We live in a world where more and more people are getting attracted towards opportunities that allow them to be their own bosses rather than them having to work for someone else. In other words, the penchant for entrepreneurship has become stronger than ever. The question is- is launching a business really a good idea? The answer is “yes”, granted you know what you are getting into and aware of the common mistakes that budding entrepreneurs often make.
The following are 10 most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when they are starting out:
1. Starting with a Weak Team
There are so many things to manage in a business that it’s advisable you get as many pairs of hands as possible. However, you shouldn’t mistake quantity for quality.
If you want your online business to be successful, then you must leave no stone unturned in picking a team that comprises skilled, experienced, and reliable professionals. Remember- you need the best people to back you when challenges emerge. So, try you best and don’t settle.
2. Underestimating the Power of Branding
Many entrepreneurs think that branding is meant for large corporations that generate huge revenues. However, that’s merely a misconception. Not only branding is important for small businesses just as much as big ones, but also building a brand is more accessible than ever today. There are all kinds of online tools that even small businesses can use to build unique brand images and bring their products and services to bigger markets.
It’s understandable if you are passionate about your online business and want the best for it- best website, office space, employees, etc. However, it’s critical that you make decisions based on objective information rather than emotions. Unless you have a ton of money already, you want to save as much as possible. There are many practical ways to do that. For instance, you can buy used furniture and hardware for your office. You can also invest in online tools for basic office tasks like accounting, HR, etc. rather than hiring full-time employees that are likely to increase your costs considerably.
4. Ignoring the Competition
Rather than avoiding your rival online businesses, you should try to get as close to them as possible. What you need to do is study them, i.e. their products, customer service, website UX and UI, etc. After all, the market is limited, and the customers will either do business with your rivals or you. You just need to understand the things that they are doing right and implement the same in your business model. You can also learn from their mistakes and minimize the risk of failure for your business.
5. Using an Unprofessional Website
Just like a brick-and-mortar business needs to elevate the visuals of the shop/building to demonstrate professionalism, an online business must build a professional and premium website to attract the customers. Here, the website comprises everything- images, content, UI and UX, etc. So, make sure that you learn the key steps to building a great business website. If you have the budget, then you can also hire a professional to do the job for you.
6. Not Embracing Digital Marketing
Our world is increasingly becoming digital as smartphones, Internet, social media, etc. are reaching new heights of prevalence. So, it’s foolhardy to think that you can achieve your marketing goals without tapping into digital marketing. Besides, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, etc. are super easy to implement and also cheap.
7. Providing Poor Customer Service
Your business can only exist if you have customers to support it. It doesn’t matter how great your products are, if there is no one buying them, then it won’t take long for the business to become cash flow negative. So, make sure that you take measures to provide the best customer service possible. Feel free to read tips to improve customer service online. You will find a slew of them!
8. Not Establishing a Strong USP
There are all kinds of brands out there. Whether you sell apparels or cosmetics, home security devices or furniture, chances are that there is competition in the market. So, how do you stand out and attract the customers towards your store? For that, you need to work on your USP, i.e., Unique Value Proposition. For instance, it could be exceptional customer service for a product that requires it a lot, or it could be offering the best price in the market. Of course, you can be creative about it, and you should!
9. Not Identifying the Target Demographic
Unless you have a clear idea of who your customers are, you will waste a lot of time and money on poor-quality leads, i.e. individuals who are unlikely to need your products or services, i.e., who are not your customers at all. You also need to understand your customers better so that you can customize your marketing campaigns accordingly.
10. Limiting Your Network
You may not need a large number of contacts to run your business, but having a vast network can still help a lot. If you will take a closer look at some of the most successful businesses online, you will notice that they have various connections that help with word of mouth marketing and to build a positive brand image. So, you too can try connecting with some of the top influencers in your niche. If you are able to get some exposure in the market with them, then it can help your business a lot.
So, there you have it! Some of the biggest mistakes that online business owners often make. If you are able to avoid them all, then you can expect your business to grow faster than ever. Good luck!