Do you realize that there are online business mistakes you can make at various stages of your business’ growth .
This can slowly kill it for months or even years if you don’t watch out for it
.I am hoping this blog post will show you small online business mistakes to avoid.
This mistake is however common to small and big companies
Many working businesses, including those “successful” ones that have been around for 10+ years, are often still making them.
They are possibly losing a lot of money and/or wasting a lot of time in the process.
If I had known or read about these mistakes, it would have saved my a lot of wasted time and money.
1.UNDERESTIMATING ONLINE BUSINESS PROJECT TIMES
This is a big one and it pertains to service companies as well as eCommerce. This is a service company’s bread and butter. If you don’t estimate your time to perform each and every service in your online business, you will get burned. And there is little you can do about it but bite the bullet and learn from it.
The best way to estimate time is to do it once yourself or watch your best employee do the task. That is if you have an employee.
When I started my first online business I had no idea how long it will take to write a full blog post.or how many hours to allocate to social media marketing of my website..
When you do not know the length of time it takes for each project, confusion and stress sets in.That is because lark of knowledge of project times means inability to schedule and plan.
For product companies, time becomes an issue with logistics so beware!
2.SETTING INCORRECT PRICES FOR YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
It’s a common mistake to use a competitor’s as your pricing gauge without actually knowing why they use those numbers.
Think about the nightmare you will get yourself into if you take a competitor’s price, cut it by 10% and then start selling.
What if the competition has a bad pricing structure and is barely making money or even losing money
What if your costs are more than theirs? You can use competitor as a starting point but you can’t base your whole strategy on it.
Different industries have their own variables as far as costs go. You need to be aware of them for your project or product pricing.
What you pay for a product you are going to sell is not the only cost to have in your head when pricing your products.
3.NOT CHARGING FOR UNSEEN SERVICES AND ONLINE BUSINESS COST
This seems like a stupid statement to some.
But I bet most online business owners will admit that they have given away a little too much at times.
Hey, there is nothing wrong with giving a little extra here and there to show you care.
But either way, that’s not what I’m talking about here.
What concerns me is when you put a lot of quality into your work or products or stores and do not cover the cost for it.
As an example, say you run a service company and your competitors don’t do a certain standard service that you do.
You can’t just undercut their price to steal a job; you need to have that cost covered in your rate and advertise the fact that it comes with the price upfront.
For example it is not wise to put in place very good costumer service and not charge for it.
These things cost you money and when your competitors don’t do them it costs them less money.
Put out better service and then under price them.Your competition just has to wait a little bit for you to fall on your face so they can swoop back in.
4.FAILURE TO HAVE PROCEDURES OR SOLID SYSTEMS IN PLACE
Too many procedures is the reason why many people start their own business in the first place.
Unfortunately, having no procedures and systems in place at all is not an alternative.
Depending on the type of industry, business owners must come to a planned medium or chaos will ensue.
Some basic examples where procedures or systems are needed include billing, collections, interviewing, hiring.
Others include vacations, benefits, job responsibilities, operating equipment, maintaining equipment, inventory, sales visits and logistics to name a few.
Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place.
Even a one person show needs to have some admin procedures in place. This will make it easier to hire subcontractors. It helps you control what they are doing for you.
Without at least a watered-down version of a system or procedure to do every day work, you will be to blame for causing many major headaches as your company grows.
I can’t emphasize how important this is for when you bring on new employees.
I’m sure you heard this before, but I am also a big fan of having an employee handbook even for one employee.
It’s amazing the trouble people can cause business owners just because you dont direct them on company procedures.
5.UNNECESSARY ADVERT COST FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
I have been running my online business for 2 years now .I have not spent any money on advertising.
There are a lot of free ways to advertise your online business.A simple example is word of mouth.In the internet world of today, you can do free social media advertising.
Especially as there are a lot of free social media marketing automated software out there. I am not against effective advertising.But from my little experience about advertising, paid advertising works better after you have laid a proper foundation for your online business
6.ADVERTISING WITHOUT TRACKING THE RESULT
Whether you are doing free or paid advertising,tracking the result of the advert campaign is very important.
There is no point in a marketing campaign if you do not put things in place that allow you to measure how well the plan is working.
The other wasteful part of marketing that many people make the mistake of doing, is not tracking their previously successful campaigns.
Just because a particular ad campaign worked at a particular season,does not mean that it will work automatically every time.
Tracking helps you to know the campaigns that produced good results and those that did not.This will help you construct your next successful campaign.
7.TAKING UP TOO MUCH RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
This is a classic mistake made by every entrepreneur.
The key is to figure out when you are at that “wearing too many hats” point and start getting some help.
The solution here is to know your strengths and to be able see when you are not performing the duties that demand these skills.
If you are the best sales person on the company, you can’t get caught up in day-to-day operations. If you do, sales will slip and eventually you won’t have any operations to worry about.
Set goals to know when to hire people to take over where you are light on knowledge. Not getting help or waiting too long can kill your online business.
Hire an outside company or consultant to take care of the sales and marketing and then hire inside when you can afford someone full time. Don’t be something to your company that you are not. It will only hold you back.
That is my 7 SMALL ONLINE BUSINESSES MISTAKES TO AVOID.
The three big issues people like to tackle themselves but usually are least knowledgeable about are legal issues, accounting/bookkeeping issues and daily operations issues.
The odds are that these three things are your weakest link so if you don’t have a partner that has the background for these subjects, then be prepared to get help as soon as possible.
It’s preferable that you do this before you start a business.
Do you have any mistakes you have made as an online entrepreneur?Please dont hesitate to comment below
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