In 2017, the US E-commerce sales estimated to be $353.7 billion, by statistics supported by Founder (R).
Millions of statistics like this one prove that building an online business in this digital age is an amazing opportunity. Online businesses are more successful than ever. The tools and resources needed to run an online business are at everyone’s fingertips. With the rampant startup culture taking advantage of the entrepreneurial tide, online businesses are in high demand.
After all, innovation is only dependent on the company it keeps. So innovative startups seek to do business with other entities that can foster their fast-paced needs.
Internet businesses, especially those in the marketing industry are the perfect solution.
…innovative startups seek to do business with other entities that can foster their fast-paced needs. Internet businesses, especially those in the marketing industry are the perfect solution.
Unfortunately, with all these different opportunities and resources entrepreneurs can be thrust into information overload. When this happens, they make mistakes.
Here are three huge mistakes that beginning internet marketers NEED to stop making.
3 Mistakes Beginner Internet Marketers Make
Mistake #1: They Allow Distraction to Kill Production
Currently, there are over 28.8 million small businesses in America (R). Yet, there are still more businesses closing per day then opening.
Why is that?
If there’s such a profound demand and passion riding on small businesses, and with so much at their disposal, why do businesses fail?
While there is a plethora of less accusatory excuses, the true silent killer of small businesses is distraction.
As Ali Mese (R) from The Startup said: “I was the distracted, miserable guy, jumping from one website to another, from one idea to another, while getting absolutely nothing done…Oh, and I also found it cool to call myself an entrepreneur.”
“I was the distracted, miserable guy, jumping from one website to another, from one idea to another, while getting absolutely nothing done…Oh, and I also found it cool to call myself an entrepreneur.” – Ali Mese, The Startup
For many online business owners, this quote sums up what we already know (even though we’d probably NEVER admit it).
Distractions are everywhere. We have the obvious distractions like emails, phone calls, our cell phones, and social media notifications.
In fact, I believe your smartphone is slowly killing your business.
But, the truly lethal distractions are much harder to recognize; because they disguise themselves under the ruse of innovation. Like a child with a new toy, a mind-blowing idea hits while scrolling Facebook, and we are ensnared in a faux epiphany.
The mind of the entrepreneur is always moving, developing, and inventing. Thus, when an idea catches the mind of an entrepreneur, it’s hard not to get sucked into the beauty of the possibility that is instantly imagined.
Like a black lotus, the beauty and allure of such an opportunity is only surface deep. Yet, for that day, or that week, or even longer, entrepreneurs forsake their original idea, in pursuit of a unicorn.
When an idea catches the mind of an entrepreneur, it’s hard not to get sucked into the beauty of the possibility that is instantly imagined.
Whether it’s fast cash, desperation, or simple curiosity that causes one to follow such a pursuit, is irrelevant. The problem is not the expansion of the mind or the creativity; it’s the wasted time.
Entrepreneurs tend to get distracted by thinking there’s always something better, just around the corner. They hastily become complacent with what they’ve achieved, and their response is to find something else.
Yet, their distraction will ultimately lead to their downfall.
Mistake #2: They Lose Focus
Focus is an indisputable key to business and success in that business.
If an entrepreneur lacks focus, their commitment will wane. When that happens, the business will inevitably fall apart. If the owner of the business has mentally abandoned ship, how do they expect their customers to stay on board?
When a person has an idea and they are certain it’s going to work, they are ecstatic. They tell everyone about it and they give it all they’ve got. Yet, after time, the honeymoon phase is over and the luster wears away. If entrepreneurs aren’t careful, when this inevitable stage of owning an online business passes, they could lose focus on what they wanted to do in the first place.
Losing focus will immediately cause an entrepreneur to lose commitment. At that point, it’s just work; and no one ever wants to think of their startup, their business, or anything they created in such a limiting field.
When that mind-numbing realization starts to take hold, it will only be a matter of time before you decide that it’s better to let it go, then to keep your business on fiscal life-support.
That is why online business owners need to keep the excitement of their business alive and why I think Sunday is the most important day of the week. They need to find reasons to stick with it and keep it fresh, instead of finding reasons why it isn’t working.
…find reasons to stick with [your online business] it and keep it fresh, instead of finding reasons why it isn’t working.
A business is a relationship. It’s an entity and even though you own it, you don’t completely control it.
There are outside forces affecting it and that is why it’s the entrepreneur’s job to keep vigilant.
