5 Mistakes You Make When You Build a Business Online

When you start building your business online, you’re mostly focused on learning what to do rather than what not to do.

There are so many moving parts you have to learn about that learning about the wrong moves might not be your top priority.

However, learning about the mistakes you might make as early in the process as possible is maybe a good idea than taking time to reflect on what made your process fail.

There are probably many more mistakes that you might make (depending on the level of detail you’re looking at) but try to clear these 5 out of the way first, so you can concentrate on avoiding more complex ones.

Here they are, in no particular order.


1. You don’t look at all the communication channels.

You will most probably look at the communication channels you know best, because you think it will be easier for you to get the ball rolling. While this may sound like a good idea, it might be plain wrong. The reason is: those communication channels might be already overcrowded and your chances of making your message cut through the noise are pretty slim.

What to do instead:

Brainstorm all the possible communication channels that you can use. Try to come up with a strategy for each one of those. And test. You never know which communication channel works best for your business. Until you try.

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2. You suppose that only the online communication channels should be used for an online business

Because it’s an online business it doesn’t mean that you’re restricted to using only online communication channels.

What to do instead:

Don’t discount the “old style” offline communication channels like conferences, networking events, fairs, printed ads, etc. etc. etc. They might be less crowded and still useful.

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3. You advertise online without having a clear strategy

Even if you have unlimited budget for advertising, before you start spending money on it, you have to have a clear strategy. If you don’t understand well who your typical customer is, what pains, dreams, and aspirations they have, where they are, and what is the best most adapted message, don’t expect to see much success from your expensive ad campaigns.

What to do instead:

Start by better understanding your customer segments. Go beyond mere demographics: understand psychographics, behaviors, interests, buying occasions, benefits they are looking for when buying, etc.

Transform your sales message into a story adapted to what you have identified above. And use this story as the basis of your ad campaign.

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4. You create content without a strategy

This is the same as point 3 above in case you don’t want to spend all your budget (or you don’t have budget to spend) on advertising.

You have heard about content marketing and about the fact that it attracts more customers than a simple ad online (after all, you’re not wrong: just try to remember when was the last time when you clicked on an ad).

But without a clear strategy, the results will be the same as for the point 3 above.

What to do instead:

Read point 3.

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5. You give up too soon

Building a business online is a long game. Whatever strategy you’ll choose, nothing will happen overnight. You’ll feel like whatever you do, nothing works. Or nothing moves the needle far enough to consider it a success. You’ll feel like giving up. Don’t!

What to do instead:

Don’t be patient! Patience is the wrong strategy in this case. You’ll need to keep testing and adapting your strategy until you see the results expected.

Keep on keeping on!

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