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9 Things to avoid when starting online business

Success and achievement abstract business concept: red arrow over deep crack isolated on white background

  1. Having high hopes and false expectations

People often get into the business with a lot of excitement and expectation, picturing the day their business success. However the truth is the more delusional they are, the more likely their goal will fail. Bear in mind that over half of small businesses fail within the first three years because of unthorough planning and underestimation. Building up a profitable and successful company takes a lot of hard work, continous effort and patience.

Running a business is not like you are having a day out, just hanging around, it requires a great deal of commitment and time investment. Your timeline has to be carefully planned in days and even re-written multipe times until the best possible outcome is achieved.

Talk to some entrepreneurs who have reached something close to what you want to achieve. Ask them for advice and experiences paying highly attention. Then ask yourself if you’re prepared for your own version of that.

 

  1. Not actually thinking about the overall SEO strategy

SEO ( Search Engine Optimization ) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results , the higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. Therefore SEO is one of the most powerful tool to bring more customers to you or at least tell them about the existence of your business. SEO brings targeted traffic to your site daily once you have done it properly, unlike Facebook or other social networks, which depends on the fact that you are continuing your implement or not.

SEO takes time and effort to show its actual effect, it is not something you can expect immediate results from. This is the reason why you’d better set a decent overall strategy right at the early stages of your business before it becomes a afterthought. If you can list out top 10 keywords you are trying to target in the long time right now, it means that you are going on the right track.

  1. Refusing to be different

As a person who is doing business, you must always be aware of your competition, marketplace is where you can be overshadowed anytime by other competitors if you are not trying hard enough to create something distinctive for your own company. Customers never run out of options and in order to get more clients, you have to  attract more potential customers, you have to give them the reasons to choose your products over a wide range of other offerings.

Safe ways rarely work, in fact it can become a disadvatage. You just cannot jump into some popular topics and mimic what other bloggers are aiming at. Shopper won’t take a look at your product when it is just like something they have seen before.

  1. Underestimating the importance of About or Contact page

Many store owners make the mistake of underestimating the sales potential of their About page. Take a look at your own analytics and you’ll find your About page is in the top three most visited page. Visitors go to website and all they care about is an overview of your business which is supposed to be clearly stated in your About Page. Even though this is one of the most important pages for your visitors, many new online merchants tend to skimp on this page.

Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes people make on their About and Contact pages:

No Story – Who exactly are you? How did your store come to be? What’s the story of your products? How are they made? You don’t need to create an detailed story, however, a few paragraphs that store visitors can relate to are surely helpful.

No Location Details – You may think that since you’re an online store, an address may not be necessary. Thus the truth is many visitors still want to know where you’re located and where your products ship from. For many visitors, it’s a matter of trust, for others they want to know if they need to consider customs and duties if your products ship from another country.

Using A Generic Email Address – Gmail is great but that’s not helping your business. So many times merchants are guilty of using a generic, throwaway email address. Customers will feel like this email comes from a random person, which is not really reliable. Take the time to set up a proper domain name (youbrandname.com) and set up proper email addresses to gain trust your customers

  1. Giving little attention to web layout or logo

A logo is usually the first thing a visitor sees and one of the first impressions of your online store. Most if not all ecommerce platforms will display your shop title in standard text if you don’t upload a logo yourself, but this isn’t good enough.

So why do so many people launch stores with no logos?

Usually it’s because most people still think that in order to get a logo made, they need to find a designer and spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars. The fact is though, this isn’t true. Far from it. There are so many options available now for creating a free or very inexpensive logo that there’s no reason your shop should be using a default text logo.

  1. Taking free path in social marketing

It is undeniable that social networking websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, have become some of the most effective and popular marketing tools available today. All potentially successful online business should have at least one social media profile or page created, actively updated and made certain interactions with visitors/ followers. However, do not mistakenly assume that you can use social media brand pages effectively for free.

Take Facebook, for example. While it is free to create and publish a brand page, making that more outstanding than others, boosting exposure to the page is going to cost a lot of money. New businesses that have not built a massive customer base yet will need to spend the most money on Facebook advertising and social media marketing in order to generate the type of results expected from their efforts.

  1. Not using your hosting

If you are still new to online business, setting up a blog using Blogger, WordPress or some other free hosting services is not a bad idea at all. It can help you gain experiences before actually jumping in the field.However, once you decide to take your business seriously, those are not a good choice anymore. Running an internet store using a domain like yourname.blogspot.com seems like a very unprofessional and untrustable business from customers’ perspective. A web hosting of your own is a sign to shoppers showing that you are now ready for a serious and well-prepared business.

Go to the right place, and purchasing your own domain and web hosting isn’t complicated or expensive. You can buy both from the same company – and get online with a few mouse clicks – for a few dollars each month without a contract.

  1. Not asking for help from professionals

A successful business means that you have strong connections with many other people. No one can succeed alone. You need other people to help you sail that ship. Your customers are people, your suppliers are people, your service providers are people. Most importantly, you need support from other entrepreneurs who are at similar stages as you are, and from others with more experience. Whenever you find yourself land in an impasse, look at others and you’ll realize that they’re all facing obstacles just like you’re facing. If you insist on figuring out eveything on your own, spending hours each week on non-money making tasks, such as fixing annoying tech issues with your website or mailing list. You end up scared, overwhelmed and lost, and frustrated at the poor outcomes. Meanwhile, sharing your struggles and goals, and review your progress is a simple but powerful way to help you proceed your work more efficiently and smoothly. This assures you that you are not alone and  can even become a motivation for you to keep going on.

  1. Messing up with your system

Another hidden trap that can pose a potential threat is simply not investing enough money in the technology used for the business itself. Keep in mind that technology is the root of an online business. An smart up-to-date system can help you optimize the work rate. Although it may create a dent in the bottom line figures upfront, these short-term expenses will boost productivity – allowing employees to do more work in less time. You need to be on top of your systems and you need to make it very easy for your customers to pay you and to do business with you. Whether these devices are used to satisfy customers, fulfill orders, there is no drawback as long as they are used effectively and in the best interests of the business.

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