The reasons your online business isn't working

Struggling to take off? Perhaps these tips will help.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

As retail develops through the Web and social media, purchasing decisions now take place on a global rather than local platform.

As a result, many retailers are turning to the Internet as a way to create or expand a business. You may have a great idea, but sometimes, Internet-based businesses simply do not work out.

But why?

Huffington Post blogger and business consultant Don Dodds has outlined six common mistakes that many new business owners make -- and how to rectify them.

1.) There is a lack of an appropriate niche market.

Before setting up a business online, you need to ask yourself what niche of the market you plan to target. The current competition needs to be researched and you need to ask yourself whether there is a realistic chance you will be able to move up the page ranks to secure customers.

The more specific the niche, the better -- but you may have to tweak your business idea to get ahead of the competition.

2.) There is no substantial business model on your website.

Vague websites will do nothing more than confuse visitors and lose you custom. If you're interested in monetizing a website, you need to consider how to generate a profit -- whether it is through schemes such as Google AdSense, subscription models, ebooks, paywalls or newsletters.

3.) Too much, too quickly.

Focus on a few important tasks each day, rather than jumping into too many distracting projects in one go. In addition, while educating yourself is important, keep it under control and make sure you work on a business step-by-step.

4.) Controlling everything.

Time is your most valuable asset. While getting a business off the ground, outsourcing workloads are a good investment in terms of your time and the company's growth. If you're unsure whether you can complete a project at a good standard, let go of some of that control and allow a professional to handle it.

5.) A lack of marketing and advertizing experience.

The Internet is a fantastic place to market a product, and as a business owner online, you can either learn the tricks yourself or pay a professional to do it for you. Website designers, search engine optimization (SEO) specialists and social media marketeers can all give you a helping hand.

6.) The get-rich-quick schemes.

Unrealistic expectations, buying into Internet-based scams and pyramid schemes are pitfalls that affect many looking to run a business online. Don't buy into the hype -- you may be using modern methods, but stick to a traditional business plan.

I would add another -- the overall functionality of a website. If it is slow to load, complicated to navigate or plain ugly, the business is likely to seem unprofessional, perhaps untrustworthy, and you may lose additional customers if you choose not to solicit the services of a professional designer. Think about it -- if you cannot find the right aisle in a clothing store or the door to a local shop, how much time will you spend before giving up and going elsewhere?

Via: Huffington Post

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards