Things to Do If You Want to Fail at Online Business

2017.09.07

MageNet Team

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The prospect of an online business is quite alluring. A digital business venture offers the opportunity to set your own goals and take charge of your own destiny. While the dream of online business success is promising, the reality can be a bit different.

Reports state that 90 percent of online businesses fail. That’s a massive number of entrepreneurs that launch their online venture only to see if falter. If you find yourself among these floundering online business people, you may be saying aloud, “My business is failing. What do I do?”

More than likely, the pitfalls of your digital business aren’t directly related to just one issue. Most e-businesses suffer from multiple factors that result in failure. The uncertainty that surrounds the root cause of failure can be frustrating and often leads many entrepreneurs to call it quits and give up on their goals.

Instead of trying to pinpoint exactly what one action can or did lead to your online business’s failure, it can be helpful to consider general practices that you should avoid. These shortcomings point down the road toward failure when left unchecked. However, if you understand them, you can right the ship and steer it toward success.

Remember these inadequacies when asking yourself what to do when your business is failing.

Bad Habit #1: Don’t Study Up 

The accessibility of digital platforms and the internet have lowered barriers to starting your own business. It’s now extremely simple to set up an e-commerce store online and sell a number of items. However, just because there are low barriers to entry doesn’t mean that success is a sure thing. An online business is still a business at the end of the day.

Study Up on Business Best Practices and Skills

Many online business owners don’t take the time to study the basic principles of business. They often have very little knowledge about business best practices or terminology, much less how to do business in the digital commerce world. Not obtaining the basic business skills and knowledge required to make a venture profitable can spell disaster.

Luckily, the same accessibility that allows you to start your own digital business can also be a tool for self-education. The web is flooded with all the information you need to know to be successful.

There are certain critical skills and concepts that are directly related to online business. Digital entrepreneurs should be at least familiar with:

  • Technical Digital Skills, like Registering Domains or Basic HTML Knowledge
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Paid Advertising

While you definitely don’t have to be an expert in any of these skillsets, a general understanding of each will help lay a solid foundation for online business success.

Bad Habit #2: Develop an Incoherent Strategy

Many online entrepreneurs treat their marketing strategy as if it’s a cafeteria-style affair. They pick and choose tactics from things they read in this article or blurbs they heard from this expert. While in theory, it may seem that cherry picking the best tidbits from various strategies and tips from different experts may create one super-strategy, it often has quite the opposite effect.

If you throw too many goals into your strategy at once, you’re more likely to spin your wheels than actually accomplish anything. Targeted and zoned-in strategies work best to systematically achieve organizational goals.

Don’t set out to reinvent the wheel here. Find a developed strategy that fits your needs. Once you do that and see that it works for your business, then and only then should you begin to tailor and tweak it. Leave the experimental strategies to the pros.

Bad Habit #3: Don’t Ask for Help

Entrepreneurs are by their very nature self-reliant people. They’re the type that goes left when many others go right. They don’t always follow the pack, which is evident in their decision to step out on their own in business. While this independent nature has a lot of redeeming qualities, it can also lead to personalities that believe they can handle everything by themselves.

Ask for help

There are many reasons that the average digital entrepreneur has trouble with seeking out help. Many online business owners are very particular about how things are done and prefer their way of doing things. Many see delegating duties to other people leaves too much room for risk.

Some digital entrepreneurs are in the early stages of their online business and may find it hard to budget for outside help. Even online businesses, with their low entry barriers, have some upfront cost, but asking for help doesn’t have to bust your budget.

The web is full of freelance sites with digital professionals looking for work. These outlets are great places to find affordable talent that can help you tackle tasks on a project-by-project basis as your budget allows.

Understanding that you can’t do everything and that you will absolutely need help and guidance along the way is crucial in securing online business success. You will inevitably have to scale up your online business plan. This is nearly impossible to accomplish if you don’t let go of the steering wheel and let someone else drive every now and again.

Bad Habit #4: Don’t Commit

Sometimes the non-tangibles get the most neglect. Sure, business acumen, strategy, and delegation skills are all important factors, but sheer can push an online business down the path to success.

You already know that 90 percent of online businesses fail. Running a successful online business is no easy task. So many of the 90 percent of failed businesses are simply entrepreneurs that gave up on trying. You will need uncanny amounts of motivation and commitment to make your online venture grow and flourish.

The ups and downs of online entrepreneurship can prey on those that are weak in willpower. So what do you do when your business fails? You reaffirm your commitment, make adjustments, and push forward. Failure is only an outcome for those who call it quits. If your commitment to success is strong enough, you’ll weather the pitfalls and setbacks and live to fight another day.

The world of online entrepreneurship is not for the weak of spirit. It can be a nonstop roller coaster ride of wins and losses. When times get tough in your online business and you’re left wondering, “What to do if my business is failing?” remember these pitfalls. Use them to map out your strategy and clear the way for success.

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