When building your own online store, it can feel like you are drowning in to-do lists. You attempt to be an accountant, content manager, marketer, and CEO. Wearing so many hats can be downright exhausting. Although acting as a one-man band may feel like the only option, your startup will not be able to thrive unless you add passionate people to your side; but let’s be honest, it might be too expensive to hire a web coordinator when you’re just starting out. It may be out of your budget and time span. That’s where Shopify experts come in. They understand your company’s needs and will help take some of the burdens off of your shoulders.

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Who is a Shopify Expert?

Shopify experts are trusted and motivated community members that work to help companies as yours grow. Shopify expert services provide high-quality services that are developed to help businesses thrive. They empower prosperity through exclusive partner resources and learning opportunities.

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Why should you hire one?

When just starting out, it is easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into an online business. You may think hiring a few designers, developers and marketers is enough to get your site online and thriving. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. There are many decisions to be made at that start that can affect your company long term. You need to form a solid plan, strategize the best way to complete tasks promptly, and actually execute that plan to completion. Finding employees with experience who will stick to your plan and help it thrive is a huge undertaking. You will need time to screen potential hires, go through onboarding, and take time for the actual training process. When you are just starting out, you don’t have room for errors. Hiring one bad employee can, unfortunately, sink your ship. That’s why companies trust Shopify expert services to get them off the ground.

By bringing on a Shopify expert, you are giving your business the experience it needs to hit the ground running. Generally, experts will listen to your needs and use their years of experience to help you reach your goals.

When to Approach a Shopify Expert?

Whether you are just starting out, or have already formulated a plan but just aren’t sure how to make it to fruition, a Shopify expert can help you. Before hiring an expert, start by identifying the problems you want to be solved. Examples are you want a new website, a new design, or a new app.  A Shopify design expert is there to help you find the solution. They will put all their expertise to create the best website, graphics, or apps for your business.

Like all things business, hiring an expert will come at a cost. While setting up a plan for your business, take time to reflect on how much money you can spend. It is essential to know this number before you sign a contract. Although a Shopify setup expert can help your company immensely, all their work will be for nought if you end up going bankrupt from your payments.

If you have the proper funds, it is time to start shopping for an expert. By simply googling the term, your search results will be filled with many flashy websites promising to give you the best results. When filtering through these experts, it’s essential to analyze their websites, case studies, and showcased expertise to ensure they can complete the task at hand.

Finding and Hiring the Right Shopify Expert

Ask the Community

The best way to find a Shopify expert that fits your needs, it simply by asking around. When starting your own company, you will quickly find a community of entrepreneurs in your area. It’s likely other business owners have already been through this process and have found someone they trust. But just because someone comes highly recommended doesn’t mean you should skip your due diligence. Peak onto their website and do a quick search for them online. Their social media presence can tell you a lot about their business model. Furthermore, you should pay attention to any past projects they have included as case studies and try to find client feedback. These simple steps can give you important insight into what it’d be like to work with that Expert.

Go through the Experts Directory

If you can’t find anyone who seems like a great fit simply based off referrals, another option is to head to the Shopify Experts directory. You can search by any name, city or keyword. This is a wonderful option for companies who want to hire a local expert. People who live in your same city or area could have a better understanding of your demographics. The directory will also let you filter experts based on price points. This is a great option for companies looking to stick to a budget.

Evaluate the Experts

Once you have found the perfect person, either through referrals or a directory, it is important to interview them to make sure your ideals aline. This does not have to be as in-depth as your standard interview for a full-time employee. If the Shopify expert lives in your area, it might be a good idea to meet with them over coffee to talk about both their past work and your vision for your company’s future. If you can’t meet face-to-face, you can set up a meeting over Facetime or Skype just to get an idea of their personality.

These meetings are also a great way for experts to get to know you. Unless they are money hungry, most experts know what they are good at. They have extensive experience working with other companies, and will be able to determine if your professional relationship will be mutually beneficial.

When you set up these meetings, be wary of Shopify experts who offer unrealistic guarantees. You want someone who will be able to make deadlines and create desired deliverables, but any absurd promises should be seen as a danger.

Outlining the Project Scope

Once you have found the perfect person to work with, the next step is outlining a plan. This will include the amount of work you want done, and the timeline the Shopify expert must keep to. This is commonly known as setting the project’s scope. If this is your first time setting up such an extensive plan, don’t stress out. Again, this is not the expert’s first time working with a startup, so they will be able to help you lay out the process. The right person will make sure you have a smooth experience. If the agency you have hired isn’t willing to help you with the project’s scope, or is dodging important deadlines, you should revisit your search, and find someone who will meet your high expectations.

When you make that initial call to your Shopify expert, it is important you make the most of your time. This initial business call or meeting will set the tone for the rest of your professional relationship. Don’t be afraid to dig into the nitty-gritty. If possible, you should set up a presentation with important information, like how you want your site to look and what important deadlines you want to set. Laying this information out on the table will help the expert set up their own work calendar.

Communication is the Key

To ensure your project goes smoothly, it is important to keep the conversations flowing. Up front, you should let your Shopify expert know exactly what you expect through the entire process. During the next few months, follow up with your expert. Ensure they are meeting specific milestones and set dates on your timeline. Ask if they need anything from you to help their work go more smoothly.

Throughout the project, you should check in with the expert during different stages of production. You can give feedback each time, to make sure your imagination is coming to life. The way you want your website to look could change during the first few months of your company starting up. Make sure you are effectively communicating these changes to your Shopify expert so they can add those new details. Giving the expert visual examples, including screenshots or links to websites you like, will ensure they see your vision too. After all, they aren’t mind readers.

Wrapping up the Project

Nearing the end of a project is an exciting feeling. You are so close to the results you and your Shopify expert have been working on for weeks or months. During this time, it is important to look back at your timeline. Ensure all the pieces you want from the project are complete. It may be a good idea also to set up an “end of the project” checklist. Double check with your Shopify expert to ensure all key tasks and handoffs are completed. You want to make sure you will be able to maintain their great work, even after your company no longer employs the expert.

Final Thoughts

When starting out, bringing the right people onto your team makes all the difference in the world. One lazy employee can make your business fall flat, while a great employee can make it shine. By hiring a Shopify expert, you are taking the risk out of that coin flip. Experts bring a level of maturity to a new company, so you can rise to the level of success you have always dreamed of.

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