It’s a thin line between running and ruining a business, especially an online business. Online entrepreneurs have the distinct advantage of being able to work remotely from anywhere in the world or from co-working spaces.
The following Google Trends chart shows interest in online business from 2004 to date.
We notice a steady increase in interest in this unique form of entrepreneurship in the last 7 years.
For many online entrepreneurs the laptop lifestyle is the dream life, getting paid in your pajamas is simply the new definition of cool. However, as cool as it sounds there are still challenges online entrepreneurs have to deal with.
For instance, not all new businesses survive. A recent report put business failure rate for US businesses at over 50% within 5 years and over 70% after 10 years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the following chart showing business startup and closure rates between 1999 and 2010.
From the charts we observe that the business mortality rate for some years was extremely high with more business closures than startups in 2010.
Learning how to fail proof your online business will ensure that you’re still in business for a long time to come.
In this post we’ll be sharing 5 tips to help you do just that, but first
What Is Online Business?
Online business is one that can be done online over the internet. It usually involves the use of a smartphone, tablet or PC with internet connectivity.
Some Popular Online Businesses
Some of the more popular online businesses include:
1. Forex/Binary Trading
2. Cryptocurrency Trading
3. Website Design
4. Freelance Writing/Copywriting
5. Virtual Assistance
6. Affiliate Marketing
9. Data Entry
10. Ecommerce Business
12. Online Courses
13. Social Media Management
14. Software and App Development
15. Online Consultancy
16. Graphics Design
17. Video/Animation Creation
18. Voice Over Artistry
19. Online Advertising
20. Online Research, etc.
Most of these are run freelance yet some have been able to grow into agencies making millions of dollars in revenue.
Whatever online business you do, there are many challenges to deal with. Here are
5 Simple Ways to Fail Proof Your Online Business
1. See It As a Business
In many countries, businesses are required to register with company registration authorities, fill out forms, submit documentation and obtain an operating license.
This is not quite the case with online business and as such many online entrepreneurs fail to regard what they do as a real business and thus become slack in the way they handle their online business.
Basic things like record keeping, taxes and accounting are easily overlooked and a general lackadaisical attitude pervades.
To succeed with your online business you need to start taking it seriously and seeing it for what it is, a business.
2. Strong Internet Connection
By definition, an online business is one done over the internet. So without a strong and reliable internet connection you’ll struggle with your online business.
Poor internet connectivity can affect client or customer communication. If you’re unable to respond timely to client emails due to poor connectivity you put your client’s business in jeopardy.
Similarly, most new clients as part of their interview/on-boarding process would require say a Skype or Zoom call. Poor internet connection will make a mess of this.
To succeed online you need to invest in reliable internet connectivity.
3. Have an Online Presence
Imagine a local business that doesn’t have an office or a traceable address. You’d think twice before doing any business with it, wouldn’t you?
It’s the same with online business. Having a solid online presence further cements your claims to be an online entrepreneur. Having a well optimized business website builds credibility, even if you’re a freelancer.
Most new clients will snoop on your social media profiles to have a sneak peak of who you are and what you do before initiating contact or responding to a job inquiry from you.
Having a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account or profile will add to your traceability and credibility, and help you succeed as an online entrepreneur.
4. Be Security Conscious
Online businesses face a plethora of online security threats. One major attack can wipe you out of internet existence and can grossly impact your online business.
Reports indicate that there were over 17 million Brute Force attacks in January 2019 alone. This figure is expected to rise to 39 million by end of February 2019.
Major retailers and businesses have suffered hacks and data breaches resulting in the theft of hundreds of millions of credit card information, resulting in loss of customer confidence and business.
And you don’t have to be Target to be targeted or “major” to suffer a major internet attack. Even new, no-name freelancer websites are attacked from day one. To stay safe, follow basic online security best practices.
5. Stay Motivated
There are just so many beasts to beat and best online if you own or run an online business. Keeping up with the number and nature of security threats alone is work.
Competition is another thing to worry about if your niche is small. Again, things change very quickly online. You need to be in the know of new trends and tricks. One SEO update or algorithm change can see you tumbling from the top of SERP to page 3 where only your determined cousins can find you.
There are many sources of stress online. One way to survive them all is to stay motivated and dogged no matter what. And one way to get and stay motivated is by hearing what other entrepreneurs have to say about entrepreneurship.
They’ve been there, done that, and are in the best position to encourage you and show you how to better position for success.
To succeed with your online business remember to
1. See it as a real business
2. Have strong internet connection
3. Have solid online presence
4. Be security conscious
5. Stay motivated no matter what