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Ten Pitfalls of Starting an Online Business

Thousands of people launch their businesses every day. Unfortunately, many of them have little or no idea of what to expect and they end up falling into the same pitfalls that brought down a lot of start-up companies in the past.

If you are in the process of starting a new business, this post is meant to bring to your attention pitfalls to avoid. As a wise man once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can never live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Waiting Too Long to Launch Your Business

People stall for various reasons. Some wait to have a certain amount of audience (for instance, 5,000 subscribers) before launching. Some are simply afraid to start. Others don’t know where to start. Whatever your reason for waiting is, you can’t grow a company without taking the first step. If you need help, then reach out to the right people and begin somewhere. Most successful businesses didn’t start with a bang. They started small.

Solving the Wrong Problem

Don’t solve a problem no one has. Business is all about making money by meeting needs, by solving problems. This means that if you want a bigger audience for your product, then that problem should be solving a problem a larger number of people have.

Not Paying Attention to Customers

Customers are the backbone of any company. And since businesses make money by solving customers’ problems, the only set of people that can establish that your product or service is effective in solving their problems is your customers. And this is why success in business requires listening to your customers.

Don’t just listen to the customers that love your product. Also listen to the ones that ask for refunds and use the information you have gathered to tweak your product to better serve the needs of your customers.

Not Being Unique

Competition is one aspect of doing business every entrepreneur contend with. When you and another brand offer similar products, you have to give customers a good reason to patronise you and not that other brand. This is where your product’s unique selling point comes in. What extra features does your product have that the other brand doesn’t have?

Focusing on an Idea You Are Not Passionate About

Passion is good for business. As a small business owner, you need to have a broad knowledge of your niche, a knack for coming up with creative ideas relevant to that niche, and the stamina to see your goals ideas. This is what passion is all about. If you are not passionate about your business focus, then it’s very likely doomed to fail.

Having Wrong Expectations

We are all dreamers. Some expect their company to take off immediately. Some others expect their business operations to be easy. Unfortunately, life is unfair, and overnight success is a fairy tale. To succeed in business, you need to be somewhat flexible and resilient. Failure and disappointments will always come, but what will elevate you is your ability to learn, tweak your strategies and goal, and forge ahead.

Many Ideas, Very Little Done

Thinking is good. But when it’s all you do, your business is bound to fail. There’s no point in thinking up new ideas if you are not implementing any of them. There has to be a balance. Thinking should take at most about 20% of your business time. The rest should be ‘doing’.

Going It Alone

Nobody can grow a successful business alone. You need people. Depending on your type of business, you need employees, partners, suppliers, consultants, service providers, and, of course, customers. You can even reach out to other entrepreneurs for support.

The bottom line is that you cannot do it alone. Get help whenever and wherever you need it.

Thinking Your Social Platform Is a Business

Whether you run a blog, YouTube channel, Podcast, or even an Instagram account with a large following, thinking it’s a business is a mistake. It’s simply a platform for sharing ideas, networking with people, and growing an audience. Not a business. If you want to make it a business, then you need to create a marketable offering around such a platform and invest both time and money into making it earn money for you.

Quitting Before You Start

Fear of making mistakes and that of failure are common feelings that accompany doing business. Often, people succumb to the fear and quit before they even start. What these people don’t realise is that by quitting early, they have already failed.

We are human. Prone to mistakes. We all fail sometimes. Mistakes and failure aren’t the end. They are just part of the process. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail. Instead, challenge yourself, and when you fall, get up, learn from the mistake, and move on.

Find out how Macaulay Gidado can help your company.

This post also appeared in Macaulay Gidado Medium blog.


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