Whatever kind of enterprise you’re launching, an online aspect of your business is essential nowadays. Even if you aren’t actually selling online, a web presence is a must for promoting your company.
As John Rampton points out, writing for Forbes.com, there’s more to going online than just building a website and a social media account.
To help entrepreneurs looking to launch online, Rampton highlights ten common mistakes made by internet startups:
1) Waiting too long to launch. Delays can be costly when setting up online, warns the author.
2) Doing everything yourself. Rampton insists that it is a mistake to believe you can run an online business on your own. You can remain the driving force of the brand but you will need to enlist help from web designers or social media managers, etc.
3) Not offering something different. You can’t just copy others. You have to give customers a reason to choose your product or service ahead of someone else’s.
4) Solving an unimportant problem. There’s no point in offering goods or services that no one really cares about. You might have spotted a gap in the market, but does the demand really exist?
5) Not listening to customers. If you don’t address the concerns or online complaints of the people who use your products or services, it could have disastrous consequences for your business and reputation.
Bad news spreads fast on the internet when it comes to dissatisfied customers, and peer-to-peer review sites are a growing influence on consumers.
6) Thinking too small. You might be looking to exploit a niche, but that’s not always a recipe for growth.
7) Having unrealistic expectations. Don’t expect overnight success – it won’t happen. You need to build slowly and gather momentum as you go.
8) Not caring enough. You need to be passionate and knowledgeable about your products and market, or you will lack the necessary motivation and creativity to make a success of your business.
Running an online business can be stressful, so it helps if you can take pride in your work and genuinely enjoy what you’re doing, too.
9) A lack of distribution partnerships. Rampton advises: “If you’re in an industry that is a little bit more unique or harder to sell, create a list of potential referral sources and reach out to them.”
10) Not having the right amount of capital. You need to calculate your expenses carefully. Don’t forget added costs like the amount you’ll need to purchase a domain name, hosting and web design fees as well as IT support for site building and maintenance. Rampton also warns against waste on frivolous expenses.