You probably already know this but starting your own online business as an entrepreneur can be an online business challenge. You will most probably run into multiple roadblocks and detours, there’s no denying it can be a difficult process. Yes, hard work is important but the real trick to being successful is recognising the difficulties and planning ahead to conquer these challenges. Keep in mind the common online business challenges that are faced by other entrepreneurs and start setting up a plan to overcome them now.
Online business challenges
1. Understanding your target audience
Understanding your target audience can be a huge online business challenge. It’s likely you will have a target audience in mind when you start your business. The truth is that your real audience during the initial 6-12 months can look significantly different than the audience you originally intended to target.
Constantly research and analyse your audiences so you know exactly who you’re talking to and how you should talk to them. Think about whether or not the target audiences have evolved and shifted since you first started and if you want to change certain parts of your business to better satisfy their needs.
There are many platforms where people go to passionately discuss things they like. You can use these platforms to find out whether or not your niche has an audience.
Reddit is a great place to test your niche. It is an online forum featuring thousands of topics. You can find communities built around every conceivable subject from entrepreneurship to dog training to jokes. Using Reddit to find your target audience is easy. You can start with a bigger idea of what you are interested in, then go into the relevant subreddits. Similarly, you can use this method to find your target audiences and their pain points through Quora.
Another way to find your target audiences is through social media networks. You can use Pinterest to see what people are pinning the most and look at other people’s boards to find new untapped markets. You can use Facebook groups to find different topics and communities.
2. Choosing the appropriate way to market
The internet has actually created an unlimited number of ways to promote your company. There is social media, online advertising, affiliate marketing, influencer marketing and a lot more.
The online business challenge now for entrepreneurs is selecting the appropriate platforms for your company. Social media platforms can be hugely valuable in creating traffic for your website, but which ones you choose will heavily depend on your company and target market.
When you look at big companies and your mentors with huge presences on all social media channels, you might think that you need to be everywhere all the time in order to succeed. But no, you need to choose the platforms where you target audiences are, the methods that will generate results, before diving into all the other ways. Think about the people you are trying to reach out to and which systems will be most efficient to get that done.
3. Establish a unique brand
With all the different kinds of online businesses starting every single day, it can be challenging to find your place and attract attention.
Take a step back and think about why you’re running this business, what makes you different or special, what’s your story and how you can help people using your own ways.
This is a step that might get you stuck. You might get imposter syndrome, thinking that you have nothing special to offer. Remember that no one has your story, no one can help others like you do with the way you do it.
Think about what you have to offer to help you develop your own unique brand, which you can use to bring in clients as well as stand apart from other online businesses.
To help you build a unique brand, you need to have elements like a clear brand name, brand logo, brand colours and brand font. You can hire someone from Fiverr to help you with this. Or you can start by drafting something through Canva, my favourite design tool to easily create stunning and professional designs.
Nowadays, everything is being taken online. It’s bringing the whole world closer, yet at the same time, pushing everyone to focus on being behind their computers.
As an entrepreneur or solopreneur, it can be challenging to develop partnerships when starting an online business from scratch. Networking both online and offline can help you attract your target audiences, help you build connections with suppliers, work and collaborate with partners and other entrepreneurs.
Put yourself out there and make connections through networking. It might be easy to forget but building relationships is a fundamental part in succeeding in your online business.
Beginning an entrepreneur requires a great deal of investment with time, money as well as effort. Be aware of the online business challenges and also have a strategy to conquer these to give your business every chance of success.
You can start by joining us on our Facebook Group and look for other like-minded entrepreneurs.
Bonus: Not having enough time
It is difficult as an entrepreneur not to wear all the hats in your business and do everything yourself. From designs to content creation, writing, client relationship building and more, you probably do them all.
In a way, it is a great experience for entrepreneurs to dip your toes in everything so you can understand fully how everything is done. However, it can also be extremely time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you are unfamiliar with a certain aspect of your business.
That’s why outsourcing is extremely important. Outsourcing not only allows you to focus your energy on things that you are good at but also allow you to take your hands off things that you might not be so skilful or experienced with. This can ultimately save you time.
Here are some platforms to find freelancers for you to outsource to:
- UpWork – This is one of the world’s largest online workplace hubs. You can post your job listing on the site and professional freelancers can apply to complete it for you.
- Freelancer – This is another very popular workplace hub where you can post your job listings and freelancers can apply to complete it for you.
- Onlinejobs.ph – This is one of my favourites because it’s very affordable. It’s one of the largest online marketplaces for Filipino virtual assistants and employees.
Not just outsourcing to people, but by outsourcing your efforts to different automation platforms and tools, you can save time and effort. From social media automation tools, design tools, content creation tools and email marketing service providers, there are a lot of platforms that can ultimately save you a lot of time and money.
To find out more about the different tools, you can check out our Online Business Toolkit.
Although these are online business challenges that many entrepreneurs will face inevitably, it is important to know that you need to take your business one step at a time. It is impossible to succeed overnight and only through getting through these online business challenges and continuing working, will you be able to achieve and succeed in your entrepreneurial journey.