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Everyone dreams about starting their own online business. Not only does it give you the freedom to be your own boss, but you have the convenience of working from home.
Unfortunately, a lot of people who try starting online businesses do not take them as seriously as they should. They think an online business is not like a regular brick-and-mortar business and does not require as much preparation or planning. With this kind of ignorant mentality, it explains why over 90% of new online businesses end up failing after the first 4 months.
Customers do not just magically come to a website or e-commerce page because it is published on the internet. There is a lot of planning, marketing, research, strategizing and hard work required. This is what so many aspiring online business owners fail to understand.
The main difference between an online business and brick-and-mortar business is the location. Every other aspect of these businesses is still mostly the same. You need to treat it no differently than if you were opening a physical store somewhere in your town or city.
To emphasize this point further, below are the 5 main reasons why an online business might fail. If you can avoid falling into these traps, then perhaps your online business will be a success.
No Business Plan
You cannot form a new business without first creating a business plan. It doesn’t matter if you are opening an ice cream shop in town, a medical accountant practice, or an e-commerce website on the internet.
A business plan outlines every detail of our business. You’ll be able to research and determine your target audience, income projections, expense sheet, main objective, etc. Without a business plan, you will just be “winging it” the entire time you run the business.
This is a sure formula for failure. A business plan helps you manage your business effectively so that it is run efficiently and you do not make careless mistakes or decisions along the way.
A One Person Operation
New business owners frequently make the mistake of thinking that they can run their entire business themselves. If you take on all the important tasks like marketing, customer service, web design, product creation, service rendering, and so on, then you are going to overwhelm yourself.
Your level of performance in each of these jobs will be less than satisfactory. For this reason, look to delegate and get extra help to fill these positions and these people take on these tasks. You can start out hiring one or two people and then hire more as your business grows.
Lack of Commitment
Many people contemplate starting a business someday, but few actually take action and make it happen. If they do, they often lack the drive and motivation to really see it through and make their business a success.
This is especially true when it comes to online businesses. People may start a website and call it a business without doing anything else. It is easy to forget about an online business because it is only seen in cyberspace.
It is not like a physical storefront where you must worry about big expenses like a lease and utilities. So, try to develop a full commitment to your online business. That way, you will not stop working hard no matter how successful it is.
Making it a Personal Project
Any business that you start should not be a personal project in which you are only trying to satisfy yourself. Your business needs to focus on making your target audience happy. Keep the website content relevant to the products and services that you’re selling.
Don’t make it too much about you unless you’ve created an “About Us” page. For instance, if you design your website with personal photographs of yourself and your family members on the homepage, then this does not really make your business look professional. Stay on topic and focus only on business content.
Copying Other Successful People
So many aspiring business people fall into this trap of failure. They will find someone successful, whom they admire, and then try to duplicate that person’s success. Don’t misunderstand this because there is nothing wrong with being competitive in the same market.
But you need to be original with your business ideas and not steal someone else’s ideas. Otherwise, people in the industry will find out and then everyone will know that what you are selling is not original. They will just think of what you’re selling as a cheap (or expensive) knockoff of the other company’s products or services.
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