You have to have your wits about you to make it in e-business. Regardless of what you do, what you make, what you sell or what you offer, there’s a pretty steep learning curve that must be traversed along the way.
The thing is though, no matter how prepared you think you are, you always tend to find yourself learning a few lessons the hard way. So having consulted with various e-business owners from a variety of niche areas, here are a few examples of the kinds of things they admit wishing they’d known before going into business in the first place:
1. You Need to Save
First of all, saving money is important for two reasons. When there’s nothing coming in, you cannot simply throw caution to the wind under the assumption that it will soon start rolling in. Likewise, when it does seem to be rolling in quite nicely, you cannot let your guard down and assume that it will continue like this long-term. Unless you are sensible and have plenty of ‘rainy-day’ cash in reserve, you will always be operating on thin ice.
2. Comparison Can Kill
Taking inspiration from rival businesses is one thing – evaluating yourself in comparative terms is something else entirely. The simple fact of the matter is that there are always going to be entrepreneurs and brands that do way better than you and achieve way more than you ever will. Evaluate yourself using your own standards, not those of the other businesses around you.
3. Lead Generating Skills Are Critical
Given the fact that pretty much any business will quickly become unviable without customers, there can be little more important than finding and netting those all-important people. The longer you leave it before you start taking quality lead generating seriously, the harder you will find it to get by.
4. Hire Help Before You Need It
It doesn’t matter how dedicated you are or how universally competent you think you are, you cannot and will not build a large and successful business on your own. When you think about it, there are probably lots of things you can think of right now that would be beneficial for your business, if only you have the time to do them. The thing is, waiting for your business to reach a specific size before hiring help can be counterproductive. After all, what happens if your business simply cannot reach this specific size, without first hiring help to get it there?
5. Network, Network, Network
And by this, we do not only mean making as many friends as possible in potentially high places. We also mean networking with your customers, by way of mailing lists, newsletters and so on. If you are to become an important and integral part of the lives of those your brand targets, you need to make the necessary effort. Existing as a glorified vending machine just isn’t enough.
6. It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Hobby
Last up, getting into e-business under the pretence that you are in for an easy ride is a guaranteed recipe for failure. To succeed in e-business in any capacity means embracing it not as something of a side venture or project to play with, but rather a lifestyle that will very much dictate the way your life looks and works indefinitely.