Hey there fellow Solopreneur!
Now that most firecrackers have been set off (I know some of you are saving the illegal ones for the 4th of July!) it's time to get our heads back in the game!
This article will focus on the 10 common mistakes Solopreneurs make in online business because not every strategy will work for every business, but many will continue to force them. Don't let that be you. Over the next few months we will not only talk about these strategies, but learn some PROVEN tactics to help you avoid the pitfalls and set your brand up for success.
There will be well over 4 billion+ active online businesses before the Summer of 2016 and all of them are fighting for attention. The Internet has made it possible for companies of various sizes to compete on a level playing field of sorts. The main issue remains that most of these companies are unsure of how to gain the attention of potential clients, most likely to purchase their products or services.
10 Common Mistakes Solopreneurs Make In Online Business
1. Keeping Up with the Joneses. Doing all you can to follow what the crowd is doing rather than taking stock in what will work for your brand and what will be a waste of time. This is not to say that watching your competition and friendly peers cannot be a learning experience. You simply have to learn to take the learning knowledge and map out your own destiny.
2. Underinvesting. The Cheap Comes Out Expensive (“Lo Barato Sale Caro” – Judge Marilyn Milian) There is a difference between spending smart and just being plain cheap. We all look for deals when we spend our hard money, but you have to spend money to make money. This actually means that when you take your brand seriously enough to invest in it, be it time or money, you will ensure that everyone on your Power Crew is properly compensated. This could be through barter systems or financially. Either way, you should be willing to give as much or more than you take from others. Reciprocity goes a very long way and helps you build a secure and trusted network. Selfishness has no place in a Team!
3. Financing Blindly. This is an extension of #2 in that you should have a budget in place to help you remain on track. How can you properly guide your brand into financial success or at the very least, avoid bankruptcy if you cannot track how much money is flowing throughout your business? If you are shocked at the amount of money you have spent over a one-year span, are constantly hunting down all of your expenses at tax time, and/or are always living in the red then you're doing everything all wrong. Don't become accepting of your business being a financial burden on you. Remember, you started this for FREEDOM, not to trade on a pair of frustration that created shackles for another.
4. Misinformation. Stay as informed as possible. “He said, She said” doesn't work when you need to share information with your Power Crew and customers. Never allow yourself to miss out on innovative moves occurring within your industry, or out of it. If an app or software is not compatible with your business in 2011, check back and see if things have changed. If you didn't think Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram were a good fit for your business and your customers would not be interested in a company blog, rethink this. Try things out. You may be surprised at the results and new information that flows in from these various channels.
5. Remaining Blissfully Ignorant. Ignorance is not bliss, especially in business. There are too many opportunities out there for Solopreneurs to get on track and dominate some corner of their market. Are you leaving money on the table of clients because you refuse to explore new experiences. take the information from #4 and put some investigative action behind your motives. Ask your Virtual or In-House Assistant to check out some of these new avenues. If need be, hire someone to manage these new avenues for you and add them to your Power Crew. They would usually focus on these tasks for at least 5 hours a week; 1 hour a day.
6. Blaming Others for Your Failures. The Blame game is a waste of time. I see it too often in the Corporate World where you think people should learn to work as a team. Alas, too many are comfortable in passing the buck while preaching accountability. Don't allow Accountability to become some passive catchphrase in your business. Live up to how you want another business to treat you. If you or your brand fall short or are a mess, take that as an opportunity to improve and get back on track. Failure is not a bad thing if you don't allow it to become a stumbling block or a crutch for being “half-@ss” at your job. Boss up and take responsibility while showing others working with you that they need to do the same. Showing is way better than Telling!
7. Being Disconnected from the Reality of Running A Business. La-La land is a nice place to visit but never where you should live when running a business. Taking into account everything we've discussed, these pieces all come together to help you face, head-on, the realities of running a business. You go through the rocky moments before enjoying the sweet ecstasy of success. Even when people consider themselves “successful” that does not mean they don't know they still have work to do to maintain the level of success they enjoy or increase to. Remain grounded and connected to the roots of your business so that you are aware of what is happening and are ready to rework any strategies accordingly.
8. Believing That Online Businesses Don't Need A Budget. As an extension of financing your business blindly, you need to realize that just because you have an online business, you are not exempt from having a budget. many believe that because they don't have the rent of a brick-and-mortar establishment, they are free to spend wildly. That is not the case. Your “rent” goes to your hosting provider and your domain name. Your “utilities” are your financial manager (accountant/apps), email automation services, payroll, and anything else that helps you run your business. You MUST track these and be sure that you are not using up all of your resources without turning some type of profit to pay the rent or mortgage AND put food on your table.
9. Being Online Is An Automatic Success. I thought that once my website was up and running I would be set. Well, not exactly set, but the bulk of my work would be complete. I was so wrong and didn't even realize how wrong I was. I had to become a quick study in e-marketing, copywriting, and product creation to really get my business going. I didn't need to be an expert for everything, but I had to get my rump in gear fast so that I could manage just enough to get things where I wanted them to be. No online business is an automatic success and anyone who tells you different is lying to you. Things can definitely be made easier for you, but without you putting ACTION behind the KNOWLEDGE, your brand is dead in the water.
10. Maintenance Is An Option. I laugh each time I see how casual my clients and others feel about online maintenance of their websites. I see many who believe that paying someone to manage their website is a waste of time, yet these are the same people whose websites are constantly outdated behind the scenes and this leaves their information vulnerable. If you are collecting customer information, there is no room to be casual about cybersecurity and website maintenance. So many of these items can be automated, but you have to remain vigilant in protecting your online business. Your carelessness is a hackers dream key to your Information Buffet.
Once you have figured out what causes your business to thrive like a well watered plant, you'll begin to reap the benefits of a profitable business and brand overall. I like to think of my business as a well-watered plant because there is life tied to it. It needs my care in order to survive and weather the storm. My emotions affect my business just as my emotions affect my plants (yes, I believe good vibes = healthy plants).
Put your all into your business. After all, most of us are not here for a one-night stand. Instead, we're in it to win it! So get yourself out there and arm your brand with these 10 common mistakes solopreneurs make in online business.
To Your Continued Success & Learning!
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