Making a decision, probably the hardest part of
Indecision kills so many dreams.
I am in 7 or 8 Facebook groups that are centered around Shopify. These groups have people who are generating millions of dollars in sales with Shopify, and people who are just getting started.
These groups are filled with golden nuggets, and I spend a lot of time in them. I have met some fantastic people (in person) from these groups, and credit a lot of my success to the people I have met, because of these groups.
Jim Rohn is so spot on with this quote…
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with
With that being said, there are some common questions that come up.
Again, and again, and again, and again, and…
One of the most common question I see in the Facebook groups is…
Should I start a general store or a niche store?
Digital entrepreneurs have a problem of jumping from one business idea to the next, and a lot of the times, is why they struggle.
I have been guilty of this, and recently wrote about it here.
A lot of the gooroos selling Shopify courses and high priced coaching teach the general store approach.
Not this guy.
I think that is fucking horrible advice.
A general store is like Walmart, as you’re trying to appeal to everyone. Most entrepreneurs, when starting out, think they have SOMETHING for EVERYONE.
A fatal mistake in business.
They try to appeal to the masses.
How do you market to everyone?
You cannot form a clear, concise advertising message, when it is aimed at everyone.
I hate to be the barrier of bad news, but…
Everyone is NOT your potential customer
In fact, from my experience, repelling people is way more powerful/profitable.
When running Facebook advertising, people are looking to be profitable from day one. This is the wrong approach, and very rarely (read: almost never) happens. When getting started, the first few campaigns (and a couple hundred dollars) are all about gathering valuable data.
Here’s the thing…
That data, can put a lot of the green stuff in your piggybank (read: make you a lot of money), down the road. Maybe not right then, but in the future. And that is what people miss out on, they are thinking about the right now.
Data is boring, I get it.
Lets use the above as examples…
So you are running ads for dog products. You are testing out different dog interests like — rescue shelters, dog food companies, different dog breeds, dog charities, etc.
You are finding out what interests people are clicking on, and what people are not clicking on. Maybe even generating a few sales. You’re not going to be very good when getting started, no one is, and that’s ok. You are dialing things in.
This is going to help you when launching your next product, and the next, and the next. You are gathering data that is going to help you in the long run. This will help you avoid costly mistakes in the future.
That is the benefit of sticking with a niched store. This initial data can be used over and over.
When you’re running a general store, and you’re not generating instant sales, you tend to think — the dog niche isn’t working. I am going to try something else. I see this ALL the time. They run ads to say a dog necklace, then a dog toy, a dog bowl and they;re not generating the sales the courses promised them.
They do not realize the dog niche is one of the most competitive spaces online. Not saying the dog niche cannot be successful, because it can, if you niche down.
You have to niche down, if you want to be successful with this business.
After running ads to a few products in a certain niche, they move onto the next niche, because they have these unrealistic expectations. This gives them an easy out, which is killing their chances at success.
They then launch something in a completely different niche, that they most likely know very little about.
For example. they try selling in the Buddah niche, as that is a popular one. The data they gathered for the dog items is useless. That initial money spent is wasted as they have to start all voer again. They have to find new interests to test, and they way you fin new interests is to research the niche.
Hint: The research part, is extremely important, but is the boring part of this business. Why do it more than you have to?
So one week they are selling dog items and now they are selling prayer beads, on the same website, with the dog items.
It appears, to the potential customers, this store offers everything.
They launch a few items (related to the Buddha niche), and have some success. They sell a few items, but they are not making the money some of the courses promise.
So, they move onto another niche.
And this vicious cycle is repeated.
And they are shooting themselves in the foot.
Less is More
The older I get, the more I realize less is more.
Whether that is eating pizza, launching businesses, having kids or choosing a cable package.
When Steve Jobs was brought back to run Apple in the late 90s, he cut the product line down from 350 to 10. Apple was on the brink of bankruptcy at the time, and most thought he was insane for eliminating 70 percent of their product line.
Now Apple is worth more than one BILLION iPads.
Am I comparing your Shopify journey to Apple?
You better believe it!
I have faith it you, champ!
How you can apply Steve Jobs’ philosophy to your store…
A general store gives you the option to move onto a new niche, too easily, something you do not want.
Most people come up with a generic domain name, leaving them many options. When running a Shopify store, you do NOT want options. You want to “pigeon hole” yourself, and that starts with the domain name.
If I choose AdamsDogToys.com, that doesn’t leave me many options, does it?
I am pretty much stuck (in a good way) of selling dog toys.
If I go with something like DukesDeals.com, that leaves me a ton of options (not a good thing).
A catchy domain name, but I do not want to appeal to everyone.
You want to build a specialty store.
You want to be the brain surgeon, not the general physician.
You do NOT want to compete on price, as that is a race to the bottom.
You do not want to be at the bottom, do you?