Starting your own business is a real challenge. There is no denying that setting up a company, a system that is designed with the aim to generate income, is not easy. But, when you have your own online business and when you start reaping all the benefits of the eCommerce industry, you will realize that it was worth it.
Still, the journey towards success is a lengthy one. A lengthy process that requires you to be careful, completely focused, and that you make smart decisions made in a timely fashion.
Unfortunately, many business owners underestimate the obstacles that are often obvious. That is why a lot of businesses fail. As a matter of fact, a whopping 90% of all new internet businesses fail in the first 120 days.
If you don’t want to be a part of this statistic, it would be smart to keep reading and find out all you can about some of the most common mistakes that you need to avoid if you are looking to grow a successful online business.
Failing to devise a good business plan
A business plan for growth is something like a prerequisite for a successful business. Having a plan to help you focus on growth is essential.
Truthfully, you don’t have to devise a complex and formal business plan, but you need one to guide you through the growing phases.
Your winning business plan can be a ten-page or a one-page document where you lay out all the necessary points. Of course, in order to devise a good plan you need decent data. Knowing who your customers are, what you are selling, and what people are willing to pay is just a start.
If you find this part a bit too difficult, you can always seek help from an experienced business plan consultant who is familiar with the industry and has quite a few devised plans under their belt.
Not being unique enough
Across markets, customers always have different options to choose from. In other words, you are most likely not the only one offering a certain product or service. The chances are that someone else is selling products or services that are identical or similar to yours.
That is why you need to be unique if you want to grow. You need to invest a lot of effort into separating yourself and your brand from the rest.
Failing to be different happens way too often among entrepreneurs. They usually jump into a popular industry and eventually just copy or mimic what other popular businesses do. It’s fine to look and monitor your competition, but doing things their way won’t bring a lot of success in the long run.
Therefore, put yourself in your prospects’ shoes and ask yourself these questions:
- Why should they choose you over another brand?
- Why should they spend more buying from your brand?
- What makes you more valuable than the rest?
Once you have the answers, you will know what to do.
Underestimating the power of data
Gathering data is crucial for business growth today. Just like you will easily find your way in an illuminated room compared to a room filled with pitch-black darkness without a single source of light.
Successful business people know how important data can be and that one should rely on it when it comes to better decision making. Data about customers, user experience, web traffic, and so on, can help you make better decisions.
In short, data can help you make better decisions and solve both your and your customers’ problems faster. That is why learning how to leverage data can be really beneficial.
Therefore, start thinking about how you could gather the right data better. That way, you will understand your market better, make improvements to your company’s processes, and, of course, make better and more profitable decisions.
Failing to hear out your customers
Customers are the focal point of your business and you need them if you want to grow. After all, your business exists because of them.
First of all, you need to listen to your customers’ opinions on every product or service you release. This is the only way you will know if your solution is good enough for their problems.
So, don’t just listen to the customers who provide validation. Listen to the individuals who ask for refunds or buy your product but don’t use it. Negative feedback is important too. In fact, it is often more important than words of praise.
Remember, you don’t have all the answers, But, your customers can certainly help you get them. After all, there is a good reason why the customer is always right. As it was mentioned before, you wouldn’t be able to run a business without them.
Expecting quick cash in little time
If you want to grow only to rake in some revenue quickly, you have the worst possible reason and motivation for growth. Numerous entrepreneurs set this goal, and when they don’t achieve it in a given timeframe, they pull out.
Of course, this is a grave mistake. In order to grow and make something great, you need to invest a lot of effort and time into your organization. Nothing good can happen over the course of a single night.
When you devise a good business plan for growth, you need to stick to it. Even if you suffer some losses at first. Keep a close eye on the analytics and try to figure out why these losses occurred. Then try to rectify what you can.
Thorough planning and a good strategy go nowhere if you have zero patience. Remember, even companies such as Amazon weren’t immune to profit loss, especially in the beginning.
So, prepare your patience and hang in there. Good things take time.
Not seeking help
Can you remember the early days when your business was just an idea? You were probably all alone thinking about how you should go about starting a business. And maybe you didn’t need to seek help from other people then, but as things started growing, you realized that it is too difficult to do it all by yourself.
As your company starts to grow, it is inevitable that your job and your employees’ jobs will become more difficult. So, don’t be afraid of bringing new hands on-board.
You can’t succeed and keep the number of employees the same as in the beginning. Seek help from other people such as your customers, your suppliers, and even your service providers.
If you have to hire, do it. Bring in some fresh blood, you never know who might have a good idea or a special skill-set that could help you with growing your business.
Finally, it wouldn’t be bad to seek help from other entrepreneurs as well. Look for entrepreneurs who are at similar stages as you are, but also don’t be afraid of seeking help from those who have more experience than you.
The more connected you become with other people from the industry, the easier your quest will be. A good piece of advice can go a long way.
You don’t have to look at other business owners as your rivals. Oftentimes working together brings better results than just focusing on becoming better than the rest.
Just when you think that you don’t have to tug anymore, you need to start pulling harder than ever. That is how you will grow.
And when your business starts generating success, everything will be much easier. At that moment, you can even put your website for sale since it will be known for generating traffic and attracting attention.
So, carefully consider each of the tips you have read and then decide where to go from there. Good luck!