Things no one tells you about starting a business online

You’ve learned a lot about how to start and grow your online business as an entrepreneur but, did you know that there are a handful of uncomfortable truths no one tells you about starting a business online?

Forget about your mentors and the business books you’ve read. Some of these things no one tells you about entrepreneurship are too sacred for anyone to mention.

Some are too embarrassing for your favorite mentor to say it out publicly. Yet again, some are only experienced by just a few entrepreneurs, due to their own peculiarity so, no one really gets to say it. Yet they are there.

A lot of entrepreneurs like you have struggled to know these things just to avoid the pitfalls but unfortunately, there’s not information to go round.

As someone who’s been there, seen it, done it for more than half a decade, I will be sharing with you some of these uncomfortable truths in these guide. I promise you, this post might make you cringe or even scared about entrepreneurship but trust me; it is only to inform and get you prepared but not to deter you.

So are you ready to walk through this real life painful truths about entrepreneurship and business startup with me?

Right in the following paragraphs, I’ll be sharing with you some of the most down to earth things no one tells you about starting a small business and how to deal with these things should you ever come across them. Let’s dig in…

You’ll need Money to Start Out

There’s no free meal anywhere. This is probably one of the most uncomfortable truths no one tells you about starting a business online because it can be really discouraging.

There’s this craze about rags to riches, bootstrapping and starting from zero to hero. The media will rather feed on that to stir your emotions for a moment while leaving you high and dry as you get face to face with reality.

Be warned! You can’t start any business without making expenses. Whether big or small, you need money to run your business, regardless of how insignificant it is.

Forget the idea about using social media for free, getting organic visibility and all of that. These things can get really difficult to use in building traction without the necessary funds.

Of course it may be possible to rely on free publicity to build your business to some extent; but it’ll only end up slowing down your growth, while leading to burnout.

To start your business the right way, consider having a budget, no matter how insignificant it is or get into strategic partnerships and arrangement that will take care of your need for finances. This is one of the most realistic ways to beat burn out and grow your business fast

There’s No Fast Money

Another uncomfortable truth no one tells you about starting a business online is that there’s no fast money. I mean, how can they tell you this when your guru is more interested in getting you to move on in so you can patronize them? Impossible!

But I have to tell you, there’s no fast money waiting for you because you have chosen to take the bold path to start your own business. You will have to hustle hard for the money.

First of all before you start, understand that you will need a lot of smart thinking, realistic strategies, tenacity and sheer grit, to build your business to the level it’ll get to generate the kind of income you expect from it.

And there’s no jumping the fence. From gathering and nurturing your clients, you’re going to build them day in, day out; using content and other strategies, until they trust you enough to buy from you, refer you to their friends and come back for more patronage.

So, if you’re merely all about getting fast money, you may need to have a rethink before starting your business, whether online or offline.

You Are Not Your Own Boss

One of the one the coolest idea about starting a business is to be your own boss. Bit I bet one of the things no one ever tells you is that at the end of the day, you are not really your own boss.

Yes, you can call the shot. You can decide when you go to work or when you return home but at the end of the day, you are still working for your clients. And the day you lose their patronage, you’re definitely going losing your pay.

So, the next time you think about starting your business because you want to be your own boss, remember that what starting your own business does for you is that it gives you more freedom to be better at doing what you want at a more convenient time.

It doesn’t necessarily give you permission to lord it over anyone without consideration. As there are consequences for everything you do, whether as a worker or business owner.

You won’t Spend Less Time Working

You probably know a few people that started out one form of business or the other because they needed to spend less time working but just like this people, another truth no one tells you about starting a business online is that you won’t really spend less time working.

In fact, as an entrepreneur, I have spent more time working on my business than I would ever spend working for a paid job. This is the same experience with most other entrepreneurs.

Above all things, the idea about building this business you started and watching it grow is an important factor that will motivate you in putting in more effort to build it, far more than you’d put into another person’s job.

While it’s very possible to actually spend less time in the business when it’s all grown with a number of staff, at the initial stages, you’ll have to go out of your way to put in extra hours. In fact, you’ll gladly work over time in some cases. And you need to brace up for times like this.

There Are No Customers Waiting for You

No customers are waiting anywhere for you to start an online business. This is one of the most useful things no one tells you about starting a business online.

I believe a lot of entrepreneurs would not have dabbled into starting their own businesses if only they knew that the idea about waiting customers is a fallacy.

No, don’t get me wrong. There might actually be a real need for your business idea in the market but without getting it across to the right target audience, no one is going to buy it. That’s the truth.

Also, forget about patronage from friends and family. In as much as they can get you something to start with, your family and friends are not reliable as customers in anyway. Don’t build your business around them.

Instead, map out your ideal customers; get their data accurately and evolve the right strategy to approach them.

Beyond doing a market research for your business, get to map out a solid marketing strategy and a real good product if you really want to attract customers. And while at it, do not forget to build a good customer rapport, outstanding utility, quality service and a great brand.

These are the things that will get the customers coming in droves.

There’s Competition Out There

Your idea is not really really special. This is one of the things no one tells you about starting a business online. And, No! I’m not being rude.

Most times when clients discuss their ideas with me, they harp on how excellent it is. How, no one else is doing that. And how much profit they stand to make. But, as experience has taught me, it is never always black and white.

There are most likely people doing the same thing already or thinking about this idea just the same time as you are. So don’t ever think that the uniqueness of your idea is its foremost mark of success.

There’s a huge competition waiting out there to consume you. Some of them are pretty big and they don’t care. They will play dirty when they have to. And frankly, their intention is to kick you out.

And even if you were the only one in the market, nothing stops anyone from copying your idea in a way, or even getting something close to it, the moment they realize the idea is profitable. That is capitalism.

So, after coming up with a great idea, think about your competition and ways you’ll outwit them to stay in business. And yes, you can do this.

You Will Feel Like Quitting

There are days you’ll fell like quitting. I wish someone said this when I started out back then. But unfortunately, these are part of the things no one tells you about starting a business online.

But be it as it may, you have to realize that feeling like a failure or leaving your business is not necessarily a sign that there’s no hope for it. Sometimes it might be a call to introspect and find out solutions from within or a time to review your strategies, business plans, ideas etc.

Whatever it is for you, there’ll be times it seems like you’ve hit the brick wall. Whenever you happen to face such times, look back at how far you’ve come and take a stock of your business to understand how you can go forward.


This list is not exclusive. There are a number of other things no one gets to tell you when you about start a business online but I’ll like to pause here for now.

And No, I am not trying to scare you with this. At the end of the day, starting a business needs grit, tenacity, hard work and consistency.

These qualities are not things you can pick at the groceries, you nurture them. And with time, you get to bring them out naturally when you need them along the journey.

But truth be told, you can’t really talk about consistency when you don’t truly understand the pitfall you can meet along the way.

So in essence, in writing this post, I am giving you the truth and the heads up you’ll need, to develop the tenacity and consistency that will guide you as you get set to build a strong and resilient business online.

Frankly, I believe you have what it takes to build the business of your dreams. And you can reach out to us here so we help you to get started on this journey.

So right now, it’s over to you. What’s the biggest truth you learned along your journey as an entrepreneur? Let’s read your comments!

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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