Running an online business starts with solving a problem or need and building your business credibility. However, what really makes your online business, success is how you manage every element of the business. The majority of the people who are running an online business fail largely because of mistakes. To increase your shot at success, avoid these ten mistakes when running an online business.
Avoid these 10 mistakes when running an online business
1. No Business Plan
Even before starting your online business, a business plan is highly important. It gives you a strong foundation and understanding of what your business is all about. You don’t really need an overly formal plan with long pages. Simply define your target audience, do market research, and plan your marketing strategies.
2. No Defined Target Audience
Part of your business plan is defining your target audience. So, let’s dig deeper into this. Your ideal customer shouldn’t be everyone. Know that your business isn’t going to fill the need of everybody. There are specific people who can best benefit your products or services. When you know who your target audience is, you can effectively find ways to market to them.
3. You’re Not Passionate about the Business
Starting online business calls for your commitment and dedication. But it’s hard to be committed to something you are not passionate about. Not having the enthusiasm for the business will make the learning process seem like homework. It will be harder for you to put your best efforts into the business. Moreover, if you’re selling products you’re not passionate about, it will eventually show in your quality control, customer service, and so on.
4. Expecting for Quick Returns in Little Time
Any type of business isn’t always profitable during the first year. Running an online business takes a lot of time, planning, and effort. Even Amazon experienced a loss of profit in their first year. Despite being in the e-commerce business since 1994, they didn’t make a huge profit until 2003.
5. Giving Away Too Much
Offering some products or services for free can lead to more customers and increase in conversion, especially for start-up businesses. However, the cost of the products or services you’ve given away can add up, resulting in a loss of profit. So, when offering something, do it in exchange for something like the customer’s email address.
6. Ignoring customer service.
Although your business is online and you’re not face-to-face with your customers, this doesn’t mean that excellent customer service isn’t important. As a matter of fact, your customer service should be even better. Online transactions circle your reputation. Consumers are more likely to return to you after a great online shopping experience. Great customer service means easy to locate contact info, feedback system, and addressed questions or concerns.
7. Ignoring Negative Feedback
It may be tempting to only listen to your loyal fans and ignore those with negative feedback, but ignoring negative feedback is a big mistake. Know that there are benefits to negative feedback such as understanding your customers better, improving your product, and developing your customer service. Many consumers put more trust in product feedback or reviews than personal recommendations. By attending to negative feedbacks, you’re demonstrating that you care about their experience with your product or service.
8. Having an Unreliable Webhost
In online business, time is money. Site downtime and failures mean the loss of revenue. Customers shop anytime, so your site should be working 24/7. Make sure to research on reliable web hosts before choosing your provider. Understand what type of hosting is more appropriate for your online business.
9. Not Coming Up with a Unique Value Proposition
A unique value or selling proposition is the perceived benefit of your services or products. It differentiates you from your competitors, as well as persuades the people to choose your product. You do this by constructing a unique selling point. It can be your free returns with no questions asked or your discounts. You have to stand out from the rest.
10. Forgetting about Discipline
Being your own boss is great, but this doesn’t mean that since you own your time, you won’t need discipline. When running your own online business, you have to manage yourself to be efficient. Remember that the success of your business relies on how hard you work. With no one to blame but yourself. So, plot your schedule, timeline of tasks to finish, follow up on your employees (if you hired some people), and be fully in-charged of your business.