Setting up an online business sounds simple at first, but it can be a challenge. Prepare yourself for the difficult parts of building your business and you will have a much better chance at success.
Recognizing potential obstacles can help you prepare ahead of time. Check out the most common challenges you might need to overcome when starting your own business.
1. Doing too much
When you work online, it is possible to spend pretty much every waking minute on your business. This is not healthy for you or your company. Every entrepreneur needs to get in some rest and relaxation, so make a point of scheduling down time if you need to. If things are so busy that you feel you must get more done, consider outsourcing.
2. Overpromoting your business
It may be tempting to blast ads out on every forum possible, but this can actually hurt your business. Content is the best way to get your message out there and it can be written without coming across as an ad. Interaction, not advertising, is the key to online success, particularly on social media networks.
3. Poor conversion rates
It is not uncommon for new internet-based businesses to see a high traffic with low sales. Tweaking your website may help increase conversion. You should have a clear call to action on each page. The call to action could be anything from getting people to sign up for a newsletter to buying a product or service.
4. Startup costs
Keeping costs down is always a challenge in any business. While an online business may be cheaper to start up, there are still plenty of expenses.
Be careful where you cut costs. Things like your website design and logo will need to be completely professional, so it may be worth it to pay a little more for high quality services.
5. Lack of delegation
As a new business owner, it can be very tempting to do it all yourself. Doing everything is a good way to burn out quickly, so consider bringing someone else on board as soon as possible. Employees or freelancers can help lighten your load.
6. Getting into debt
Whenever possible, businesses should be started with no debt. A loan may get the company off the ground faster, but if there is a way to start small and grow the business over time, this is far better than dealing with the pressure of owing money.
7. High levels of competition
Anyone can start an online business, which means that there is almost always plenty of competition. If you are going to be successful, you will need to consider what your competitors offer and come up with a plan to improve on that. Specializing in a niche or offering extra services can be good ways to get ahead.
8. Staffing the company
Hiring reliable employees is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to running any kind of business. If you are planning to hire staff, you will need to have a plan in place to train them. Check references before you hire, as well, since this may help you weed out some of the less desirable applicants.
9. Website problems
Servers go down and websites get hacked. If you are planning on making a living online, you will need to be prepared for outages. It is inevitable that things will go wrong, but you can protect yourself by choosing a host with a good reputation for up time. You can also set up your site with protection to help prevent hackers.
10. Loss of customer loyalty
Keeping your customers around can be tough when they are shopping online. You will have to come up with creative ideas and some incentive programs to keep customers coming back. Offer great service and they will even recommend you.
While there are challenges with any kind of startup, your business can also bring you plenty of joy. The obstacles you run into can be moved or simply use them to improve your service.