Thanks to the widespread use of the internet, there’s never been a better time than now to become an entrepreneur. You can launch a business online website from the comforts of your home and handle everything from orders to packaging and delivery from behind your desk. Plus, it costs close to nothing to get started. But the best part is that people love shopping on the web. So whether you’re an online store developer like Book of Ra, or a pet food retailer, you should have no problems finding customers.
There are, however, also many inherent challenges with starting and running an online enterprise. And we’re here to help you overcome these hurdles. Here’s a list of 5 problems all online entrepreneurs need to face and the best ways to handle them. Sounds good? Let’s take a closer look.
1. Choosing the Right Workspace
A brick-and-mortar shop would require a pretty hefty investment before you can sell anything. You got to find rooms, hire employees, etc. But with an online business, you can start with no money. Just set up an office at your home and handle every task from behind your computer. Pretty convenient, right? However, working from your living room can also cause a lack of discipline. There are so many distractions in our living spaces. Before you know it, your television with hundreds of channels, or the comfy couch, can make you procrastinate and fall behind your schedule.
So how do you stay productive throughout the day? One solution is to rent a desk at a coworking space. There, you’d work together with other busy people, which can boost your motivation to complete your tasks in time. And if you choose to stay at home, it’s good to create a designated area for your work desk and keep it in a room with no distractions around.
2. What Is Your Niche?
Here’s something all entrepreneurs need: focus. But when running a web-based business, the opportunities are so numerous they can become destructive. You might feel like you need to get in on every chance to sell someone something. However, this lack of focus will only diminish your chances of success. Instead, it’s good to pick a specific niche and stay true to it.
But you might wonder: how to pick a niche, only one niche out of the sea of possibilities? It’s simple. Go with something that aligns with your passions. For example, if you like old-school music, you can consider setting up an e-shop for vinyl records. Prefer playing popular games like the online casino? Then you can try to develop your own online game! Or maybe you’re into bodybuilding. Then you can start selling sports supplements. And if you’re passionate about your niche, staying focused on your business and online ideas will come effortlessly.
3. Every Web-Based Business Has Online Competitors – Thousands of Them
The online world is brimming with competition. And there’s only one way to get ahead: get to know your rivals. Study what they’re doing, what they’re not doing, where they go wrong, how the quality of their products, etc. The aim is to discover your competitors’ weaknesses in serving their clients. You can then focus on providing a more convenient alternative to the same target market.
And here’s some advanced business online help: your competitors are not only the obvious ones. Let’s say you run an online game. The thing is that you’re up against more than just other internet gaming sites. Everyone who competes for a minute of your prospects’ leisure time is a rival. It can be the popular gaming blogs, playtime streamers, even Netflix, etc. So study what’s working for them in attracting visitors. And then copy their best tactics.
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4. Digital Marketing – Where to Start?
Look, before starting a business, every entrepreneur should educate themselves on the best tips and tricks of digital marketing. Regardless of how great your products and services are, you still need to invest a lot of time and effort in promoting your business and attracting clients. And knowing the best approaches to selling online helps you pick the most effective strategies before even launching a product.
But the problem is that there are so many different tools for advertising on the internet. Which ones are most suitable to get your specific offers in front of people’s eyes? Here are our top recommendations that can make marketing business online (for beginners) a little less daunting:
- Start by creating lots of valuable content in your niche. The aim is to get people to see you as an authoritative voice in your industry.
- Optimize the content for search engines. That means embedding keywords in your writing. Then, when people use these terms to find something from Google, they might get directed to your website.
- Promote your articles via social media. For example, you can create a Facebook group that aims to solve specific industry problems. It gives you an excellent platform to nurture your leads into customers with your expert content.
- Give email marketing a try. Even in 2021, it remains one of the most effective ways to reach your target market. Once you’ve managed to drive traffic to your website via search engine optimization (SEO) and social media, you can set up an opt-in box and start collecting email addresses.
5. Giving Up Too Quickly
The sad truth is that most new online businesses close doors after only a year of existence. That’s because the companies’ owners didn’t see any profits after 12 months and decided it wasn’t worth their time. But here’s the thing: attaining business success is a long-term goal. So get ready to rely only on your passion when starting a business online, meaning that you might have to work the first year without much monetary gain. As long as you keep making your customers happy, it will pay off eventually.
It’s vital to stay productive when working from home, find your niche, study the competitors, and accept that you probably won’t make a profit the first year. Plus, when taking your business online, marketing has new rules. You need to start with nurturing your leads with quality content. Do all that, and running a business online for sales can become an unbelievably lucrative endeavor. So here’s to eCommerce! Let it guide us all to a successful future.
Are you planning to open a business online to make money off the internet? Share your hopes and dreams for your eCommerce venture in the comments.
Jeremy Ambrose is the head of a digital marketing agency with clients from all over the world. He believes there’s no stopping the rise of eCommerce, and those who decide to get in on it will win big in the upcoming years. Jeremy also enjoys writing articles on online entrepreneurship.