So you have decided to start on online business? #WFH! Congratulations to you! It is not a straightforward journey, infact even the most successful people making 6 to 7 figures online say so. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn. Now, as much as this is absolutely true, wouldn’t it be nice to avoid some of the most common mistakes?
What are the benefits of starting on online business?
Low overhead costs
The most basic online work requires an internet connection and a PC or a smartphone. Those are really low overhead costs considering that you may already be using your smartphone and internet to communicate. So the overhead costs are really low. Obviously as you grow, your expenses increase as you scale and require customer relationship management tools, sales and marketing tools, a website, project management tools and so on.
A wider pool of prospects
With online work, you have the entire world, well online world at your disposal. You can prospect worldwide and get clients from different countries and also collaborate and network with people beyond your locality. This combined with several other factors increase your earning potential and builds you a strong reputation,
A quicker way of building a business
Have you ever started a brick & mortar business? How was that process for you? You probably needed a location with designated spaces and you had all sorts of bills. The best advice I have ever heard about starting a business in general was to keep overhead costs as low as possible.
Top Seven Mistakes To Avoid When Starting an Online Business
- Obsessing over a niche
I know everyone talks about niching and how specific you need to be but let’s be honest. Most of us didn’t have a specific offer. We just wanted to get our feet wet so we offered everything and nothing.
If that wasn’t your story, then it’s certainly mine. When I began, I did everything as a general VA from admin work to tech. I even did some article writing. Most people who love to write like me might think that article writing would be perfect but when you have so many restrictions and software going through your writing to check for SEO, number of keywords etc, it becomes a chore and not something you enjoy anymore.
At least that’s how I experienced that. Such experiences give you a foundation to try out stuff and see what you are good at, what you enjoy or simply what is marketable and needed. Don’t be afraid to start.
2. Going alone
It honestly doesn’t matter what qualifications you have, it’s really tough to go on this journey alone. Joining communities and having peers will not only boost your prospecting outcomes but also help you get solutions to your challenges.
A community will offer peer support and opportunities for awesome collaboration. Considering that this sort of work can be isolating and lonely, communities offer co-working sessions and other networking opportunities.
Personally, communities have been incredible for my mental well-being as well. Having people who understand my frustrations and are able to offer an ear and guidance means so much. We share wins as well and it’s just incredible.
I actually just registered myself for a virtual after-work party over at Think Pink VA Business Club on LinkedIn, a community of German-speaking VA’s, I speak German after living in Germany for 5 years. So this is a perfect chance to meet over 100 peers doing the same thing I do. It’s so important to find such opportunities.
Your network is your networth!Tweet
3. Waiting to get all your ducks in a row
I hear this a lot. “What do I need to start? I don’t have a website, a budget for marketing etc.” I mean it would be nice to have these things and if you have a budget for them, that’s awesome!
If you don’t have all these things, just start with what you have and build from there. It’s seldom that a business has all the bases covered at the beginning. Consider that even businesses that are already established still have stuff they are working on.
Look at it more like a journey that get’s easier as you go and less as a destination.
4. Charging less for more
The notion that if you are beginning then you must charge less is just that, a notion. Nothing more! I mean what we need to look at is the value and the experience you are bringing to the table. Most of the time, this has nothing to do with the fact that you are starting off.
However, you still need to be reasonable. If this is work that you have not done before and you aren’t there yet, price that accordingly. Once you get feedback from your first client then your experience and confidence grows and you are able to comfortably increase your rates.
Read this article on Imposter Syndrome.
Instead of faking it till you make it, learn it till you ace it. (Doreen Kainda)Tweet
5. Having unrealistic expectations
There are so many people out here in the internet selling dreams. I am pretty sure you have seen this. I once got a client who asked me to make a sales page. She wanted big words like 6 figures and the rest of that annoying jargon but then come to find out, after some digging on my part, there was really nothing tangible being offered.
At that point of course I decided to not work with her because I don’t want to be part of these internet “get rich quick without doing any work” lies.
If you believe in the good old value of working hard and smart to make money and making an impact in the world as opposed to making a quick buck from lying to people, then we speak the same language. There’s nothing wrong with making money. Even the good book called the Bible says “May your gift make way for you” Note that it’s gift, value and not lies.
Don’t expect to make money quick. Grow your skills, offer value and be patient.
6. Trying to be on all social media platforms
Social media is great for marketing and sales. You should be on social media. However, you don’t necessarily be on all social platforms. I hate to burst your bubble but you can’t keep up! They’re so many and each of them need tailored content and strategies.
You are better off focusing on one or two platforms depending on where your target audience is. I love social media and I honestly don’t mind being on it. I know of people who cannot stand social media. If that is you, consider outsourcing that to a Virtual Assistant. Personally, I enjoy this kind of work.
Your digital presence is still important for not only marketing but also social proof. Consider that 60% of the buyers journey happens virtually through checking out your digital resources.
7. Not having a plan
If you have a formal business plan, that is the optimum. If you don’t have one, still have a plan. How much cash do you need for your business expenses? What products/services are you offering? What systems are you using? What are your prices? Are your services project based? Do you charge hourly? What’s your prospecting, marketing, sales, communication and delivery processes and tools?
These are some of the things you need to think about when coming up with your plan.
Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Start today. Are you looking for a Virtual Assistant? Would you like mentorship to start your Virtual Assistant business? Just email me at: email@example.com
Podcast “The Pivot”
Do you have a story of how you managed to pivot and successfully sustain your business during this pandemic? Would you like to inspire others with that story? “The Pivot” is a platform I have created just for that.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org