Many factors work behind a business’s success, and launching any business, offline or offline, comes with unique challenges. There are so many online businesses today. Some sustain, and some fall flat as soon as they start. From what is the focus of your business to how are you marketing it, there is no doubt that many factors go behind launching a successful business.
Also, the success of any business is dynamic. You cannot know if your business is thriving after a month of launching it or after a year and vice versa. The reason is quite simple. There are ample businesses today that might focus on solving the same issues and mistakes your startup business focuses on. This highly competitive and ever-changing business market comes with nil guarantee of a business’s success.
However, you can measure success through some metrics over time. The performance metrics like engagement, customer retention, credibility, etc., need to be measured regularly to keep track of your business. This is where digital marketing comes into the picture.
The success of your online business
While a strong vision is crucial to any business’s success, digital marketing is another essential aspect that can make or break a business. Also, where there is digital marketing, there are social media. One follows the other, always. So if you fall under a B2C business model, you can benefit significantly from social media channels.
Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok allow you to create business accounts. If you want to create a business account on Tiktok, you can find out more here and get going!
Well, now we know what aspects make for a successful online business and how you can benefit from social media. It’s time to dig deeper and learn about common startup mistakes you can avoid while launching your business. After all, it is better to be aware of these mistakes than to wait for them to happen over time. So, let’s get to it.
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7 startup mistakes you should be aware of when launching an online business
In this dynamic digital-savvy world, there is no certainty of whether your business will add any real value to the customers or not. However, as a startup, you should take care of the below-mentioned mistakes as it will save you a ton of time and help you sustain your business.
1. Not having a solid vision
A vision is the starting point for any business, whether offline or online, as a concrete vision will decide the sustainability of your business. However, people dive straight into the solutions without thinking of the why. A business without a solid purpose may reap some benefits in the short run but will likely collapse in the long run.
Every business goes through challenges. So when things get rough, you won’t have much to rely on if you do not have a clear purpose. Having a clear vision with a plan helps you thrive in your business and motivates your team to work towards providing some real value to the company.
So, before jumping to all the shiny ideas, you might have about marketing or product designing, pause them for now. Take a few steps back and re-evaluate your vision.
2. Not investing in designing right from the start
You must’ve noticed the campaigns launched by some brands like Mc’D, Coca-cola, etc. You must’ve been enticed by either their logos, minimalistic designs, or both. Well, once your customers start to trust you, they automatically associate your logo or the colors of your logo design with your business.
So whether you have come across these giants’ marketing campaigns or social media posts, you’d know which brand it is from their logo. Logos play a vital role in design so you should keep up with the latest logo trends booming in the market.
Well, this clearly shows the value of a well-thought-out design and how vital design planning is. So, consider design planning in the beginning if you haven’t already for long-term benefits!
3. Going after investors and not customers
There are tons of business transactions happening over the internet today. Hence it gets easy to lose in the business rut and lose your focus. At the same time, investors are crucial for any business; you must not forget your customers. An investor will believe in your business if you have a strong vision and a potential customer base.
Plus, customers are people who are likely to return to your website if they have a good experience. It is also essential to ensure you have some medium to keep your customers engaged. Either through live chat, survey, email, or phone, whatever the medium, keep your customers engaged.
When pitching to an investor, you should focus and highlight the things you can control instead of those you can’t. For example, focus more on clarifying your product vision and story than on numbers.
So, you must forget funding as a startup and chase customers willing to pay you. Over time, you will have a bunch of customers who will be ready to invest.
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4. Launching too early (or too late)
There is no exact timeline set for when to launch an online business. However, launching it too early or too late can have repercussions. How do you define “too early” or “too late”?
Below mentioned are a few indicators you may have launched your business too soon:
- Your product/s aren’t user-ready.
- You haven’t created a marketing plan.
- You are unsure of your target audience.
- You haven’t Kickstarter designing.
- You know you aren’t ready to launch yet.
If any of the above-mentioned points resonate with you, it indicates you may be launching too soon. You don’t need to have everything figured out right from the beginning, but you surely need to have a solid plan for your product and marketing.
If you’re wondering whether you’ve launched your business rather late, here are a few indicators:
- You took up much time in planning.
- There are similar startups already launched in the market.
- You’ve lost a few investors over time.
- The demand has changed.
Okay, you now know if you’re launching your business too early or too late. So what is an apt time to launch it? Well, as cliche as it may sound, once you feel it in your gut and can’t wait to launch your business, you’re good to go live!
5. Selling yourself short on social media
Once you are done with the product design, you need to start marketing them. Now is the time to build your brand and no better way to use social media to reach a potential customer base. Usually, Facebook and Pinterest are known to be good platforms for product sales. However, each social media platform has its audience.
For instance, if you are in the fashion business, you can make reels on Instagram to market your business. As per Semrush, Instagram has a total of 2.9 billion monthly visits. You can even use TikTok as a marketing platform if you fall under the business to Customer domain. (unless you are based in India). While if you want to market it professionally, LinkedIn is an excellent platform to start.
In the beginning, it’s all about trial and error. Analyze each platform’s audience and choose the ones that align with your product. Don’t spend too much on advertising right from the start. Analyze audiences’ responses and then decide if you want to go for paid advertising.
6. Not asking for help
The know-it-all attitude can get you in trouble and entrepreneurs can get stubborn at times. We are living in times where there are people who genuinely want to help you and not fill up their pockets. So there is no harm in seeking help early on.
Accepting that you don’t know something is the first step. Whether it is something to do with marketing your product or designing it, admitting that you lack the required expertise will guide you into taking action further. This is your cue to talk about your challenges.
Once you share your challenges as a startup with others, you may find fellow entrepreneurs dealing with similar challenges, which will help you build a community. Plus, you can get access to people who genuinely have the required knowledge and expertise and get some solutions to your challenges.
7. Having a one-size-fits-all mindset
Lastly, every business has unique needs. Your expectations from your customers and your customers’ expectations from you are also bound to change with time. Today, product X must be one of your best-selling products, but soon enough, your customer demands are bound to change, and your best-selling product may become the least-sold.
So it would help if you had a strategy to adapt to these changes and keep catering to your customer’s needs.
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Launching a startup business is an exciting journey, and you are bound to make mistakes. There’s no harm in making a mistake and then learning to resolve it. However, knowing some common ones will help you stay ahead in the game right from the beginning.
So, consider these startup mistakes before launching your business. Launch it once you are clear on these and see the results. Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. All the best!
This article is written by Parita Pandya. Parita is an engineer turned writer. She usually finds herself writing for businesses. When she is not writing, she is either strumming her guitar or penning her thoughts down on paritapandya.com.