Because of the internet we all have the opportunity to make our own success and live the life of our dreams. But this does not mean that building a thriving internet business is easy or a way to “get rich quick”.
Starting and building an established online business takes commitment, persistence, hard work, and the drive to make it succeed. Unfortunately many people are led to believe it is as simple as putting up a website, placing a few ads and watching the money pour in.
That is exactly what I thought over 16 years ago when I first started online. I learned fast that building an online business would be much more than I ever imagined. While teaching myself how to make my business successful I made many mistakes. But I persisted and worked very hard. Then a very exciting thing happened. I started experiencing the benefits of success – both financially and personally. I find this work to be very rewarding in many ways and would recommend to anyone to stick with it and make it happen for yourself!
Mistakes are a very valuable part of building a business if you learn from them. Use your mistakes to your advantage. Below are some of the most common mistakes we can make when developing an online business.
1. Not Choosing Your Passion – In order to build a successful business you have to do something you are passionate about. It is hard to work 16 hours a day on something in which you are not interested. What do you love? What can you see yourself doing that you would not consider a “job”? I have always been a lover of books and wanted to own my own bookstore. The internet allowed me the opportunity to make this dream come true!
2. Unrealistic Expectations – As I mentioned earlier, so many people are misguided into believing that making money online is quick and easy. Please do not fall into this trap! Make sure you are ready and able to put the time and effort into your business. Be prepared to work months or even years before reaping the benefits of success. Expecting unrealistic success is one of the main reasons people give up too quickly.
3. Too Much Preparing, Not Enough Doing – It is a good idea to plan for your business but at some point you actually have to start doing something to get your business going. I know one lady who spent years going to seminars, paying money for complete business packages, buying books, etc. In all this learning, listening and paying out money, she never did start a business. This is also an easy trap to fall into. Yes, you do need to do research and learn but don’t make that your business.
4. Too Much Flash – A business website should be clean, sharp, easy to navigate and professional. Don’t buy into the idea that you need music, flashing lights, or excessive clutter on your site. If you do offer music or a video give people the choice to listen or watch. Don’t have it automatically play when a visitor arrives. Don’t put too many banners, ads or flashy graphics on your site either. This will only result in slow loading time and losing visitors.
5. Being Too Personal – Although a small personal touch added to your business is a good thing, don’t fill your site with pictures of friends, family vacations, or your life in general. Don’t overdo on telling of family stories, get-togethers, etc. Business and personal life must maintain a degree of separation. Create a personal bond with your customers but don’t overload them with your own personal life.
6. No Online Support – Don’t try to go it alone. Contact other online entrepreneurs. Join groups. Network and obtain support from business associates. When I first started I knew a lady online who encouraged me to start my own newsletter. I had many doubts but she convinced me I could do it and that was a big step towards my success. I will never forget her or the help she gave me when I needed it. You can find many more experienced online business owners who will gladly help beginners and other business owners.
7. Treating Your Business Like a Hobby – I have seen this so many times. People mistakenly start an online business thinking they can work it when they have the time. They say their family comes first and will get to it when they can. This is definitely not true. Your business needs your full attention and you must give it the time it needs to flourish. Yes, my family came first as well which is exactly why I started online. You cannot treat your business as a, “I’ll get to it when I can” project.
8. Doing Too Much – Another unfortunate trap I have seen many people get caught in is signing up for multiple business opportunities and thinking they can make them all work. I have seen people trying to run as many as five different businesses. Spreading yourself too thin will accomplish nothing. You should decide on one business at which you will work your hardest and focus your complete attention on making it a success.
9. Not Keeping Up to Date – Running a business is an ongoing process. You need to always be learning, studying new marketing techniques, watching your competitors, etc. Don’t fall into the “if it works, don’t fix it” routine. Just because your methods are working now, doesn’t mean they always will. You have to keep on top of things!
10. Grammar and Spelling – This is an oldie but a goodie! Over the years I have seen some grievous errors in spelling and grammar. Please be sure to proofread and correct any mistakes made. If necessary, have someone else proofread for you. Fresh eyes can catch mistakes you may have missed. I have made some of these mistakes as well so I regularly have someone proofread my work. If you are not sure of the spelling of a word or proper use of grammar, look it up. Your business and your reputation are certainly worth the extra effort!
I have made several of these errors and have definitely learned from them. Developing an online business can certainly be overwhelming and frustrating at times but if we commit to it, we can do it. Do not give up! Make your dream come true!