The Most Common (and Costly) Online Business Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

Updated October 6, 2023

Business Mistakes

Countless online businesses are springing up across the United States. Whether used as a supplemental source of income, as a full-time job or simply as a bit of fun on the side, it is estimated that a many as 300 new ventures come into existence on a daily basis. If this is the case, why will the majority fail within the first twelve months?  It is a result of a poor marketing plan or a substandard product?  While these factors could very well come into play, the real reason is a bit more “human”.  Many would-be entrepreneurs fail to approach such a project with the correct mindset.  Others might not be using the right tools and utilities.  Let’s take a look at both of these scenarios so that you will be able to avoid any pitfalls before the stymie your dreams.

Psychological Pitfalls and Hang-Ups

One of the most common phrases that we hear across the Internet is that an online business is a great way to make “easy money“.  Short of winning the lottery, there is no such thing as easy money in today’s world.  Much like a brick-and-mortar firm, you will need to put in a great deal of effort if you ever hope to turn a healthy (and predictable) profit.  In other words, be prepared to work.

Many individuals will likewise start out with a great deal of motivation.  Of course, the expect to enjoy a handsome amount of revenue within the first few months.  Much like a marathon runner who is ill-prepared for an incline lurking just beyond the horizon, entrepreneurs will quickly run out of gas and walk to the side of the road.  It is important to appreciate the concept of the long haul.  While there is no doubt that you can generate an additional source of income, this will take a bit of time to realize.

A final mistake that can cause any online business to sink from the very beginning is not understanding your audience.  Not only should you be able to offer a novel product or service, but you also need to know who you are selling to.  What are their buying habits?  How much are they willing to spend on the average purchase?  What are their interests and how can you solve any problems that they might encounter?  Failing to understand your demographic is akin to placing a billboard advertising ice near the north pole.  I simply won’t work.

These three psychological mindsets should be avoided at all costs if you hope to take your virtual dream to the next level.  Still, there is another area that we need to address.  This involves using the wrong e-commerce platform and expecting spectacular results.  How can you learn if this is the case?

The Wrong Tools at the Wrong Times

E-commerce platforms come in all shapes and sizes.  Some packages such as those offered as standard WordPress plug-ins are intended for those who are just starting out.  Others including Magento are mainly suited for more established and mature online businesses.  Still, bigger might not necessarily be better if the tools are outdated or otherwise difficult to work with.  Let’s look at this concept from another real-world perspective.

Imagine for a moment that you take your car to two mechanics.  One offers to solve your engine troubles with the use of a “sure fire” method and yet, it costs a substantial amount of money and you will not be provided with a great deal of help if future issues occur.  The other mechanic is associate with amenable prices.  He fully explains what will be performed and perhaps most importantly, you can always take the car back into the shop in the event that you run into problems.  Many e-commerce solutions can be allocated into one of these two categories.

For example, Enterprise Magento pricing packages can be prohibitively expensive if you happen to be working within a tight budget.  There are times when customer service solutions could be lacking and perhaps most importantly, such systems are not intended to handle complex e-commerce requirements.  To put it another way, your e-commerce bundle could very well be holding you back as opposed to propelling you forward.

To be clear, we are not necessarily suggesting that you scrap your entire e-commerce package and redesign your website from the ground up.  It is much better to look for user-friendly and modern alternatives such as Shopify Plus.  Not only can you work with limited funds, but there is also a free trial period that will help you to determine if this upgrade is the correct choice.

Success is not only about making the right decisions.  It is just as important to involve mistakes along the way.

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