Here’s an example to illustrate the pitfalls that entrepreneurs fall into:
Sarah and Paul both started their own, separate internet marketing business. Tired of their old jobs, they struck out on their own, to create something they could be genuinely proud of.
Sarah is diligent. She remains focused, giving herself a goal of twelve months. Within those twelve months, she works exclusively on her business. She acknowledges tiny victories and learns from her mistakes. As businesses owner, she evolves.
During the same twelve months, Paul is excited for about a month. He knows what he’s supposed to do and puts his plan into action. Although, after the luster of the idea seeps into a disappointing reality, Paul starts to lose focus. He feels his passion for the business slipping away and eventually, he tries something else. After all, he needs to make up the money he’s lost, and he doesn’t want to go back to his old job, working for someone else. So, after classes, certifications, and other consumptions of time and money, he acts on his new idea. Unfortunately for Paul, this cycle continues for a year.
At the end of that year, Sarah’s business is expanding. Reality and expectation have found a middle ground and she is pleased with her decision.
But, Paul is now deeply in debt, constantly trying new schemes and plots, whatever he can to make up the money he lost.
While this might seem like an easy concept for beginning entrepreneurs, to keep a handle on, remember that you’re just starting out. Eventually, there will come a time of doubt and at that point, you will have to make a choice. You can either give in to the lack of focus, or you can spark the excitement of your business once again.
Here are two effective ways to spark excitement back into your business:
· Become Your Business (R)– The business should be your whole professional life. Treating it as your baby, as something you birthed, gives it more meaning. Be proud of your businesses accomplishments and do everything you can to make it the best it can possibly be. This is why it’s so important to run a business you actually enjoy vs just trying to make money.
· Get Back to Basics (R)– Do some soul searching and figure out what your business means to you. Why did you embark on this journey, more specifically, why did you choose this business? If you can figure this out, you should be able to pull your focus back into what’s most important and realign your convictions.
Mistake #3: They Treat Their Business Like a Hobby
There is a strict difference between a hobby and a business.
A hobby is always fun, with little stress, and you can work on it on your time. A hobby is carefree and even if you earn a little extra cash, it’s not something you desperately rely on.
A business is your livelihood. A business is serious and even if it’s your passion, it should never be taken lightly. A business demands respect, both from the entrepreneur, as well as the clients and people who are associated with the business.
So, to have a successful online business, internet marketers need to stop treating their business like a hobby.
..to have a successful online business, internet marketers need to stop treating their business like a hobby.
Not just harder but smarter.
It’s not so much about the amount of time worked though.
This is a mindset that needs to be ingrained in the soul of the entrepreneur if they ever want to have success. A business is something the entrepreneur is passionate about, but it’s not always fun. There are frequent occasions when an entrepreneur must do tasks they don’t wish to do even when you build a team and delegate. They may need to spend time on the business when they’d rather be with their family or friends.
Yet, success is not happened upon by accident.
Besides the entrepreneur’s mindset, here are a few ways that a business owner can portray the professionalism of a business:
· Establish Business Hours– This doesn’t mean that you only work these hours. Establishing business hours means that you are ALWAYS working at these hours. And don’t worry it doesn’t have to be 9-5. One of the businesses I run in 30 minutes a day but I set aside the same 30 minutes each day.
· Set Goals– Setting goals is not only a great way to demand respect as a business. It’s also a way to keep yourself on track and avoid distractions. It helps propel the business forward without losing sight of the ultimate purpose of the business. My business partner loves Todd’s 90 Day Year process.
· Hire Experts: Even though entrepreneurs are often a jack of all trades wearing many hats, there are certain times when it’s more appropriate to hire a professional. Whether the employee is full-time, part-time, outsourced or freelanced through sites like Upwork (R), Growth Geeks, and Fiverr, it doesn’t matter.
What’s important is that the employee recognizes that they need to put time, effort, and money into their business to get it to function the correct way.
Beginning your own internet marketing company, or any online business is an exciting, liberating time.
While there are many positive repercussions of becoming a beginner internet marketer, it’s also important that you avoid becoming distracted, losing focus and considering your new business no more than a hobby. Be creative, be innovative, but also be realistic, be smart, and always be productive.
The life of your business depends on it.
Watch this quick entertaining video for more reasons small businesses can fail:
E-Commerce Statistics: Founderu
Small Business Statistics: SBA
The Single Biggest Reason Startups Fail: The Startup
How to Stay Excited About Your Business: Entrepreneur
How Distraction Can Kill Your Business; Inc.
Where to Hire Help for Your Business; Upwork
Another Resource to Find Contract Work for Your Business: Fiverr