10 mistakes to avoid when starting your online businessApr 23, 2023
Please enjoy this guest post from Faye Ruch, a member of the Platform Launchers Members' Club
In writing this article, 10 Disastrous Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Your Online Business: The Ultimate ‘Don’t Do’ Guide, I hope it is a blessing to you and gives you value in learning from my mistakes.
1. Don't try to follow ‘Everyone'
Pick one or two, maybe three, successful entrepreneurs to follow and follow them only while it serves your needs. Then you can move on to learn from others. Believe me, trying to follow and learn from many, creates an overwhelming feeling. In my case, I realized that it created so much overwhelm that I didn't know what the next best step was, so I didn't do anything. Being overwhelmed caused me to waste valuable time, a resource I will never get back. My motto right now is 'Just do what John says.' I'm talking about John Stange, founder of Platform Launchers, who has graciously let me guest blog here. I have spent years chasing the dream of having my own online business, gotten overwhelmed, started and stopped multiple times. Now, thanks to finding Platform Launchers, I am restarting at Step 1 with his course in Platform Launchers University called 'Earn $250 A Day’ from Your Online Platform’ and joined his membership group' Platform Launchers'. I finally have a blueprint with a step-by-step method to follow. Many entrepreneurs will teach you one piece of the puzzle. John lays out how he built his successful online business in Platform Launchers, piece by piece. His platform and teachings are real, authentic, and oh-so-valuable.
2. Don’t Spend Tons of Money on Tools and Programs yet...
Don't be like me and spend way too much money on tools and programs,' hoping' it will be 'the thing' that helps your business take off. Yes, tools and education are essential. Yet spending endless amounts of money on tools and courses, hoping it will magically work, does not replace the hard work it takes to get your business off the ground. Even if you don't think of it as a business, maybe you want to create something for a hobby, you still have to take action and do the work for customers to come to you and value what you offer. Bootstrapping your business is possible. A few tools I recommend to get started for free are: 1) Convertkit to collect email addresses, build landing pages (it's like a one-page website sales page), and sell products 3) Pensight (it's a one-page site that lists everywhere someone can find you - your social media links, your webpage, and products/services you offer) and 3) Etsy if you want to sell digital or physical products. If you'd like to see examples of my pages for Dog Life Made Better, you can check them out here: Pensight, Convertkit, and Etsy.
3. Don't force what you don't enjoy.
There's a saying: Don't force a square peg into a round hole. This means a person is placed in the wrong role or position or trying to do something unsuitable for their passion, personality, or strengths. Know yourself, what you are good at, and your passions. There are many ways to hone in on learning about what is suited for you. One simple way is to follow the LIPS model. Draw a table of five columns and five rows. On the top row, list 3-4 online business opportunities you'd like to pursue. In a column on the left, list the following: Lifestyle, Income, Passion, and Strengths (LIPS model). On a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the best, score how each business idea fits into your lifestyle, income goals, passion, and strengths. The one that scores the highest may be the best place to start. Another good test is the DISC assessment test. This will give you insights about yourself and teach you how to work with others of similar or different profiles than yourself.
4. Don't Try To Do It All.
There are hundreds of ways to make money online and hundreds of ways to market your business, so don't try to do it all. Recognize what you enjoy doing, as we just talked about. Maybe you don't enjoy writing, but you could put a sentence or two in a Tweet on a regular basis. Perhaps you prefer speaking, so you could hold group workshops over Zoom to broaden your offer. Maybe you recognize that video is the place to be, but you don't want to be in front of the camera. You could then take a series of pictures, add captions, and create a video through iMovie. Also, recognize something called opportunity costs. Are you agonizing over two weeks creating your logo, or could you wisely spend $20-$50 on Upwork for a graphic designer to pop out some great logos for you in 24 hours? You could be busy creating the content you excel at during this time. I once heard this statement that stuck with me. 'We can often weaken our strengths while trying to strengthen our weaknesses.' This reminds me to 'stay in my lane' and get help from others when I can afford to.
5. Don't go at it alone.
Find support in your dreams and motivation by joining a group of like-minded people who understand what you are trying to do. I find my support and guidance in the Platform Launchers Membership group and another group. Look, no matter how much you want them to, your family and friends may not understand what you are trying to do or grasp the concept of creating an online business. Most people wake up in the morning, grab their cell phones, and check their email, Facebook, and the news. They get out of bed, get a coffee, shower, and eat the same breakfast. They drive the same way to work, do the same things at work, drive home, eat dinner, sit in the same chair, watch the same TV shows, go to bed, and repeat the same pattern the next day. It becomes a program rather than decision-making, then suddenly, it's 20 years later. Find your support and guidance, and follow your dreams.
6. Don't create your business on something that will quickly become outdated.
The key is to create evergreen content. Technology and social media companies can change rules like the wind changes direction. For example, a business on how to run company- specific ads may have you working overtime to keep up with the latest changes. Software can quickly become outdated. So when you are trying to decide what to build your business around, think evergreen - content that will be valuable for many years to come. For example, my business is based around dog care, so the content will be helpful as long as dogs are in our world. According to some studies, the most popular content is health and fitness, relationships, finance, online business and marketing, self-care, and personal development.
7. Don't try to be everything to everyone.
Some experts say niche down until it hurts. But what if you are like me and either have multiple passions or have trouble deciding, sticking to it, and putting aside the other things you'd like to do? No one says you can't pursue those other things later or have a couple of things you work on at once. However, my friend Johnathan says if you go a mile deep and an inch wide (stick with one thing until you get there) instead of going an inch deep and a mile wide (meaning going in too many different directions), you'll gain a lot more traction and build your online presence quicker. One of my favorite books is by Gary Keller, called The ONE Thing. On the first page of the first chapter, a quote says, "Be like a postage stamp - stick to one thing until you get there."
8. Don't believe it's going to happen magically.
There is no magic wand. Build it, put it out there, and they will come - nope, it doesn't work that way. Consistent Effort Over Time Is Required. Even computer algorithms know that and will promote your content more if you are consistent.
9. Don't be a secret Entrepreneur.
I learned this from my Broker. In addition to being a Doctor of Pharmacy, I also have my Real Estate license in Southwest Florida, where there are 18,000+ agents right now. My Broker says, 'Don't be a secret agent' because no one will know you even sell real estate. He also says you're not a real estate agent, you are a marketing agent. No matter what your online business is, don't be a secret entrepreneur, and you must be a marketing agent. Let people know what services or products you offer and market them to be found.
10. Don't force what you don't enjoy.
Remember earlier I said, do what John says? Well, here's what John says. Whenever you are creating content, always ask yourself this question, "Is this content I am creating going to help the person who receives it?" If the answer is 'yes,' then you are providing value! So, Settle Into Your Platform and Enjoy The Ride.
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