More Online Business Pitfalls
7: Resting on Your Laurels
When you finally have your beautiful, secure website up and running, it could seem like the hard part is over. Your initial marketing campaign, perfectly executed on a range of social media platforms, has brought in many more customers than you expected. And they're buying, too! You couldn't be happier with the way things are going. Your site is a well-oiled machine that can basically run itself, so you figure you can coast for at least a month or two while you catch your breath.
Stop right there. Sorry to break it to you, but there's no rest on the Internet, especially when you have a brand-new business. Even if things are going smashingly well, you can't assume it's going to continue. The online world moves at warp speed, and if you don't stay on your toes you'll miss out. A sales opportunity or a new trend could pass you by if you don't stay active on social media, or you could lose customers if you don't realize there's a broken link on your site. We don't want to be alarmist, but anything could happen! So keep plugging and always stay on your game.
6: Taking Your Eyes off the Competition
If you run an online business, we're sure you know very well how uncomfortably close your competitors are. It's basically like having a brick-and-mortar store smack dab in the middle of an entire strip mall of your competition. You're selling the same products, you have the same hours and your customers can hop to the next store in a flash if they think the grass is greener over there. The smallest slipup or perceived shortcoming in the eyes of your customers could cause you to lose business.
Having your rivals just a click away is definitely one of the more nerve-wracking aspects of having an online business. But that proximity can also be beneficial — it makes it extremely easy for you to keep an eye on them. You don't want to obsess over how your competition does business, but you could fall behind if you don't keep track of them. Observing the competition is the best way to stay current on trends.
5: Not Staying Focused on the Big Picture
If you haven't yet taken the plunge and delegated some responsibility, you might be having some trouble seeing the forest for the trees. When you're the CEO, accountant, manufacturer, sales force, marketing manager and social media maven all at once, it's easy to lose perspective and forget to focus on where your company is going in the grand scheme of things.
Even if you do have employees and are able to leave the trenches once in a while, it's still common to get bogged down in minutiae. You could find yourself so absorbed in the technical details of your website, you forget all about marketing, for example. Even if you take your eyes off one aspect of the business for a month or two, that could be too long. If every aspect of your business — marketing, branding, positioning, sales and distribution — isn't on the same page, things could get ugly quick.