10 Mistakes New Online Business are Prone to Make

SoftwareSuggest

SoftwareSuggest

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: April 13, 2021

In his mission to inspire trying entrepreneurs, Adam Osborne claimed that “the most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect”. Though this is undeniably true, the following 10 mistakes have cost many online business owners a certain shot at success.

According to a myriad of different sources, more than 90% of all internet-based startups end up right where they started within the first 120 days. In between poorly set priorities, inexistent research, fear of failure, and mere lack of commitment.

Here are the most frequent mistakes they’ve made.

1. Having No Clear Business Strategy

An incredible number of new business owners forget this simple truth. Out of excitement, creative ignorance, or something third, they base their new companies not upon plans, but upon speculations.

No wonder they fail! Apart from game-changing ideas, succeeding in business requires clear priorities, frameworks for strategic decision-making, and ways of measuring success. Make sure you have them in place from day one, since it’s strong foundations that determine how high a company will climb.

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2. Waiting Too Long to Launch

While some fail because they leap into the unknown, others are doomed to the same destiny because they are too afraid to leap at all. These are the types of entrepreneurs who manifest perfectionism so hopelessly that it prevents them from putting any plan into action, no matter how brilliant it may be.

If your tendencies are no different from theirs, try to avoid micromanagement from the very start. Do your research, develop a sound business strategy, but don’t wait for everything to be perfect. Launch as soon as everything looks solid, or don’t launch at all. You’ll have plenty of time for fine-tuning later.

3. Failing to Plan for the Long-Term

The first draft of a business plan should include everything from financial strategy to customer success, since all of these aspects equally contribute to how well a company is received by its target audience. They will seal your spot on the market for the time being, but short-term doesn’t suffice for success.

You need to think bigger, and you need to start thinking that way while you’re still small. Future businesses development should be part of your plans as well, at least in the form of a rough draft. Long-term planning is about goal-setting – you need to know where you’re going before you take off.

4. Trying to Do it All by Yourself

Nearly all successful business owners are multi-skilled people, but that’s not the most important difference between them and their less successful peers. What sets them apart is not some kind of superpower, but an ability to recognize when to pass the torch and entrust others with their tasks.

Instead of insisting on doing it all on your own, hire knowledgeable people and train them to be as good as you. Seek advice when you need it, and ask for a helping hand when your schedule becomes too busy to manage everything at once. Soon, you’ll discover all the amazing benefits of outsourcing.

5. Improvising your Brand Message

A proper branding strategy unlocks many doors in the online business world but nowhere is it more important than in the online sphere. The market is there, saturated for years now, and the only companies that make it are the ones that aren’t afraid to be bold, different, and unique.

Take your time with branding, since it will define you for years to come. It’s one of the aspects of launching a business in which all the tiny details count, starting from the shapes and colours of a logo and concluding with a brand narrative that conveys your message, your culture, and your unique value.

6. Not Knowing What your Customers Want

Though it’s a given that there’s no proper branding strategy without a 360-degree view of your ideal buyer persona, a surprising number of entrepreneurs choose to overlook the crucial importance of precise audience targeting and segmentation. Know your customers, and they’ll love you for that.

The rule of thumb here is to put yourself in their shoes. Start off your day as they would, read the content they would be interested in, and browse products they would buy. This will give you some basic understanding of who they are and what they need. For everything else, use cutting-edge tools.

7. Not Researching your Competition

Putting yourself in your potential customers’ shoes will help you avoid another frequent mistake – the lack of competition research. Having confidence in your products and services is one thing, but staying ignorant of your competitors’ strengths is something entirely different. Never underestimate them.

How else would you know what price to offer, which channels of communication to use, or how to define your unique selling point? Besides, competition is nothing to be afraid of – if your business idea is good, you’ll probably discover an oversight or an empty spot on the market to call your own.

8. Not Doing your Best with Online Marketing

online marketing

Online marketing rules the online business world, it’s as simple as that. No other way of promoting your brand is as foolproof as internet advertising, especially if your target audience prefers to consume their content and purchase their products and services through digital channels.

Start with content marketing, and branch from there. Great content drives engagement across all platforms, be it your own website, somebody else’s blog, social media, or email. It’s also time-consuming, so make sure to either develop an effective in-house team, or outsource to a professional.

9. Staying Ignorant of New Tech Solutions

Both audience targeting and marketing campaigns require some help from automation, but luckily there are a plethora of great tools available on the market. Though not all of them are free, they are all a sound investment into the future. And, there’s a great solution for each area you’ll need to cover.

Customer relationship management systems, business process management systems, and computerized maintenance management systems are the most comprehensive tools you can get your hands on, and the ones that will rapidly transform your daily operations and long-term development.

10. Underestimating the Power of Discipline

Still, the biggest and most covert mistake that can creep up on you as a new-fangled online business owner is to lower your guard and to start underestimating the importance of commitment and discipline. The more successful you become, do more you’ll need to stay on top of your game.

If you think launching an online business is hard, think about the challenges you’ll face once your company is up and running.  Stay calm, but focused – in the months to come, you’ll need both a clear head and a sharp mind for achieving everything you’ve yet to accomplish. Whatever you do, be disciplined about it.

It’s true that mistakes are the greatest teachers, but that only applies until they ruin you for good. With that in mind, the great Warren Buffett said: “It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes”. Learn from the previous 10 ones, and you’ll achieve greatness.

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