There are many common misconceptions about Internet-based businesses that can lead new entrepreneurs to acquiring harmful business habits from the word “go.” Some think that they can do it all, as Internet businesses are notorious for being easy to start up and expand, while others think that they can let the Internet and its endless resources do their dirty work for them.
1. You can pay yourself any salary that you want.
In a perfect world, this would be the ideal guidepost as to how you should set your salary. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and not just because it’s harmful to your business. The IRS has even implemented a law against unreasonable salaries.
To be honest, you should not expect to make a solid living off of your home-based business until you are at least six months into it. Before this time period, you should be allocating most of your funds toward development and advertising.
2. You can outsource the tricky stuff.
Many new business owners jump into the world of Internet entrepreneurship because they think they can get away with passing off the hard stuff to freelancers, such as designers and SEO specialists. What they don’t realize is that these projects are not only costly, but damaging to your business’ brand.
When you outsource things like websites and copy, which serve to establish the overall look and feel of your business, you lose the personal touch that typically goes into the design. Instead, you will have a website that looks just like any other. While it may be neater and with a few expert tricks up its sleeve, it will be forgettable, and your potential customers will quickly move on.
3. Your website is your business plan.
Hopefully if you have adopted this as your business’ mantra, you have at least put the time in to personally create your website! Because if you think that your website can build your business all on its own, it better be one remarkable website!
You can’t simply rely on your website’s design and content to attract customers to your business and keep them there. You need to implement other methods of drawing in customers as well, such as building opt-in lists, creating a newsletter, or running a weekly blog.
4. Your website speaks only to local consumers.
While it’s true that many local businesses will build a website to make their local customers’ experience more enjoyable, you should be looking for a broader horizon in terms of your own online business . Your local credit union may only be able to provide services to those in your surrounding area, but anyone from around the world has the opportunity to buy what you are offering.
Keep this in mind as you set up your payment processors and shipping methods. If you limit the population of customers that you can serve by accepting only one currency and just shipping nationally, you are limiting the profits you can make via your virtual store.
5. Your business is small and, therefore, less viable.
Many new business owners automatically feel that they are at a disadvantage because of the large amount of competition that exists on the Internet. However, being a smaller, newer business actually gives you the upper hand, as you can see what the competition is doing wrong-and then do it right on your own site.
You also don’t have the same amount of costs that larger businesses have to account for. Because of this, you can price your products more competitively, which is a surefire way to draw customers away from the current industry leaders.
Don’t let your online business suffer before you even get started-put yourself in the right frame of mind and be realistic! Once you have set your sights on reasonable goals and deadlines, it will be no time at all before you are at the top of your market and bringing in more profits than all of your competition combined.