Everyone points out the many benefits of starting to grow your online business. You’re free to set your own schedule. You don’t have a boss demanding your attention, so you can pay attention to your family. You don’t have to worry about a long commute. Starting a business online takes far fewer resources than trying to build a physical retail business or franchise. Of course, starting an online business isn’t easy. There are a number of pitfalls to avoid as you build your business from the ground up. You have to deal with all of the home life distractions without the support of company benefits or paid absences. To have the best chance of starting to grow your online business successfully, here are eight mistakes to avoid:
1: Not Planning Ahead
Planning is critical to your success when you’re starting an online business. You don’t have a corporate structure telling you what to do each day. You’re in total control of your business plan, marketing direction and everything else. Starting a business online without a plan leads to lost hours or even lost days where you flail around looking for something to do and accomplish nothing. Exactly how much you plan each day depends on what works best for you, but you should never start a day without a list of tasks you need to accomplish for that working day.
2: Forsaking Organisation
Organised structure is the key to success. There’s a reason large corporations follow rigid structures. When you’re starting an online business, you have as much or as little flexibility as you need to succeed. The key is to remain organised even when the work starts to pile up. Starting your own online business requires a lot of paperwork, record-keeping, daily planning and other essential tasks, therefore keeping everything organised is critical. Find a structure that works for you and keep to it – trust us, you will not regret it.
3: Not Focusing on How to Get Customers
I cannot tell you how many times I have spoken to someone about their new exciting venture. They’ve decided on what products they are going to sell or what business they’re going to build and think they’re ready to set the world on fire! But then when I ask the simple question; “How do you plan to get your customers?” And that’s where they draw a blank. Focusing on how to get customers is without a doubt the lifeblood of any business, especially nowadays when there’s so much choice in markets – why should they choose you? If you don’t have a plan, then I suggest you plan to fail! Make sure you get the right training on getting customers! For example, we like to use list building.
4: Not Having a Separate Office
When you’re starting an online business, you’re probably doing it to get away from an ‘office culture’. Even so, you can’t have your business supplies scattered around the house. As we mentioned before, starting and beginning to grow your online business racks up a lot of paperwork, appliances and possibly inventory. You need a place to keep all of this where it won’t be damaged by family/pets, lost among other possessions or simply misplaced. Organisation is key, and if you have a dedicated home office, you have a central location for your organisation. Of course, a home office also includes a tax break.
5: Relying on Friends and Family
Starting your own online business is a great way to spend more time with your family. One thing you need to realise, however, is that trusted friends do not necessarily make trusted business advisers. Some of them might mean well but offer poor advice. Some may grow sick of constantly hearing about your business. Separate business and family, join a community of industry professionals for your business advice and use starting a business online as an excuse to build a new social circle.
6: Not Blocking Interruptions
Without the ‘corporate office culture’, it can be hard to sit down and focus on a single task related to growing your business online. If your phone is constantly ringing with calls or texts from friends, you’re not getting work done when you answer. Dropping everything to deal with a child or family matter might be essential in rare cases, but if it’s not it can break your focus easily. When you’re starting to grow your online business, you need to treat it like any other job — set aside blocks of work time and restrict outside communication.
7: Working Too Much
Starting an online business or indeed beginning to grow your online business is a lot of work. It’s very tempting to spend every waking moment working on completing tasks. There’s no time clock telling you to go home at dinnertime and to put off work for the morning. The problem with this approach is that you burn out quickly, very quickly. Sinking all of your creativity and energy into starting to grow your online business just means you don’t have any for the rest of your life. You’ll be exhausted, worn out and creatively dry. This is something you want to try and avoid at all costs – no pressure!
8: Staying at Home
One of the primary benefits of starting an online business is your ability to do all of your work from home. You never have to leave your house, if you don’t want to. The problem with starting your own online business is, then, spending too much time at home. It becomes harder to communicate and network and your lack of travel outside of the house can grow stale. Again, eventually you’ll find yourself burning out and abandoning your daily tasks out of apathy. Plan lunch dates and network outside of your home to avoid this nasty situation. Don’t be afraid to take your work to another wifi connection every now and then just to shake up your surroundings and give yourself a fresh perspective.
Making the transition to a digital nomads lifestyle can be, at times, challenging at the beginning. Finding the right balance to allow you to grow your online business is essential. Once you commit to this process and fully embrace the lifestyle we promise you, you will not regret it! Be sure to take a look around our website and social media channels to find out more about digital nomads and us, the Digital Nomad Family!
Make sure to click here to check out our FREE video series that will help give you even further insight into the digital nomad lifestyle!
Have a great week!
The Digital Nomad Family