Not every online business strategy works for every business. Unfortunately, many solo entrepreneurs will continue to force themselves to one standard. Don’t let this be you. Learn some proven tactics to help you avoid these common pitfalls of assumptions and prepare your brand for profitable success.
With over 4 billion companies active on the Internet, all struggling for attention, the Internet has made it possible for companies of all sizes to compete on a level playing field of sorts. The main issue remains that most of these companies are not sure how to get the attention of potential customers to buy their products or services. Creating a staff will be essential to your success as a solo entrepreneur because you will have to trust someone to help you handle the day to day tasks. Check out these 10 common online business assumptions that you must avoid in order to get a successful start.
- Skimming on investment. There is a big difference between spending smart and just cheap. cheap comes expensive (“Lo Barato Sale Dear” Judge Marilyn Milian. Reciprocity goes a long way and helps you build a secure and trusted network. Everyone wants a bargain when spending their hard cash. Most entrepreneurs have heard the saying, “You have to spend money to make money.” In fact, when you take your brand seriously enough to invest in it, be it time or money, you will ensure that everyone in your power crew is adequately compensated. This can be financial or through barter systems. Either way, you must be willing to give as much or more than you take from others.
- Remain blissfully ignorant. Do you let clients underserve you because you refuse to explore new opportunities and creative possibilities? Put some investigative action behind your motives. Ask your “virtual assistant” or “inside assistant” to check out some of the new avenues. Hire someone to manage these new routes for you and add to your strength crew. They usually focus on these tasks for at least 5 hours a week; one hour a day. Ignorance is not bliss, especially at work. There are just too many opportunities for individual entrepreneurs to get on the right track and take control of some aspect of the market.
- Blind funding for no reason. How can you properly steer your brand towards financial success or at least avoid bankruptcy if you can’t keep track of how much money is flowing throughout your business? If you’re shocked at the amount of money you’ve spent over one year, constantly chasing all your expenses at tax time, and/or always living in the red, you’re doing everything wrong. Do not accept that your work is a financial burden on you. You must have a budget in place to help you stay on track. Remember, I started this in order for FREEDOM not to trade on one pair out of frustration that created limitations on the other.
- Maintenance is an option. I see many clients who think paying someone to run their website is a waste of time, yet these are the same people whose websites are constantly outdated behind the scenes and left vulnerable. Your carelessness is the key to hackers dreaming of your information buffet. Many of these can and should be automated, but you need to remain vigilant in protecting your online business. If you are collecting customer information, there is no room to talk about website security and maintenance.
- Keep up with the neighbors. Doing everything in your power to follow what the audience is doing instead of evaluating what will work for your brand is ultimately a waste of time for you. This is not to say that watching your friendly competitors and peers can’t be a learning experience. You simply have to learn to take the teaching knowledge and chart your own destiny.
- Online business does not need a budget. As a stretch of financing your business blindly, you need to realize that just because you have an online business, you are not exempt from having a budget. Many believe that because they don’t get paid rent for a brick-and-mortar establishment, they’re free to spend big. This is not the case. Your “rent” is your domain name and hosting provider SSL certificate. Your “utilities” are your financial manager (accountant/apps), email automation services, payroll, and anything else that helps you run your business. You have to keep track of these and make sure that you don’t use all your resources without making some kind of profit to pay your rent or mortgage and put food on your table.
- separate from the reality of running a business. Stay connected to the roots of your business so that you are aware of what is going on and are prepared to reformulate any strategies accordingly. Even when people consider themselves “successful,” they know that there is constant work involved in maintaining the level of success they have or wish to excel at. With everything we’ve discussed in mind, these pieces all come together to help you face the realities of running a business head on.
- Blame others for your failures. The blame game is a waste of time. Don’t allow accountability to become a negative catchphrase in your business. Live up to the standard you want customers and other businesses to treat you. If you or your brand falls short or messes up, take this as an opportunity to improve and get back on track. Ask for feedback. Failure is not a bad thing if you don’t allow it to become a stumbling block or crutch. Be responsible and accountable while showing others who work with you that they need to do the same. Show is much better than saying!
- Being online is an automatic success. No online business is automatically a success and anyone who tells you different is lying to you. I thought once my website was up and running it would be set up. Well, it’s not exactly set, but the bulk of my work will be complete. I was so wrong I didn’t even realize how wrong I was. I had to become a quick study in e-marketing, copywriting, and product creation to really get my start. I’m no expert, but I had to get my buttocks up quickly so I could manage just enough to get things where I wanted them to be. Automation can make things easier for you, but without putting action behind the knowledge you gather, your brand is dead in the water.
- misinformation. Stay informed as much as possible. He said, she said, “It doesn’t work when you need to share information with the power crew and customers.” Never allow yourself to miss the innovative moves that are happening in your field or other industries. If an app or software wasn’t compatible with your work in 2011, check back and see if things have changed. If you do not believe TwitterOr Pinterest or Instagram are just right for your business and your customers won’t be interested in a corporate blog, rethink these moves. Try things. You may be surprised at the new results and information that are pouring in from these different options.
Once you know the reasons why your business thrives like a well-watered plant, you will begin to reap the benefits of a profitable business and brand in general. I think of my business as a well-watered plant because there is energy associated with it. He needs my care to survive. My feelings affect my work and I need to maintain them.
Clients want to know that you, as a business owner, care enough to take care of the little details while maintaining the overall picture of success.
Put your all into your work. After all, most of us aren’t here for a one-night stand. Instead, we’re in it to win it! So get out there and arm your brand against these 10 common assumptions most entrepreneurs make in their online business.
For your continued success and learning!