Why Most Online Businesses Fail
By Tony Ogunlowo
Even though e-entrepreneurship is the new gold rush of the 21st century 90% of start-ups fail within their first year.
Lots of people try to make money online because in comparison to traditional businesses it’s relatively easy to set-up and it’s not capital intensive. The belief is you can make a lot of money in a short period of time.
This is where people get it wrong – they want to make a lot of money in the shortest time possible. Think this way and you’ll crash within months! All the top internet giants of today – Facebook, Google – didn’t make any money in their first few years of operation. It takes time for you to build up your brand and make it profitable. This cannot be done overnight and there’s a lot of things to learn, learn again and keeping on learning .
You need to have a passion for what you’re doing and be prepared to work very long hours, sometimes probably 24/7, for months on end, perhaps even years without the prospect of a pay check at the end of the day.
Do it because you love what you’re doing and you’re prepared to commit your everything to it before you break even. If you can’t do this stick with the 9 – 5 job!
Another thing that makes a lot of online businesses fail is what I call the ‘Copycat Syndrome’. The mere fact somebody is making it big as a blogger, vlogger, apps developer or affiliate marketer doesn’t automatically mean you can duplicate their success; a lot of undocumented hard work would have got them to where they are now – this is the ‘secret’ they don’t share with you!
Stick to what you know best and what you’re good at and don’t copy others. All those who tried to copy twitter, Facebook and even Linda Ikeji have all disappeared over the years. Be original.
Watch the pennies: start small and grow gradually. I had a friend who wanted to set up an online media portal. Even before he had his website up and running he had hired 6 staff and rented a big office. With only a little money trickling in from sponsorships and advertising he soon found himself in the red and debt and had to close down. Only hire people and premises when you need to. Most of the time all you need is a laptop with internet connection. Keep it simple and small in the beginning.
Time: most people become entrepreneurs because they believe they will have more time for themselves – wrong! Until you’re making mega-bucks being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 affair – no time off, no holidays, no social life…nothing! You’ll literally be working all hours. So if you want more time off you better stick with your current job where you’ll only work 9 – 5, have the weekends off and 2 weeks holiday per annum!
You also need to watch out for the competition: whatever you are doing there is bound to be somebody else doing the same thing somewhere else in the world which means you have to be innovative and on top of your game; look at the competition Uber is facing around the world from other copycats? If you let the competition get the better of you, you’ll sink like a stone in water. Look how Google destroyed AOL,Yahoo and Hotmail and relegated them to the back of the queue.
So to re-cap if you want to be a successful e-entrepreneur you can’t be motivated solely by the money you can make, be unique and don’t copy others(-blindly!), watch your budget – and your competitors and be prepared to work extremely hard.
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