You’ve got your sexy-smart glasses on. You’re business on the top and pyjama party on the bottom. You’ve got a large coffee nearby, your colour-coded business plan at your side and you’re in front of your computer, fingers at the ready. You are SO getting your online biznass sorted! But before you say, ‘We’re live!’ let us fill you in on the 5 mistakes people make when setting up their online business - so you don’t become one of those people!
1. Waiting until it’s PERFECT…
Hate to burst your beautiful, perfectionistic, business bubble, but it’s not going to be perfect! So get that right out of your head to begin with. You’ll get there, you’ll get to a place where you’re thrilled with the website, the brand, the offerings, but even then you’ll be constantly changing, upgrading, reworking and moving and shaking with the times!
So when it comes to Launch Day, don’t wait for perfection. Give yourself a deadline and work your arse off to get there. And have your list of ‘non-negotiables’ as to what has to be ready for launch and what you can work on afterwards. For example, getting your homepage, contact page, about us section and - if you’re an ecommerce business - the first few products up and available for purchase - are biggies that you need to have a solid launch. But if you also want to use case studies and testimonials, or flesh out your biographies, these are changes and alterations that can happen as you go!
Get clear on what works best for you, get your Launch Day locked in, and make it happen!
2. Not clearly identifying your target audience
Friends, this is a big deal. If you don’t know WHO you’re directing your services and products to, you’re in for a rude awakening. Without a clear target audience to market your brand to, there is far too much room for that wishy-washy grey area. Your brand will get lost in a sea of other online businesses, because your voice won’t be heard in a clear, defining and relatable way by anyone.
So what do you do? You define and discover your target audience. Ask yourself some important questions:
Start with the basic sentence: “ I help [who] do [what] so that [why] can [result].”
Once you’ve filled in those blanks, you can ask yourself some more questions:
- What gender are they?
- How old are they?
- What is their relationship status?
- Do they have kids? What are their ages?
- What type of job do they have?
- What do they love to do in their spare time?
- Do they have any hobbies? What are they?
- Who or what inspires them?
- What problem or pain point do they need to solve? What challenges do they face?
- What can YOU do to help them?
Find and define your target audience before you go live so you can make sure your brand is hitting all the right notes!
3. Not doing your market research
Yes, by market research that partly means your competition. But we aren’t condoning or advocating copying them or ripping them off!
That being said, finding other brands and businesses that you adore, that are totally kicking goals, or where they aren’t quite hitting the mark, will help you see the bigger picture of the world surrounding your business and offerings. Which in turn, will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and really allow you to nail down how you can stand out! Market research is key!
4. Doing it all by yourself
We understand the importance of keeping costs low when you’re first starting. But there’s a fine line between saving money and saving your sanity...and the quality of your work in the long run.
Know your strengths and acknowledge your weaknesses. If there is something that isn’t in your wheelhouse but it’s imperative you nail this in your business (like your web design, for example!) then outsource! If you stink at writing copy or excel spreadsheets aren’t your jam, find someone who loves these and is a champion when it comes to bringing them to life.
It’s worth the investment (but be smart) in the long run if outsourcing some work means your business launches powerfully and brilliantly! Besides, it means once you ‘open’, you’ll still have the brain power to manage the influx of clients and buyers that come-a-running!
5. Ignoring the legals
You knew this was coming, right? If your legals aren’t up to snuff, then your online business isn’t ready!
Getting your T&Cs, privacy policies, any service agreements or product IP locked in and secure before you welcome your beautiful business babe into the world is of the utmost importance.
There are risks that come along with business once you’re out there working and playing with others, so make sure you protect yourself, your money and the insane amount of hard work you’ve put into bringing your empire to life by being legally legit and secure from day one.
How are you feeling? Now that you’re clear on the 5 mistakes people make when setting up their online business, you can feel confident knowing you’re moving forward with some extra arsenal and greater knowledge behind you. You’ve got a brilliant mind and a brilliant business. Build it well and with legal love! You’ve got this. XNeed some steering in the right legal direction? Book your free consultation and we can chat. Feel free to bring a glass of wine with you. If you wanna have a little exploration yourself before we connect, check out our Legal Checklist Freebie and our stellar legal templates.
Riz McDonald is an e-commerce business owner, business coach, podcaster and a lawyer for over 16 years. She’s also a mum, a wife, and a lover of good wine...she only ever drinks the cheap stuff when she’s stoney broke.
***Disclaimer. Please read!!***
This article is for general information purposes only and should be used solely as general guidance. It does not and is not intended to represent legal advice or other professional advice.
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