You’ve got the idea, the drive, and are ready to dive into your new role as an online entrepreneur!
Exciting, am I right?
The thought of ditching your 9-5 for a “money making machine” that runs on your time, fueled by your passion, can be pretty damn exhilarating! So much so, in fact, that you make some pretty foolish mistakes trying to make this dream of yours a reality.
Foolish mistakes are what cause 90% of online entrepreneurs to fail in their first 4 months.
Foolish mistakes that can easily be avoided, if you know how to spot them, which is where most up and coming online entrepreneurs fall short.
As a business consultant that specializes in efficiency, I work with clients who are looking to get an edge because they’re starting to see the consequences of these insanely common mistakes, and their business is falling off track…fast!
It’s almost cringe-worthy how easily these failures (and the stress that comes with them!) could be avoided, just by watching out for these online entrepreneur landmines, and stepping around them!
As an online entrepreneur, you know how important it is to take a step back and re-evaluate where your business is headed, and how you’re going to get there in the shortest amount of time possible (time is money after all!).
So whether you are an established business owner, or new to the game, take some time to look through the 10 most common mistakes I see on a regular basis, and “fail-proof” your business before it’s too late!
10 Foolish Mistakes That Cause Online Entrepreneurs to Fail
Starting an online business requires a lot of moving parts working together if you truly want to succeed. Heading into an endeavor like this without a plan is like telling someone you’ll meet them at their house, without knowing the address, or how to get there!
And the pissed off friend who you’ll leave waiting? Your business!
Writing out a specific and detailed business plan before starting anything else is crucial to the success of your business, and maintaining your own sanity!
The bottom line: If you don’t have a business plan, I don’t care how established you already are, stop what you are doing right now, and write one!
No Clue At All!
You could have the best business ideas in the world, but if you have no clue how to present and deliver them to your customer, that’s all they will ever be – ideas.
Just like any other job, being an online entrepreneur requires training, and lots of it!
From sales funnels to copywriting, social media and SEO, you’ll be in over your head faster than you can say “I spent the night crying on my keyboard!” if you don’t start learning, like, yesterday!
Comparison-itis (it’s a word, trust me!)
We’ve all done it, myself included.
You start looking around to see who your “competition” is, and before you know it you become completely consumed by what this other person is working on, justifying it as “research”.
Listen to me closely, because this is important…you cannot compare your beginning to someone else’s end!
It’s a common misconception that an online business is as easy as buying a domain, throwing up a website, and then autopilot kicks in and your bank account explodes with profits, while you’re drinking pina coladas on some secluded beach in the Caribbean.
You have to earn autopilot!
There are many hours that went into that other person’s success, and you can absolutely have the same, but you have to earn it.
Don’t get discouraged because you don’t see results like theirs right away, don’t give up before you get started!
There are no overnight successes in online entrepreneurship. But, if you do your homework and put the hours in, maybe one day you can be the one someone else is comparing themselves to!
Mindset Is Everything!
Online entrepreneurship can be a trying way to earn a living, so if you go into it with the wrong mindset, you won’t make it out on the other side!
Many people become so accustomed to living paycheck to paycheck, they are hardwired in “survival mode”, just trying to make enough money to get by. This can result in pumping out low value for your customers, simply to save time and make a quick buck (and effectively ruining your reputation and any customer loyalty you could have had in the process).
Focus on providing true value to your customers/clients, and the money will not only follow, but grow over time!
Self sabotage is another common obstacle I see clients run into, where they have such a fear of failure that they don’t truly invest all of what they have to offer, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re going to bother entering the world of online entrepreneurship, go all in!
Poor Money Management.
This should obviously encompass a huge part of your business plan (which you already have set up in detail, right?), but for arguments sake, let’s explore it a little deeper on it’s own.
Knowing the numbers that are coming in is not even the half of it! You need to know what your operating expenses are, and have a plan for how much of your profits will be reinvested into growing your business as well.
Buying too much too fast (usually due to that comparison-itis we discussed in #3!) is a great way to feel like you’re succeeding, but also fail miserably and quickly.
If you aren’t good with numbers, outsource this job to someone who is. You started this business to make money, not watch it slip through your fingers.
Lack of Research.
It can be easy to get so excited about an idea that you just decide to run with it – this is a trap!
Don’t get so caught up in an idea that you skip the research phase of validating your business idea to make sure it will be profitable, and explore the best ways to move forward and execute your business plans.
That’s the great thing about working online, you have millions of other people’s mistakes to learn from!
However, you can’t learn anything you don’t bother looking for in the first place, so this needs to be a priority in your planning process.
Big Plans, No Action!
Having an impeccable business plan in place is great, but if you’re not going to do anything about it, you’re wasting paper.
Some people get through the business planning phase, and that’s where it really clicks that this isn’t going to be easy, and they get overwhelmed thinking about how much work it will take to bring that plan to life.
Overwhelm can cause you to stand still, and not move forward in your business, which will make you exactly ZERO sales!
Acknowledge the fact that it will be a lot of hard work, but focus on your end game, and hold onto the truth that it will be well worth the effort as long as you stick to your plan, and just keep moving!
Little Or No Support.
Can an online entrepreneur succeed without support? Yes. Would I recommend it? Absolutely not!
Investing in the support you need in order to bring your dreams to life will eliminate the trial and error from the process, and slash your timeline to speed things up!
Carefully planning where you will invest in support and training for yourself (and your business) will not only help you get things up, running, and done right the first time, but will also save you time and money…and who doesn’t love that!
Missing Marketing Plan.
Knowing your target market, and who your ideal client will be, is just the beginning. Your marketing plan will also tell you where your client is hanging out, and how you can interact with them in the most effective way, that will give you the biggest return on your investment (of time or money).
Once you spend the time creating a plan, it’s monumentally important that you stick with it!
Recognize the value of not only abiding by the marketing plan you set out for yourself, but also the value of your time invested in said plan!
Spending time getting lost on Facebook, or aimlessly posting without really focusing on the areas you know will get you a return, is a complete waste.
Get systems in place that will keep you focused, and laser target your marketing, so you can start getting your online business ideas on the map!
Shiny Object Syndrome!
“Free training! OMG, earn six-figures in one night? I need that! Plus, IT’S FREE!” – No, just all kinds of no!
Stop getting wrapped up in everyone’s advice, it’s getting you nowhere, fast. Tempting, absolutely! But you need to remember that there is no magic pill! Hard work, passion, and dedication are what’s going to get you where you want to be.
Focus on key areas of your business that are going to move you forward now, and avoid getting caught up in bonus offers and busy work!
It drives me crazy seeing people’s businesses suffer and fall apart (sometimes even before they get going), simply because they are making these foolish mistakes that can be easily avoided.
I’ve even developed a special tool just for online entrepreneurs like you called “The Entrepreneur Successlist“, which is a free download for you to check and see how your business is really doing, and if you’re headed for entrepreneurial success, or disaster!
Once you’re clear on which mistakes you’re making, you’re in a perfect position to fix them, and move on with confidence!