So you’re getting set to get your online business to a better level in 2020?
As you probably know, running an online business is great.
A profitable online business can support you, give you some back up funds or even become your life saver.
Bu running an online business is not always a very easy. This is why according to Forbes, 8 out of 10 online businesses fail in their first 18 months.
Of course that’s not a wonderful stat up there but, that’s the grim truth.
In as much as online businesses are easier to set up and manage, there are decisions you’ll have to make, risks you’ll have to take and other actions you’ll make that will either sustain your growth or get you out of business.
In this post, i’m listing out 7 of the biggest mistakes to avoid while setting up your online business in 2020.
Here’s the list below…
1. Starting without a goal.
One of the biggest online business mistakes you can make is starting your business year without a goal.
A lot of online business owners make this mistake.
Most do not even understand the difference between a business goal and a business plan.
Your goal is that specific thing you want to attend at a certain period of time while your plan is the steps you’re going to use to get to the goal.
Starting a business year without a goal has consistently been one of the top online business mistakes made by entrepreneurs.
I’ve made this mistake at some point. It cost me my business then.
You can’t enter into business without any specific goal.
It’s like taking a flight to New York without having any specific place to go.
A lot of people enter into online business just because there’s an opportunity to make money. This is wrong!
Without a particular goal, they get into online business and then after some set backs they give up on the business because they don’t have a sufficient goal that will stimulate their interest and keep coming back against all odds.
Starting your online business with a specific goal gives you something to target and look forward to.
And with this, you can always measure your success. And audit your focus.
2. Starting without a plan.
Even when we keep screaming it at the top of our voices, a lot of people will still make the business mistake of starting their business year without a specific plan.
It baffles me a lot.
Because one thing I usually ask people who start out this way is, how’d you get to anywhere without knowing exactly how you can get to that place?
At most you’ll only drift and drift and drift away.
You’ll most likely take any detour you see until at the end of the day you end up not getting to anywhere.
That’s why it’s always very important you start out every business year with a plan.
And your plan doesn’t have to be something too sophisticated.
It can be anything like a collection of steps you want to take to achieve your business goals.
More like, this is what I’m going to do to get to point A. From point A I’ll take this action and it’ll land me in point B.
With such plans in place it keeps you on track. And you can then guage your journey from time to time to see whether you’re actually on track or not.
3. Not auditing your business at intervals.
One thing that interests me about new year celebration is that a lot of people use it as a time to make resolutions, plan their life, budget and review the previous year.
I personally love these things too. In fact, I’ve been doing it for a long time now.
But recently, I began to have some misgivings about this ritual.
It all started as a simple question where I asked myself WHY?
I was like, why wait till the end or beginning of a year before planning your life?
Why wait till the beginning of a year before reviewing your business and whats been happening around you?
These questions stirred a lot of answers. In my mind, I fought hard to justify these things I do until I realized it was just baseless.
You don’t have any reason to wait until the beginning of a new year before you plan, review or allocate your resources for the year.
Find time to audit your business at quarterly and even monthly intervals.
Waiting to audit your business activities at the end of the year has the potential of causing you untold loss.
If what you’re doing is not working, then there’s no point pushing it while waiting to find out if it was actually working or not at the end of the year.
4. Not understanding your priorities.
A lot of small business owners do not really understand their priorities. This is very dangerous.
This is why you have lots of small business owners focusing on targeting clients or demographic that’s not concerned with their product or services.
That’s a waste of time. And time is one of your scarcest resource as a small business owner.
Focus on what’s of priority to do at every specific time in your business journey. Don’t get distracted.
Find out, If your business is at the point you need to create brand awareness, focus on that.
If it’s at the point you need to get better traffic to your website, focus on that too.
Don’t mix things up because you see others doing it. You’re not at the same journey with all your competition.
Understand what’s of priority to your business at every given time. And work on targeting those areas If you want to get optimum results.
5. Undervaluing your product and Services.
A lot of online business owners and freelancers have consistently undervalued their product and services. Especially when starting out.
From under pricing, to allowing clients treat them shabbily and not having confidence in their products and services…
These mistakes affects a lot of businesses.
First of all, you don’t have any reason to be in business if you’re not producing genuine value to others.
If you’re producing genuine value then you don’t have any reason to see yourself or your product and services as inferior to others.
To avoid the mistake of undervaluing your product and services, you’ll have to do the following…
Work hard to produce genuine and exceptional value to others. This will drive your confidence in yourself and your products.
When this is done, set your standards. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or not. Don’t lower your standards for anyone.
The moment you start lowering your standards for some people, they will expect more of such.
You’ll notice this a lot if you bring down your prices for some people either because of your relationship or urgent need for money.
These clients will go ahead to tell their friends about the cheap stuff they got from you and how they can also get it cheaply.
This gets the circle continuing. This isn’t what you want.
Set your standards. Provide exceptional value that will distinguish you then price your product and service based on that value you set.
6. Not having a good customer service.
One of the excuse most freelancers give is that they are still small so they don’t need any serious customer service.
Because customer service is for bigger businesses.
So for this reason they can operate without a reachable mobile line, ignore checking their mails or refuse to give their clients the necessary courtesy.
Thing is, you’ll always need to be professional if you’re really planning to go far with your business. So you need a good customer service.
You can’t afford to operate without any regard for your clients and still expect to get recommendations from them.
7. Spending too much time on the wrong social media.
Another important online business mistakes small business owners make is spending too much time on different social media platforms.
You can’t be on all social media at the same time. Not only is it a bad idea, it is not productive.
To get effective results from your social media, you need to find out the social media platform that has a lot of your potential clients.
Then focus on targeting these ones. They are the kind of platforms that will most likely get you some leads and possibly real paying clients.
Don’t get your self spread out focusing on all top social media platforms when it’s only one or two of those that are actually get you the result you need.
8. Thinking that everything that works for others would work for you.
No matter how perfect it worked for another person, sometimes a strategy you read online may not work for you.
This has got nothing to do with you in person but it could involve the specific situation of the person, their location or a combination of other factors.
If you read up a strategy, also be sure you understand the principle behind the strategy. And its context of use.
Don’t adopt everything you see online. Some ideas, strategies etc are not applicable in certain locations.
Read the whole concept and have a background understanding of some concepts before applying them to your business.
This will save you from unnecessary investment based on assumptions and theories that don’t work.
This also goes out specifically to small business owners in developing countries.
Some of the things that work for those big businesses in the developing economies may not be working for you exactly the same way.
Take for instance, in Nigeria you can’t receive payment via PayPal at the moment.
That doesn’t mean the person that tells you that you can use PayPal to receive payment for your business is lying.
It means you may have to find a PayPal alternative if you want to use a third party payment platform for your business in your current location.
So don’t always assume every business tip you read online will work out exactly the way you read it.
Understand the writer’s background and find out if there’s need to customize or edit the tips to fit in with your need or specific situation.
Here’s where we stop.
What’s the biggest online business mistakes you’ve ever made?