Starting an Online Business? Don’t Make These Mistakes
If you’ve decided that the best way to make your millions is by setting up shop online, then you need to know that it isn’t just a matter of setting up a website and then sitting back as the money rolls in. Starting an online business is very hard work, and it is by no means certain that you will be a success.
Of course, many people do start successful online businesses, and that is because they know what they are doing from the off, which means that they don’t make the following huge mistakes and neither should you if you want your new venture to thrive…
Not Having a Plan of Action
Just because your business is online, doesn’t mean you can afford to treat it less seriously than a bricks and mortar business. You still need to have a solid business plan, and you most certainly need to do your market research before you even think about investing in a new venture. If you don’t have a plan of action, you don’t know who you’re targeting, and you don’t have any goals you want to achieve, chances are you’ll bumble along aimlessly not being very successful at all, so don’t make that mistake.
Sweating the Small Stuff
Of course, if you want to be a great entrepreneur, then details do matter, but when you’re just starting out, it’s better to focus on the bigger picture than it is to spend hours tweaking the layout of your website, for example. For any business to be successful, it needs to get off the ground, and if you’re so focused on the little things, you might never get to that all-important launch date.
Not Worrying About the Legalities
A lot of would-be online entrepreneurs have been thwarted by not even considering the legal aspects of doing so. They think that because they’re online, anything goes and that is far from the case, So, do your research, and if necessary talk to a legal professional from Slater Heelis, who specialises in corporate law, to ensure that you are staying on the right side of the law. The last thing you want is to be sued or arrested when all you’re trying to do is make a living!
Not Being Concerned About Money
When you’re starting an online business, it’s good to take a sunny attitude to most aspects of your venture – being optimistic will help you to get through the inevitable struggles you face – but you should not be overly optimistic about the money side of thing. The truth is that most startups, on and offline will experience periods where money is extremely tight, if there is any money at all, and you need to be prepared for this; you need to know how much money you have, how long it is realistically likely to last and how you can keep your cash flowing come what may. Don’t wait until you’re running on empty to try and raise the funds you need!
Not Valuing Your Products Highly Enough
A lot of newbies to the online entrepreneur arena make the awful mistake of trying to undercut the competition at any cost. This Leads to them vastly undervaluing their goods and services, which not only means that they simply aren’t making enough of a profit to maintain a viable business, but also that many of the people who look at their stuff do not end up buying because they are suspicious of such cheap prices. You need to strike a balance between value and affordability if you want your online business to thrive.
Neglecting Customer Service
One area that is often neglected online, but which really shouldn’t be, is that of customer service. Many founders think that because their business is being conducted online, it really does not matter, but good customer service is what sets you apart from the competition; it is what leaves a positive mark on your customers and keeps them coming back for more. So, take the time to plan and implement a really solid customer service section on your website.
Trying to be Everywhere on Social Media
As a new business, it will be very beneficial for you to operate on as many social media channels as possible, but that doesn’t mean that you have to get yourself on all of them now. Doing that could lead to you spreading yourself too thin and not making much of an impact anywhere. So, to start with, make a business account on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, which are typically better at driving sales, and then expand into other areas as and when you have the time.
Employing the Wrong People
If you’re going to be employing staff to help you in the running of your business, one of the worst mistakes you could make is hiring rashly. If you’re more concerned about filling the roles fast than you are about finding the right person, although it might be ok for now – you’ll get the assistance you need – it is likely to cause problems further down the line when it becomes clear that your employees aren’t quite right for the job and you have to either put up with them, retrain them or find a way to fire them. No, it is much easier to do your recruiting right from the start.
Underestimating the Effort, It Takes
So many people look to the internet as a means of making money because they think that it will be easier than trying to set up business in the ‘real world.’ Those people are very wrong. It takes just as much, if not more, effort to make an impact on the web, where there is so much competition, which if you’re doing it just because you think you’ll have an easy ride, you probably shouldn’t be setting up business at all.
Not Being Original
If you want to build a successful online empire, you really do need to do something different. There’s no point being the millionth person to start selling the same old band t-shirts, for example, when you’ll be fighting an uphill struggle to get noticed. So, do something different if you want to succeed.
Avoid these mistakes, and online success can be yours!