Today, anyone can start a successful company that will do its business only in the realm of the Internet. This means that the barriers to starting a business are low and a lot of people have tried it, but failed due to various mistakes that are obvious after they have been made. As any other business, starting an online venture requires building credibility and filling a need, but there are a lot more factors that may stand as an obstacle to reaching business success. These are the 10 common mistakes people make in running an online business.
1. Underestimating the passion, drive and obsession it takes to succeed
Focus on one thing and let other things fade to black. That is when great ideas come, not when you are multitasking or trying to manage every minute of your time. Do not worry about time, and in the first year or two you should forget about the work/life balance and its importance. Being passionate about your project and focusing on it is essential.
2. Wasting too much energy on the little stuff
As a business leader, you need to focus on tasks that will help your business get off the ground and propel it to the next level. Do not get stuck in the sea of details. Business founders should not waste their valuable time on things such as logo design or picking the best promotional material.
3. Ignoring customer service
It is essential for customers to have a good experience with your company, because then they are more likely to return. It is easy to forget that when business is conducted solely online, and not finding a way of interacting with your website visitors is a mistake. Also, use review sites to find out who is not satisfied with your product/service and reach out to them.
4. Not using the full potential of social media
In order to know your audience before you start off with building your brand and designing marketing strategies, test out one or two main social audiences. This is a great way to find out who your audience is and to build a customized one with a small budget. If you leverage the power of social media marketing, you can elevate your customer base and audience dramatically.
5. Skimping on early hires
Do not rush the hiring process to fill positions to quickly scale your business. You can easily bump into obstacles such as a mismatch in business needs and skillset, lack of commitment to the company’s mission, or a personality that does not bode well with the culture. Hire people who embody the qualities you respect and do not have.
6. Not having a plan of attack
A plan is always needed. It does not have to a formal business plan, but having a plan will help you on your way to success. Make a simple plan that will include information on what you are selling, who your customers are, and what people are willing to pay for your service or product.
7. Not worrying about money
Also, know how much money you have and what your alternative money sources are. If you do not have any, then find them, because they are invaluable in case your business starts going through some rough times. There is a big chance that your organization will run out of money before it makes any, so create a detailed financial plan to know how much it will take to reach your goals.
8. Not handling payments properly
Not everyone wants to use their credit card for making an online purchase. Thus, not offering an alternative payment option, such as employing a secure online payment service, your sales might not reach their peak. There are various payment platforms and networks, and digital wallet solutions for online and mobile use that are quite practical.
9. Thinking that everything is “one size fits all”
Do not try to copy other companies’ strategies to the letter. Every company is unique, and just because a strategy has worked for one company, does not mean that it will work for you. Always do product tests before making any crucial moves. This can be very important when running an eCommerce store, so make sure you choose a proper strategy for you. If you’re not sure what you should do there are many digital agencies which can help you in devising a strategy
10. Undervaluing what you are selling
After you consider all the factors that affect the price of your products or services, such as material costs and labor, set the price at what it needs to be in order to make a worthwhile profit. Continue adjusting your price points as your business evolves.
Starting a successful online business venture seems much easier compared to starting a real, land-based one, but don’t be tricked into thinking you got it easy. No matter what you do, starting any kind of a new business will demand constant effort, a lot of lateral thinking and problem solving along the way. If you do your diligence, you won’t need to fear anything, except yourself. It all depends on how bad you really want to be successful. Good luck!