Depending on the study you find, you’ll learn that most online startups fail. The numbers differ from one study to another, but the cruel truth is that failure is right up there with entrepreneurship. So why do people still do it? After all, millions of new startups pop up worldwide each year!
As it turns out, failure is part of learning. So, by learning from the mistakes you or others have made, you increase your chances for success in your next venture. Considering this, below I listed some of the easiest mistakes to make when you’re just starting online.
Not Making a Detailed Business Plan
This may be the number one mistake most new businesses make (not just the ones that plan on developing in the online environment). The idea of a well-drafted business plan is scary because the mind goes to a big, dusty manuscript. So, instead of thinking like an entrepreneur and plan for success, the future of your business becomes more like homework. This is boring and makes you want to avoid it.
Don’t make the formal business plan unless you truly need to present your idea to potential investors. If it’s just you and your idea, make a more relaxed sketch of how you envision the business’s development.
It’s crucial to know who your customers are, why they need your product/service, and the price they are willing to pay for it. A business plan is also a great financial tool, as it gives you an idea on available funds for long-term.
Not Choosing the Right Platform
In the online business world, it’s easy to get lost in platforms and designs, templates and other similar concepts. As a result, you may end up choosing a platform based on price (the cheapest) instead of choosing one based on features and scalability options.
Take the plan we discussed above and identify two things:
- The features that matter for your site now (eCommerce possibilities, integrated blog, integrated SEO, and more);
- The most important developments you may want in the near future.
Once you have these, it’s easy to select a platform that fits your needs. While it may be a bit more expensive, on the long-term it will be worth it.
Not Having a Budget for Marketing
This tends to happen less nowadays when entrepreneurs understand the power of marketing a lot better, but it still is a thing. There is also the mistake of investing too much in marketing, too soon. In both situations, you won’t get any useful results and your business may be in danger.
First, know that marketing is crucial to any business. This is the process that tells people your business exists, and it can solve their needs. Second, understand that you need to target your marketing efforts. In the online world, it’s extremely easy to spread the budget too thin by using every social media channel known to man.
Keep things smart and test your online marketing channels before investing too much, too fast.
Not Hiring Professionals
With so many DIY platforms for sites, logos, newsletters, and more, it’s easy to believe you can cut down on costs by doing everything yourself. However, professional web programmers and designers exist and are paid extremely well for a reason.
According to this resource on starting an online business, the secret to a successful startup stands in knowing who to hire and when. This means doing in-depth research before making a hiring decision. It’s crucial that you know your needs and have an idea of the process required to fulfill them!
Not Paying Attention to User Experience on Your Site
An online viewer only needs a few seconds to decide if they’ll stay on your page or move on to the competition. Therefore, UX is of high importance in the online business, but many business owners seem to forget about it.
Please notice that there’s a difference between UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface). UX makes the time spent on the site pleasurable by providing quick and easy access to controls, providing a logical structure, and keeping the user engaged.
Build for the user. However, in order to do this, you will have to know who your users are. Armed with this information, you’ll know the type of devices they prefer, their expectations from a site, and more.
The conclusion to get from this list is that you may end up making some mistakes of your own, but it’s important to identify them and search for solutions. After all, being an entrepreneur is all about learning to stand on your own feet, searching for a path that works for your ideas. Mistakes do happen, but if you keep your business in check and analyze your progress (or step back), you can learn and grow.