5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Starting an Online Business

Friday, June 15, 2018, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Launching an online business starts with creating an awesome site, filling the market demand, and building a stellar online reputation.

However, these are not the only factors that will make your business a smashing success. Namely, many entrepreneurs get carried away with their business idea and start sweating little stuff, failing to address some critical points that may make or break their startup.

So, to boost your shot at success, here are 5 most common mistakes you should avoid when starting an online business.

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid when Starting an Online Business

  1. Not Having a Strong Business Plan

    To nudge your online business idea in the right direction, you need to make strategic decisions.

    You need to know who your target audience is. Do a detailed target audience segmentation and create buyer personas.

    By knowing what their major problems, needs, and preferences are, you will be able to market your products to them effectively.

    Second, you need to know who your rivals are. This way, you will set competitive prices, see who their target audience is and what their most effective marketing strategies are.

    Finally, you need to understand the industry you’re entering to be able to adapt your prices, products, and offers to its demands.

  2. Not Securing your Funds on Time

    Even if you believe that bootstrapping is going to be enough for you to launch your online business, you need to keep in mind that your expenses will constantly rise.

    In other words, the chances are your personal funds won’t be enough to cover all your initial costs. And, this is actually one of the major reasons why startups go out of business in the first few years.

    To avoid this, you need to secure your finds on time. If committing yourself to a bank loan still frightens you (for a good reason), there are other, less risky options you should consider.

    For starters, ask your friends and family to back you. If this is still not enough for you to launch your business, you should consider taking out start up business loans, looking for angel investors, or applying for government grants.

    There are also numerous awesome crowdfunding platforms, where you can spread the word about your business idea and inspire people to invest in it.

  3. Not Investing enough in Social Media

    Social media is growing at an astonishing rate and the chances are that the majority of your potential customers are already there.

    So, when promoting your business, you cannot afford to ignore these channels. Social media marketing gives you an amazing opportunity to target the right people and figure out what their expectations are.

    This is also a great place to start customer loyalty programs, share your content and social proof, promote your deals, and provide exceptional customer support.

    You can even share fun gifs and videos and behind-the-scenes photos to humanize your brand and build stronger relationships with your customers.

  4. Not Hiring the Right People

    One of the major mistakes entrepreneurs make is rushing the hiring process. This is why they usually end up hiring people that don’t have the skillset that meets their business needs or that are not committed to their company’s mission.

    So, during the hiring process, make sure you surround yourself with the right people that possess the skills you don’t have.

    Aside from their experience, you should also make sure that they are the right fit for your team and that their personality and dedication can help you build a unique corporate culture.

    Always keep in mind that your first employees seal your business’ fate.

    Apart from hiring the right employees, it’s imperative to apply the same thought pattern when choosing other business associates and assistants. No need to do all the heavy lifting yourself, instead hire some of the best virtual assistant services so that you can focus on what matters most.

  5. Ignoring Customer Support

    Today, the number of online businesses is rising. So, to stay competitive, you need to provide your customers with exceptional customer support. You should make sure you find an effective way to interact with your target audience.

    Here are a few examples you may find useful:

    • Answer their emails and calls regularly.

    • Send out interactive emails instead of annoying newsletters.

    • Use social media listening tools to track your brand mentions and give real-time feedback.

    • Implement chatbots with your site and social networks to be available to your customers 2/7 and help them solve any problems instantly.

    • Ask your customers to take your survey so you can see what they think of you and tailor your approach to their needs.

    • Don’t forget to feature your site on all major business review platforms and regularly track your customers’ comments there.

Launching an Online Business is Hard. Are You Ready for It?

No matter what niche you’re entering, starting an online business is hard. But, if you build a solid business plan and detect your major problems on time, you will manage to overcome the most common obstacles startups face and survive.

Remember that, in the turbulent business world, success is individual. Just because a certain strategy worked for one startup doesn’t mean that it will work for you, too. So, be skeptical about everything you read and set smart goals that make sense for your business.

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