It is the great American dream to quit an office job and establish an independent business. According to studies two-third of Americans dream of starting off their own ventures and becoming financially independent.
The internet has made it possible for millions of entrepreneurs to do that, however, sadly, due to a number of factors, startups tend to suffer from a very high mortality rate, and only three out of every ten make it past the ten-year mark, as per forbes.com.
If you want your online business to succeed, you need to avoid the typical mistakes that can make survival difficult. A quick rundown of the most common mistakes that owners of online businesses tend to commit;
Not Working To Your Own Strengths When Producing Online Content
Everyone knows the importance of content in online businesses. Content in both the web as well as social media can take the form of text, photos, infographics, videos, audio, presentations, etc. however, you should stick to what you can do well.
For example, if you are not good at making video films, you should probably give it to someone who is adept in shooting videos, editing, and narrating the story without stumbling or making errors.
You can instead, stick to what you know best, which could be writing or even designing infographics. Rather than wasting time in producing content that is not up to the mark, you should focus on generating content that will engage visitors and give you better page rankings.
Not Automating All That You Can
As an entrepreneur trying to make your online business grow, you will be hard pressed for time to do all the things that are necessary. Remember apart from marketing, you will be very busy refining the online operations and taking care of the backroom activities, including logistics.
If you can automate activities like lead capture, email response, email marketing, social media post publishing, sales funnel responses, as well as delivery of the products, you can free up your time considerably to focus on things that need your personal attention.
Not Outsourcing Activities outside Your Competence
Just as if you would have delegated tasks and responsibilities to your team members, you also need to outsource things that can be done better and more inexpensively by vendors.
Outsourcing can yield significant advantages because you can get the advantage of domain experts in virtually every aspect of running your business without having to employ lots of people. Customers, support, accounting, legal assistance, website design and maintenance, content generation and editing, etc. are all activities that can be done better by experts who would have been simply too expensive to hire individually full-time.
If you have already run up a lot of debt on your credit cards and think outsourcing to be unaffordable, you can consider consolidating your debt to improve your cash flow. Read up on debt consolidation reviews online to know more if this is feasible for you.
Not Paying Attention to New Product Creation
When you start off a new online business, typically you will have a relatively small product range. Within a little time, you will observe that some products are bestsellers while others move far less.
While you should try to find out the reasons behind the difference in sales, you should immediately start creating fresh content to boost the sales of the products that are finding ready acceptance.
You should also change your content strategy to support the products that are not moving so well. Most importantly, you need to realize that the product range needs to be refreshed continually so the focus on new product design should never falter.
Failing To Diversify the Income
It can be very encouraging to discover that some of your products are very successful and account for a large share of the revenue generation of the online business.
While you should do all that is possible to support these products and make them even more popular, it is important to develop other avenues of income to protect your business from going down in case there is a downturn in the business or some product issue that affects sales.
Creating different streams of income can insulate the business from adverse effects in any one particular operating environment and keep it stable. However, you should always try to develop the alternative income streams one by one because otherwise, you can end up spreading yourself too thin and making the exercise a failure.
Not Offering Multiple Price Points to the Customer
Not all customers are the same as far as their requirements go and also the amounts they are willing to spend. If you do not offer the product at various price points, you lose out on the opportunity of making sales.
Some customers may want smaller units while some may like to opt for the high-end premium varieties. By offering your products at multiple price points, you ensure that you have a product that is suited for every budget and the customer has no incentive to look at the competition.
A good example of multiple price points is car manufacturers who have models in their product range to suit customers, right from the entry level to the really high-end ones.
Not Engaging With Your Target Audience
Customer feedback is extremely important for the long-term sustainability of your online business. When you have taken the effort of generating customer feedback regarding every aspect of your product, pricing, availability, design, etc. you should make it a point to respond to every reaction expressed by the customer.
Ignoring customer response not only denies you the opportunity of improving your products and business operations but also fails to engage customers and lock them in.
when you engage customers, you are able to bond with them better, address and overcome the pain points of customers, and humanize your brand.
Succeeding in an online business is not easy. While your business model must be robust and address a real market demand, you also need to stay ahead of the competition by offering solutions, not just products. Most importantly, you need to avoid common mistakes that can jeopardize your sustainability.