In the world of today, online business has taken over. With the aid of some web tools, business transactions have become seamless without moving from one place to another or having a face-to-face interaction. Now that you have the sufficient capital to start up your online business, it is important to know that as exciting as it is, it is quite easy to make certain mistakes that could cause your online business to go down the drain in no time, I mean, like it never existed. Here are some costly mistakes to avoid when starting up an online business.
Inability to identify the correct target audience
One thing you should know is that everyone cannot be your target consumer. Knowing your consumers will enable you focus on them maximally by marketing to them directly. By doing this, you will be amazed at how much your turn overs are compared to that of someone that has every Tom, Dick and Harry as customers.
Not being different
Your online business is definitely not the only business in the world. However, that does not mean you cannot stand out. There are competitions everywhere; some of which are even better than you. This is the reason why you shouldn’t relax, make no mistake of underestimating your competitors. Be creative; think of ways to be unique. As said earlier, you are not the first, that means the others already have committed consumers; nonetheless, you could carve a niche for yourself by being different.
Lack of research
Often, a lot of people think because a particular business in the in-thing online, they could venture into it and make a quick profit. In this case, little or no research is carried out; such as surveying the market, figuring out their target audience, how to make their business unique and the likes- which are the most important things to consider in starting up any business. This mistake is usually made by the newbies in business or entrepreneurship.
You need to know that a lot of time should be spent researching and planning than building and marketing the business itself. It is like a building with a solid foundation, no matter the storm and rain, it will never collapse.
Poor customer care
Every customer is valuable, no matter how small they are offering to pay to get your products or services rendered. One of the mistakes online business owners make is treating their customers as though they do not matter. Your customer service has to be excellent and up to standard. A pleased customer is the biggest and cheapest PRO you can ever have. They market your products even without knowing it; in the same vein can an unsatisfied customer tarnish your company’s image.
Ignoring reviews/feedbacks is also bad for business as this enables you to know what you are doing right and figure out your excesses or weaknesses.
Make your customers feel your presence by sending them a mail, thanking them for their patronage, requesting for feedbacks and asking if you could be of any help. Also, responding to the enquiries, complaints and reviews is not a bad idea. By doing this, be sure your customers will always come back for more.
Unreliable web host
It is not called an online business for nothing, so you have to make sure your website and social media accounts are accessible at all times. Attention should also be paid to the speed of the website; that is optimizing your website for online shoppers. People visiting your website do not have the whole day to wait for just an image to load, not to talk of content of your website, they’d rather go to a competing website that won’t even take a minute.
Another issue is failure to update the store’s website. Of what importance is the fast speed, when your products or services are outdated. Most times, more focus is placed on the social media accounts that the website is neglected completely. I for one prefer to order directly from the website, it is effortless and fast, which every online business should work towards achieving. Update your site from time to time, nobody wants to order from a stale website.
Handling the business alone
Just because it is an online business does not mean you should handle everything. You cannot possibly be the web developer, social media manager, sales representative, customer care representative, delivery man all at the same time. It will definitely tell on your business as it could be really exhausting and as a result slow down the delivery of your services.
To run your online business smoothly, you have to employ the right people to fill in the post mentioned earlier.
An online business requires a lot of hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and consistency and most importantly, proper planning as much as a regular one, as one could lose focus fast. If handled excellently well, it could surpass a regular business.