4 Start-up Mistakes to Avoid When Starting an Online Business

Since the expansion of the internet in the early 2000s, the online market has seen a galloping growth rate due to the advantages of virtual presence. As opposed to running a brick and mortar enterprise, running your business through a web portal eliminates the need for a physical space, expands your market reach, and gives you the ability to operate 24/7. All these advantages cut down operating costs which gives you more room for scaling, marketing, and eventual upgrades.

However, as it is with traditional business, online startups are susceptible to early-stage issues that might lead to ending your entrepreneurship sooner than you expected. According to statistics, around 20 percent of startups experience failure in the first year of business. The same resource states that the most common causes of failure include poor marketing, lack of budget, pricing issues, as well as the lack of care for user experience improvements. These are just some of the most common reasons; however, there are many other dangers that lurk in the dark, waiting for you to make the wrong move. Here are some of the start-up mistakes to avoid.

1. Lack of planning is one of the top start-up mistakes 

Rushing in head-first is one of the shortest paths to failure when it comes to starting a business. Before you even think of starting your own venture, think about your ability to see it through all the way.

It’s easy to fall into a trap and choose a niche that statistically shows potential, but do you possess the right skillset for it? If you decide to market your business to the entire online community, you could face haemorrhaging money on an audience that just won’t bring you profit.

Without a plan, you will see yourself running around, trying to keep things together which will eventually lead to exhaustion and potentially losing both the will and the resources to carry on with your business.

2. Running ads on all social media platforms at once

Social media influence in today’s world is unchallenged; however, not all social media platforms provide the same marketing opportunity. It might seem like a good idea to make as much noise as you can to spread the word, however, this strategy is costly and could lead to spending a lot of money on marketing without the adequate results. It’s one of the classic start-up mistakes in a digital world.

Various types of social media provide different demographics, which is essential for your marketing plan. Therefore, before you start running Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter ads at the same time, you should analyze your target audience and compare it with individual social networks. This will help you to decide which type of content works best for each of the platforms, as well as where your target audience is.

It’s important to cut down those initial marketing costs as much as you can, and the most profitable way to deliver a cost-effective social network campaign is through a deeply researched demographics engagement analysis.

3. Poorly written content

Ask any digital marketing expert, and all of them will tell you that content is king.

Nothing promotes a business or an idea like well-crafted, engaging content that brings the audience closer to your brand. Great content intrigues and creates a positive relationship between your business and the followers. Also, marketing content not only helps to build up the number of your followers, it also helps convert those followers into customers — which is the whole point of marketing in the startup phase.

It’s not an easy mission to create such content that will hit the right spot with your audience, moreover, a lot of business owners don’t have the time to dedicate to writing promotional content. Here’s where hiring a freelancer can help. It’s a smart move to browse around for freelancers that might save you both time and money by creating compelling marketing content for your business while you focus your efforts on more pressing matters like managing your inventory or dealing with customer requests.

4. Trying to compare yourself to other brands 

The online marketplace is vast, and there are a lot of successful small and medium business brands out there. It’s a smart strategy to find inspiration in an already existing brand which you consider successful or find their business model interesting. Nevertheless, a lot of business owners try to copy the success of another brand by doing exactly the same thing, in the same way.

The customers demand authenticity from your business; they want you to show them how your product or service is different than the others that are already available on the market. If you offer the same thing as the guy next to you who’s already made a certain name in the online community, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any chances of making a profit. It’s simply the matter of trust, there are too many fakes and online scams and the people are aware of that. If you’re the new kid on the block and you look, sound, and provide the same service as an existing brand, people will most probably avoid you and go with the brand they already know is legitimate.

Starting a business takes a lot of planning, organizing, connecting, and keeping an eye out for market shifts. Don’t try to be someone else, engage with your audience, and let them know what sets you apart from your competitors. Create a smart marketing strategy; don’t spill that money down the drain for nothing. There are many ways to fail and only one road leads to success but it’s paved with hard work, dedication, and constant learning. Make sure you choose the right path.

Lauren Adley
Lauren Adley is a writer and editor at AustralianWritings. She is dedicated to her family, work and friends. She is keen on reading, playing the guitar and traveling. She is interested in educational, marketing and blogging issues.
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