get your first website visits (which you can check in the Shopify analytics tab), you can start to tell strangers - potential customers - about your business. You already have the social media accounts locked and loaded, now is the time to use them. Post 12 times on Instagram to make sure your page has content for people who check out your page to see what your offering is, include your discount code in the page description and link to your website. If you have linked your Instagram account to your Facebook page as stated earlier, your posts will be automatically posted to Facebook. You can then manually tweet about your store launch also.
Day 27: Join Facebook groups and pages
Next, you will want to start promoting manually. Find pages on Facebook in your niche and ask politely if you can post about your business. As Facebook is a social media platform, make sure that you are actually social and engage with other people in the group or page. You’ll be able to find lots of groups in your niche, but some will be harder to find than others. Make sure you use Facebook’s search feature by finding a variety of different search terms and limit the search to to groups and pages to be shown only. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t just self-promote and spam. This will be a waste of time as you’d get no sales and most likely be kicked out of the groups and pages - you need to provide value to the community.
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Day 28: Instagram outreach: Micro-influencers
You can send free copies of the ebooks to influencers as you have infinite copies of your products and you can do this all for free. You can find influencers on Instagram using hashtags, reaching out to them and asking if they'd post about the site in return for receiving the ebook for free. This is also a ‘numbers game’ so the wider your net is, the more influencers you contact, the better the results will be. You can then reinvest this into Facebook and Google Ads to create a steadier and less time consuming form of marketing and income at a later stage.
Day 29: Startup the next business
Now you know what to do! It is time to rinse and repeat… You have experience with setting up and launching an ecommerce business with only 15 minutes a day. You have the skills and know-how to apply this new found knowledge again and again and again. A prime reason to join Startup Streams is so that you can startup as many revenue streams as you want, so now would be a great time to start to think about which niche and store you wish to start next? Brain storm your ideas then return to Day 1 on this list and repeat the process.
Day 30: Session 2 with your 1-to-1 marketing advisor…
Now you have a business underway, you’ll want to start to invest what money you have made so far into a more stable and reliable form of income such as PPC (pay per click) ads on Facebook or Google. Your second Startup Streams marketing call will be coming up soon, so make sure that you have PPC marketing on your agenda to turn your first sales into recurring ‘passive’ income.
From now on, it is all about continually improving. This is what an entrepreneur does best. A successful entrepreneur always expands their knowledge and knows that marketing is an ever changing game: Every year algorithms get edited, different strategies stop working and new platforms are released and you can only ever get ahead of your competitors by staying relevant. Make sure you’re always learning, watching relevant YouTube videos (be critical about what you’re being told on there however) and each time you launch a new business, push yourself harder and faster than the last time. Being successful online is a continuous state of review, experimentation and improvement.
If you have any more questions and need some more help, please get in contact with customer success and we’d be happy to help out: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don’t have a Startup Streams membership yet and want to find out what we’re all about, click here.