E-commerce entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted given the slew of challenges involved. You need patience, courage and a strong will to get going regardless of how big the mountain of challenges is.
To be honest, online entrepreneurship is not everyone’s cup of tea. And yet, people are taking the plunge into it not just because of the glamour attached to it, but also due to the freedom and flexibility it offers. The temptation to break free from the shackles of a 9 to 5 job, to be one’s own boss and make a name for oneself are just some of the reasons why everyone today wants to be an entrepreneur.
Given the battlefield that the online landscape is, foraying without full-fledged preparation can prove detrimental. Naive and too new in the ecosystem, budding entrepreneurs tend to commit mistakes that sometimes cost them a fortune. Having said that, committing mistakes is a part of the grinding process that ultimately helps budding business executives blossom into excellent entrepreneurs in the highly-competitive world of e-commerce.
Here are seven common mistakes that young entrepreneurs tend to make while foraying into e-commerce:
1. Lack of Clarity About Online Business
Entrepreneurs need to have a holistic understanding of the market they are going to enter in order to achieve success in the long-term. Since young businessmen don’t have prior experience of the working mechanism of the e-commerce industry, they end up making blunders such as launching a misfit product or devising an ill-suited marketing strategy for the online space.
2. Ignoring Clients
Space like e-commerce thrives on the satisfaction quotient of its customers. Hence, online entrepreneurs cannot afford to ignore the voice of their clients. To make the best of their e-retail baby, addressing the concerns of their consumers at the earliest is a prerequisite. Having a squad of customer support experts who know their products and services in-depth can prove highly beneficial, and will also save you from hampering your relationship with customers.
With customers seeking instant answers, you can also create an online self-service knowledge base that they can access anytime and from any device to solve their queries, without requiring external support.
3. Putting Marketing on the Backburner
In the online ecosystem, ‘out of sight is out of mind’. In this domain, the higher your visibility, the bigger your chances of acquiring customers. Not giving due importance to marketing is the last thing you would want to do as an online entrepreneur.
Your product is awesome, it has got all the right features, and it’s better than that of your competitors. But why are your sales figures indicating the opposite? If your customers don’t know about your product, how will they buy it? To attain top-of-the-mind brand recall, it’s essential that you market your products/services wisely across various media platforms to grab more eyeballs and eventually drive more leads.
4. Following the One-Size-Fits-All Approach
What works for some other e-commerce business, might not work for you. By blindly following the mass and going with what others are doing is sure to bring you disappointment. The e-commerce arena doesn’t work on a one-size-fits-all approach. You have to make sure that your business is unique and your strategies are crafted keeping in mind the products and services you offer, your target audience and various other factors. To make your e-tail business a success, you will have to formulate strategies that are different, forward-thinking and customer-centric.
5. Lack of Social Media Presence
Okay, so you are putting your heart and soul into your new e-tail setup and you hope that your website will sweep your customers off their feet. News flash – The chances of that happening are pretty less since you have not bothered to build your brand on social media. The social media cyberspace has become the new residence of almost every customer, and if you don’t market your products or services there, you will lose the opportunity to attract a significant chunk of prospective customers.
6. Setting Unclear and Unattainable Goals
Young entrepreneurs are usually full of spirit as every move they take oozes energy and enthusiasm. In a rush to reach the top at a fast pace, they set such high goals, achieving which is not plausible in a short period. Remember, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’! If you are in the e-commerce game to gain overnight success, get ready to be disappointed. Businessmen working in this domain have to understand that to ace the online race, they need to move wisely and steadily and work towards goals that are achievable.
7. Being Complacent
A complacent attitude is a major hindrance for achieving growth in online business. For an entrepreneur who is new to the market, complacency can make him/her oblivious to the cut-throat competition in the e-commerce landscape and underestimate competitors’ abilities. There is a thin line between confidence and overconfidence, which often gets blurred when new founders get comfortable with their progress. But in order to reach the zenith of success and become a leading e-commerce player in the market, it’s important to step out of the cocoon and confront every day as a new challenge.
8. Sticking to Traditional Ways
Emerging entrepreneurs sometimes overlook the importance of adopting modern ways in doing the simplest of things. For instance, using paper-based documents to search for information is a technique that has gone completely obsolete. Imagine running an e-commerce firm and using manual documentation to accomplish daily tasks – isn’t it ironical?
The best way will be to create an internal knowledge base that employees can access anytime to find information. Embracing modern techniques to carry out routine tasks increases the productivity of employees and thus creates a positive growth trajectory for the online business.
Although mistakes are indispensable to learn and grow as a businessman, yet it’s better to be fully-prepared before foraying into e-commerce entrepreneurship. Some mistakes teach you a lesson and motivate you to avoid them in the future, but some can create irreparable damage.
It’s always better to be prepared than regret later for a loss that can become difficult to digest for a person who has just started off as an entrepreneur. Why not embark on the challenging online entrepreneurship journey by avoiding these mistakes and putting one’s best foot forward?
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