Starting an online business begins with filling a need and building credibility, but the factors that go into making your online business a smashing success don’t stop there.
For years you’ve played with the idea of starting an online business. You’ve read all of the books and tried a lot of things, and now, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to move forward with your plans and are ready to start your very own online business.
There isn’t a better time than now to start an online. But before you jump on board, you should be aware that majority of people starting their online business fail due to common mistakes that they make.
10 Mistakes Made When Starting an Online Business
If you can avoid these mistakes, you have a great chance of making your online business a success.
A Website is not a Business
One of the mistakes made when starting an online business is that people think that having a website means they’re in business. [Tweet “”A website is not a business””].
If you’ve read one of my books on Oasdom.com – titled “How to Make Money Online – The 3 Proven Ways’, I emphasized that just having a website doesn’t mean you have an online business. Here’s is an extract:
“A website is a platform or hub for sharing your ideas, connecting with people and growing an audience. A website is a “place of business”.
If you do not do everything necessary to build a business, there’s no point building an unvisited site or blog that earns nothing. Giving away free content isn’t a business. It’s a way of building influence.
You need a more direct plan for earning an income if you want your website to pay off and that is having something valuable to offer (a product or service)”.
All successful online business owners have one thing in common-“An audience” (customers) that pay attention to what they say, follows their recommendations, has similar interests, and perhaps most importantly, buys what they sell.
Most newbies in starting an online business make this deadly mistake. They pay huge funds to build up professional websites and think they’re in business.
The audience is the asset, not the website and I think it is necessary you know how exactly creating an online business works and how you can start yours.
Having the Wrong Expectations
Most people think that successful internet business owners got renown without paying the price for success. Hello o, they worked for every bit of it.
There is no such thing as an overnight success. When you are starting an online business, or any business for that matter, you have to be realistic in terms of how much work it is going to take to get it to where you want it to be.
You won’t be able to start an online business while doing some other things that won’t directly contribute to your success. If you think that you will be able to do it with only 2 hours of work a week, you will probably fail.
Just like every offline business requires hard work, commitment, and a clear marketing strategy, an online business needs you to be dedicated to improving every day.
So ask yourself; are you ready to do the tasks? If you can answer with a deep level of sincerity, you will know what’s ahead of you.
You can also talk to some entrepreneurs who have achieved the level of success that you want to reach and find out what it took them to get there.
Then ask yourself if you are prepared to do the same. You have to know what the journey looks like before you start or else, you’ll end up stuck in the middle, isn’t it?
Solving an Unimportant Problem
Would you buy something you know doesn’t solve the slightest bit of your problem?
You wouldn’t do that. So, do you think people will buy your product if it doesn’t solve their problems or add value to them? We both know the answer.
A major cause of businesses failing is because they do not offer a product or service that people really care about. If your business is attempting to solve a problem, then value follows, and with value there is a price.
Why else would someone buy a product? They need it to enhance their lives. If your product doesn’t accomplish that, then you need a rethink. So this is what your business goal should look like:
Building a business around what you don’t care about
You need to have a deep subject knowledge, unwavering stamina and unending creativity on anything you choose to focus on. There will be competition from others who cares more about the topic than you do.
How can you compete if the gap between your love of a topic and your competitors’ is wide?
This doesn’t mean your business has to be your #1 “passion” or life’s work (most of us don’t have one single passion in life), but don’t make things impossible by choosing something you don’t care about.
Related: How to discover your passion in 5 easy steps
If you love your topic, stamina won’t be an issue. If you love your topic, creativity will flow, and influence will be easier to build. Let it be passion that motivates everything you do. So I’m going to put it to you straight; No passion, No successful Business.
Not being different
Why should people choose to buy from your business instead of others?
If your competitor is selling a product that is exactly like or similar to yours, then you have to give your potential customers a reason to choose your business instead of theirs.
Why is that? In most markets, consumers have a number of different options to choose from.
While you may have a product or service that is the best being offered, being better is a subjective term. You want to make sure that you are different.
It may require taking another means or channel to deliver your product or service or some other things. You just need to be outstanding among other standing competitors in the same line of business.
Starting an online business can be a very rewarding venture. While it requires a lot of work and it will take some time to grow.
With the right plan and understanding of how the market works and what consumers want, you can ultimately find yourself running a very successful online store.
Be different so that people can see you more clearly from the crowd.
Not knowing your target audience
Who is your customer?
One important every entrepreneur must answer is “Who are your customers?” What are their needs and what do they complain about? Understanding your customers, is another major factor for success of your online business.
Whose problem you want to solve gives you knowledge of what to work on.
You must research your niche of focus when starting out, using tools like Google keyword planner to know the size of the market for your business and how paying the market it. If there are no customers, then no business.
Not understanding what you’re actually selling
This is really important. Helena Rubinstein, a self-made female millionaire, didn’t become rich selling face cream; she became rich selling beauty. (“There are no ugly women,” she used to say, “only lazy ones”.)
If your new business is going to be successful, you need to know what you’re actually selling and craft your USP (Unique Selling Points) accordingly.
So for example, if you’re into fashion, you need to know if its brand you’re selling or just ordinary wears.
Not investing in marketing
If what you intend to do is just build a website and sit back, you’re not just ready for business. “Build it, they will come” – another of those popular sayings that doesn’t actually work. Who will come where? And for what?
If you have no plans to market your business, you’re aiming to build an unvisited business or website. Far too many small businesses are reluctant to spend any money on marketing, let alone a significant amount.
Free marketing can be excellent – but most free marketing strategies take a significant amount of time before they become effective.
Social media is not free, to do it properly takes unbelievable amounts of time, and it’ll typically take six months to a year before you’ve got even slight momentum–it’s not fast.”
You need to create a marketing plan, set up some marketing campaigns and keep doing it if you want your business to be successful. You can even market your business before you open it.
Trying to do everything yourself
To be honest, there are times where you’ll need helping hands. You’ll need to hire the right people to get your business online, like a web designer or graphics designer.
Just because it’s your business doesn’t mean that you have to do everything alone. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible that you will be able to get your business online all by yourself. You need a team.
Between the time, various skills and stress involved, you will have to bring in some other people to get your business up and running. And, there’s no shame in outsourcing these people as long as you are the driving force behind the brand.
Let’s quickly talk about the last one on the list, which is thinking and not doing.
Thinking and not doing
The world is full of smart people. They are too busy, thinking, planning, crafting the strategies, but they never start!
They talk and talk about starting an online business for a very long time and still, for some reasons, do not start.
If you want to start an online business, you don’t need to get everything in a day, you need the important things. Not starting is perhaps the biggest mistake of all.
It’s easy to get so worried about all the possible mistakes that you’ll make when you get started but not starting from somewhere is the only way to guarantee failure.
Starting an online business takes guts and intelligence and heart and hustle — but you can finish ONLY if you start.
The best way to ensure you’ll succeed is simply this; don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process. So dive in, get started and find a community to support you… because you are not alone.
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