Entrepreneurs are individuals who are constantly looking for new business opportunities. Some follow the examples of successful business leaders who have gone before them while others seek out business opportunities on their own.
Starting a business, however, doesn’t always go according to plans. While an opportunity might sound good and very promising, it could end up being a money-sucking nightmare due to many factors, including expensive overhead and low profit margins.
Online businesses pose as a very appealing startup option to the budding entrepreneur because the traditional hurdles of new ventures aren’t necessarily present. Online businesses allow an entrepreneur to start really small, but there is also an inherent promise of scalability when the conditions are ripe. Additionally, online businesses do not require the same initial capital that a traditional brick and mortar business needs.
Because of the ease of starting an online business, many individuals who want to enter the world of business choose this route. Most of them are inspired by the stories of successful online businesspeople who started with next to nothing in their parents’ basement.
Online business, however, is not always the rosy picture that everyone envisions. It’s common knowledge in the industry that the success rate for online businesses is a paltry 10 percent, and many online businesses fold within four months of opening.
There are various reasons for the failure of an online business, but we will cover just a few here.
Failure to Focus on the Target
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that you need customers to buy your products if you want to succeed. If you start selling products without first considering the needs and demands of your target market, you are likely to end up failing. It is crucial that you first evaluate the needs of your target market before you decide on the product to sell.
Don’t ever feel so confident to think that people will buy your product just because it’s available. Instead, think about the specific kind of customer that you’re looking to sell to, and shape your product to meet their needs.
Not Considering the Competition
For every product you sell online, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of other sellers marketing the same thing. Entry into the online business world is relatively easy, so when other entrepreneurs see that a particular product is selling like hotcakes, they will be tempted to sell the same thing. This will result in a market saturated by many sellers hawking the same product. You need to make sure that your product is high-quality and unique enough to stand out in the crowd.
A Weak Investment
Because there isn’t necessarily something tangible associated with an online business (a brick and mortar storefront, paper money passing between hands, etc.), many businesspeople do not treat online businesses as seriously as they would a traditional business. They invest very little in their online business, thinking that it will be enough to rake in a good profit.
You can almost always expect to get out of your online business what you put into it. If you funnel in a limited investment in the beginning, you’re likely to skimp on key features such as online security, marketing tools, and much more. These additional measures may seem dispensable, but they prove to your customers that you are committed to providing a quality product through secure means.
Along with a small financial investment, if you put little effort into your business, you’re setting yourself up to fail. You need to generate content and make improvements to your site continually. In addition, you must take the time to interact with customers and fellow online businesspeople and build up a network. Most importantly, market, market, market. Don’t sit idly by and wait for the profits to pour in; chances are, if you are sitting around, they won’t.
No Social Media Presence
Your online business is headed for failure if you ignore the power of social media in promoting your business. People today rely on their social media accounts for updated information. They communicate with one another through various social media platforms. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, however. Make sure that you market to a diverse range of social media platforms if you want to get the most bang for your buck.
You should only start an online business after careful and thorough planning. You need to understand your product as well as the needs of your target market and maintain communication with potential customers. Online businesses are a marvelous opportunity, but they’re not easy money. They require just as much forethought and elbow grease as any other type of business if you want them to thrive.