Running an online business can be challenging, but it can also be rewarding in many ways. However, while the advantages of working from home are many, you’ll face some challenges that you won’t necessarily find in brick-and-mortar establishments. With so much potential and such opportunities, it’s important to consider these top five challenges of an online business before jumping into it.
1) Finding customers
The biggest challenge when it comes to starting and growing a business online is finding customers. This is especially true if you are trying to start an online business without a pre-existing customer base (i.e., no prior customers, no brand recognition, etc.). It’s going to be much more difficult than if you already have a large group of followers that trust your products or services. You will have to rely on SEO, Google Adwords campaigns and social media to spread awareness about your product or service in order for people to actually click on your website link. You will also need to give yourself some time so that your efforts aren’t wasted by giving up after just a few months into it.
2) Funding your business
Getting funding for your online business isn’t easy—no matter what type of business you plan to launch. It can take years for most companies to reach profitability, and so when raising money, many investors won’t be willing to wait that long. Instead, they’ll want to see some sort of return on their investment right away or within a short period after they invest in your company. At The Startup Factory , we believe it takes two years (at least) to raise capital. It’s possible, but very difficult. If you really need funding now – don’t give up!
3) Scaling your business
A lot of people are scared to launch their own business because they’re not sure how to scale it. There’s no right way to do it, but there are ways that will make it easier than others. Ask yourself if you can hire someone else to handle part of your online business—either remotely or in-house—before you start struggling with scaling issues. If you have a service-based business, think about subcontracting some parts of your services or hiring virtual assistants to help with tasks so you have more time to work on client relations and expansion. And remember: sometimes it helps just to get started! Take one small step at a time and don’t be afraid of making mistakes along the way; as long as you learn from each mistake, progress is inevitable.
4) Keeping up with technology
The online world is changing rapidly. Platforms are being developed and new gadgets are hitting markets every day. Keeping up with technology can feel like a full-time job in itself, but if you’re serious about building your online business, then it’s essential to have someone on board who knows what they’re doing when it comes to all things digital. For instance, setting up an effective ecommerce website that’s optimized for conversion could be crucial—and hiring someone to do that (or hiring some outside help) could be worth its weight in gold. By their very nature, many entrepreneurs get hung up on starting or running a business—they might start focusing only on product or service development while neglecting growth strategies such as SEO or social media marketing.
5) Being accessible
Whether you’re working in your office, at home or on vacation, you should be able to easily and quickly connect with people who want to talk to you. This is especially important when it comes to customer service because that’s where a lot of relationships get started and come to a close. If someone gets frustrated by a lack of response or direct help from your company, they can find another option very easily. Remember—the days of doing business only by phone are long gone; just being accessible means being available digitally as well. All clients expect prompt replies within 24 hours (during normal business hours). If you do not reply to any inquiry within 24 hours via email or phone, plan on getting negative reviews online (from unsatisfied customers). It’s pretty simple – people want their questions answered immediately!