Millions of people start new online business every year, and in the first five years, most of them fail. The mistakes made are often the same ones and here we are looking at some of them for you to avoid so that your online business is a success.
Topics: online business, mistakes
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Waiting Too Long
Don’t just keep talking about your new online business while doing nothing to get it off the ground. People will be pleased for you when you first start talking about it but leave it too long and they will not believe it is ever going to happen.
Some businesses start a blog or a social media page and think that they need a certain amount of followers before they launch their product. This is totally the wrong thing to do. Followers, who are waiting for the product to go on sale, will start to look elsewhere if you do not so as you have said.
Some people only ever talk about their idea, because they are scared that it will not be well received. It really should be a case of trying it to find out, or your business will never get off the ground. What a lot of time you will have wasted building up your connections. Make the most of them, and if they do not like what you have produced, at least you may know how you can alter it to make it more palatable.
The old saying ‘if you don’t succeed, try, try again’ is an important point, and is exactly what you should do.
Don’t be a prolonger, be a doer and then you are far more likely to be successful.
Not Ensuring Your Product Solves a Problem
If your product solves a problem, its popularity will soon spread and you will not have to search for customers. For instance, if you came up with a cure for a serious illness that has perfectly natural ingredients, customers would be lining up to buy it. If you find a product that allows people to speak in one language, but be understood in different languages, you would have them queuing at your door.
Solving a problem that matters to your target audience is the secret of success, as if no one cares about the problem you are trying to solve, they will not bother with your website. If the product you are selling does not solve a problem at all, it needs to be different in some other way. Selling the same thing as hundreds of other online sites will make it almost impossible to build a successful business.
Your customers are the best way of finding how you should be moving forward with your business, and you should make sure you listen to them carefully. Never assume that you know more than they do, as if they have had the problem they are hoping you will solve for a while, they are probably more acquainted with it than you.
Of course, it is great to get positive comments but the ones you should be making a special effort with are not these. Listen to the people who are not happy with your product and find out why. The comments from these customers can be much more useful to you, and help you to make more of a success of your business. Always thank them for the points they have made, and let them know that you are taking notice of what they have said. This will help to build trust, and that is a crucial element of a successful online business.
Not Securing Your Systems
One of the worst things that can happen for any new online business if for their systems to fail. If, for instance, you’re hacked and a nasty virus gets into your system, or you have a problem with electrics and all your systems fail, anyone wanting to contact you is not going to have much luck, even if you call the emergency electrician/ IT expert in fast (which you should), it does not take many hours of this situation for them to think you have stopped trading, and then they will go and look elsewhere.
It is important to secure your systems so that if something like this happens you are minimizing downtime and even more important, making sure no data is lost.
Regular backups of your data are vital, as is having a good anti-virus program and constantly updating all the software you use. It is tempting when you are first starting to use the cheapest programs that you can find. This is not always the best answer though, as often the better known, although more expensive programs offer better security.
Choosing A Product You Do Not Care About
Starting any new business takes commitment, drive and determination. Those things do not come easily if you are selling a product you do not care about. Choose something you have an interest in. Whatever your business focuses on you will need a good knowledge of the product, to be creative and prepared to work really hard. This does not happen very easily unless you care or have an interest in the product you are marketing.
Consumers will relate to you more if they can see that you do really care, and the knowledge you will show will help to build trust in your brand. Trusting whoever you are buying from is a bonus for consumers, and when they find a business they can rely on they tend to stick with them.
You could be running this business for years, so you do not what the drudgery of having to sell products you do not care about.
Expecting Too Much Can Be Fatal
Start your business with your eyes wide open and be under no illusion that these things take time. Of course, you will see stories in the media of overnight successes, but they are very few and far between.
Most businesses take time to build, and you have to keep working hard and have patience while that is happening. Do not give up after a short while if you have not has as many sales as you hoped.
Consumers will often visit your website a few times before they buy from you or will have seen several of your social media posts. This shows them you intend to be around for a while, and they are then far more likely to purchase something from you.
Talk to other business people and ask them for honest answers about how long it took to get their business off the ground and running successfully. Most of them will have stories about how long it took, how they nearly gave up but decided to plod on, and how pleased they are that they did.
Spending Too Much Time Thinking
Earlier it was said that you should not just keep talking about your business but should get on with it. Thinking is pretty much the same. Instead of thinking you should be doing if you want your online business to be a success.
If you spend more time thinking than doing, you need to reverse that and make sure the opposite happens.
Being Afraid To Ask For Help
It can be very difficult trying to do everything to do with a new business yourself there is so much more involved than just selling your product. You need to know about marketing, social media management, accounts, bookkeeping and many other things you might have no skills in at all.
There are possibly people in your circle of friends and family that do have some of the knowledge you need, and you should never be afraid to ask them for help. Most times, they will willingly assist you to get your business up and running, but if you do not know a bookkeeper, a marketer or accountant, there is an alternative.
You can outsource the skills you do not have to freelancers. These are people that have experience in the field you need help in, but you only have to lay them for the work they complete, rather than employing them. In the early days of business, this can save you a lot of money and in fact, some businesses do this forever more as they do not want to be involved in the legal obligations that are associated with being an employer.
Just Get Started!
There will be challenges you have to face any problems you have to overcome, but it is more satisfying and fulfilling running your own business rather than working for someone else. There are people that think about being their own boss for years, but never do anything about it. Do not be one of these people, realize it is not going to be easy at the start, but just get on and do it.
The longer you leave it the harder it will be, and the picture you have built in your mind will be nothing like the reality that you see in front of you. The biggest mistake anyone can make is not starting their business at all, and that is the surest way to fail.
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