Creating a successful online business takes determination and hard work. Entrepreneurs should focus on developing trust with the target audience and providing solutions for their needs. Today, many online businesses are failing due to simple mistakes that could be avoided. Some common mistakes include selling too many things at once, and expecting too much within a short time.
Many first-time online entrepreneurs have the notion that creating social media pages, posting their products, and sharing them with their friends is bound to bear them instant success and lots of money. It is usually not the case. More often than not, the average social media user does not invest time in laying a strong strategy to help them garner many followers. As a result of this, they are likely to notice that posting their products yields zero returns.
Entrepreneurs should provide value to enhance their online presence. This happens through studying the audience. This enables you to provide them with content that resonates with both potential and targeted customers. Invest in target customers through commenting, liking, sharing, and following their posts on social media. It plays a huge role in building concrete relationships. Avoiding the following mistakes can enhance an entrepreneur's success in their online businesses.
1. Emphasizing small stuff
Experts advise first-time entrepreneurs to ensure their businesses get off the ground. Entrepreneurs often waste precious time worrying about the design of their logos, or what their business cards look like. Focusing on more relevant factors will bear positive results. For instance, entrepreneurs can promote their products by posting relevant content to assist the target audience, as opposed to promoting the products themselves. Entrepreneurs who specialize in selling fitness products, for example, can gain customers by posting inspirational fitness quotes, or giving tips on weight loss.
To make product promotion more effective, entrepreneurs can give their followers discounts. This strategy is sure to convince them to buy. Remember to engage the audience and build a relationship with them. It makes them like and trust you. Many people out there offer similar products - you need to stand out to give the target audience a concrete reason to choose you over their competitors. Focus on creating brand awareness first, and you may notice long-term positive results.
2. Failure to have a Plan of Attack
Online entrepreneurs do not necessarily need an official business plan to set up, it is crucial to have a plan of some sort. According to a business software and plan expert, many entrepreneurs are of the opinion that coming up with a business plan is hard - but thinking ahead is crucial for success. Old-school business plans are becoming obsolete as the world welcomes more versatile business plan software. A marketer at a particular software company reiterates that entrepreneurs no longer need numerous paged business plans to succeed. If entrepreneurs know who their customers are, let the customers know what they are selling, and how much they are ready to pay for their services and products they are selling, they will have taken major strides in the right direction.
3. Paying Little Attention to Money
Businesses often run out of money before they can make any. It is important to analyze the amount of money you have, and calculate how long it’s going to last. This enables you to plan well in advance, and so avoid the last minute rush to raise money. A good way to avoid financial constraints is to come up with a substantial financial plan. This plan should include all the anticipated milestones, and how much it will take to reach them.
4. Having Poor Customer Service
Whether customers go back to a website depends on the kind of experience they find there. With the increasing number of online business transactions, service providers are likely to show laxity on customer service. It is important to engage with the people visiting the site through emails, live chats, carrying out surveys, and phone calls. Make sure you monitor their reaction on social media networks. Read the reviews they give about the products to gauge their level of satisfaction.
5. Having Less Value for the Products and Services offered
There are many factors to consider before setting a product or service price. These include the cost of materials and labor. Entrepreneurs need to set their prices appropriately to ensure their products generate profit. These prices are subject to change as the business evolves, so stay on top of them.
6. Offering too much and getting little in return
While giving away free samples plays a role in converting leads into long-term customers, the cost of free items can build up. To avoid operating at a loss, entrepreneurs should come up with intangible yet effective ways of winning customers. These can include free e-books, instructions, motivational articles, webinars, guides, or recipes.
7. Engaging in Numerous Social Media Platforms
Many young entrepreneurs join numerous social media platforms in the hope that they will reach a wider coverage. Contrary to that belief, this may be draining. Testing on one or two social platforms can help build strong relationships while gauging the audience’s reception. Do not spend too much on advertising at the beginning. Currently, Pinterest and Facebook provide entrepreneurs with the ideal platform to market their products, and connect with their audience. There are many other free social networks which entrepreneurs can take advantage of for the success of their products and services. Use different social sites to achieve different results. For instance, use LinkedIn to build a business personality, repurpose content, and develop a brand.
8. Lacking Determination
Entrepreneurs who want to succeed should pay attention to their work/life balance. Huge ideas are less likely to come about when you’re managing every minute of your time. Neither do they come when you’re trying to multitask. Rather, they come when you make up your mind to concentrate on one thing, and drive it to fruition.
9. Hiring too Early
Many entrepreneurs are excited to hire a workforce to scale up their business. While this may seem like a good thing, it can plunge the business into various risks such as hiring staff that are incompatible with business needs, staff who lack commitment, or whose personalities do not match the culture of the organization. Before embarking on the hiring process, take the time to identify people whose skills and qualities match expectations. The first five people an entrepreneur hires determine the direction the business is likely to take.
10. Assuming a particular strategy works for all businesses
The fact that a certain strategy has worked for certain companies is not a guarantee that the same will work for another. Social networks today are filled with numerous success stories whose credibility may be questionable. It is important to carry out sufficient research to establish how authentic a certain strategy is before trying it out. Also, the cheaper and less resource-risky a strategy is, the better.
11. Comparing yourself with Competitors
Making competitor comparisons is healthy. It enables entrepreneurs to know how to apply different strategies to remain relevant. However, a constant comparison can make some entrepreneurs, especially first-timers, feel dejected and less successful. To avoid this, you should avoid comparison by unsubscribing from social networks which seem to push success down their throats.
Starting out in business is not an easy task. Many people beginning today are probably wishing for the day it becomes exciting and profitable. Every day in business comes with different opportunities. Even though success may take longer than anticipated, with determination, patience, and a proper strategy, it is bound to come.
Are you a successful entrepreneur who started from scratch? Do you have any advice for those just starting out? We would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.