9 Common Mistakes That May Kill Your Business Online

online business mistakes

Cloud, social networking, mobile friendly and big data are the new digital trends that are going to shape businesses, big and small, over the next decade.

Being ‘digital ready’ is an equalizer that allows local brands and businesses to compete in the 21st Century. As an online business owner, are you struggling to manage your digital presence?

Sell Your Business

Drive Traffic to Your Website

Win $100 for Vendor Insights

Below are common online business mistakes that small businesses may be making, which could potentially kill business.

Don’t Make These Online Business Mistakes

1. Not Having a Customer Database to Communicate via Email

If you don’t bother to maintain a customer database, you not only lose out on potential customers, but also fail to lend a personal touch when dealing with your existing clients. For example, you may have interested customers taking the time out to browse your site and signup by giving an email address.

But once they leave, there’s no follow-up.

One of the best ways to keep your customers engaged is by capturing their email addresses and mobile numbers (if provided) for your database and sending them regular updates about your store and fabulous discounts/offers you may have.

Keep track of your ‘return customers’ who are good indicators of the quality of service that you provide for your business.

2. Not Being Able to Funnel Active Sales Leads via Social Media

If you are spending a lot of time promoting via social media network and not having the right sales funnel to capture email lists, then you probably are losing a lot of valuable customers.

When you engage in a business network on platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ by sharing your products, offers or sharing free resources, you must connect with an email collection system.

3. Not Able to Create Digital Content for Generating Leads

Rapid creation of social media content is critical to any business success.

The traditional model of creating digital content is either by hiring agencies or using a dedicated in-house resource.  This requires time and money making it difficult to create professional looking content rapidly for digital campaigns.

By investing dollars in creating content either by using design templates or hiring an agency, businesses can consistently attract customers via social media, organic search and paid media activities.

If a business focuses on developing content, then they are on their way to generating consistent leads online.

4. Not Being Able to Provide Convenience to Shop with You

If you are still relying on the phone to connect with customers or have a website for business purposes but not an eCommerce store, you are not meeting the needs of most of your potential customers. You need a bigger space.

Your customers need convenience to shop with you. Having an eCommerce store to view products and services will encourage your customers to come back to you consistently.

5. Not Getting Referrals from Your Community

Are you dealing with the same set of clients for more than six months?

Your mistake is that you’re not interacting with customers or spreading the word in the community to get more referrals.

You need to do some manual work here. Send emails in your circle asking for referrals for your business.

You can do the same with indirect marketing on social media. Another good way to get referrals is to offer a discount to your customers when they refer a friend. This way your business will get some attention and credibility.

6. Not Being Able to Protect My Computer Data

You might think, ‘Duh! … I don’t do this!’

But the fact is, at times we save important information about our business like account figures, customer database and product lists on the computer but do not backup the files.

You never know when bad luck strikes and you lose precious data. Always store your data in more than one place and protect by installing anti-virus software on your computer.

7. Not Able to be Discovered Online

So you have a website, but are you getting found by the right people?

Optimizing your website, content titles, descriptions, images are ongoing. As a business you need to actively participate in online communities, build your Google+ page and create relevant content to attract the right people to your website.

The mantra is to optimize your digital presence.

8. Not Going Mobile-Friendly with Your Website

Google has said it wants consumers to “find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.”

According to a survey, 61 percent of consumers are not willing to visit a website that is not mobile-friendly due to slow navigation and difficulty in reading.

Adding to this, TechCrunch found that 44 percent of the Fortune 500 companies failed the mobile friendly test! It sufficiently hints at the nature of risk of having a ‘mobile-unfriendly’ website.

Google has provided a new free tool to conduct a ‘Mobile-Friendly Test’ that tells you how mobile-compatible your websites are and what is needed to prepare for the new search algorithm.

9. Being Invisible on Google and Bing

If your business is ranked way lower on Google search, it means your online business is not going great and that you have miles to go before you reach the top.

Being invisible on Google puts a question mark on the credibility of your company and reduces the potential to attract customers via organic search. Optimize the content titles, descriptions and layout of your website and incorporate the latest SEO strategies to move up the search ranking ladder.

Now that you’re aware of these common online business mistakes, can you identify one that may be impacting your business’s growth?

Mobile Photo via Shutterstock 11 Comments ▼

Chaitra Vedullapalli Chaitra Vedullapalli is currently the CMO of Meylah, a turnkey native marketplace platform. Chaitra is a co-architect of Ignite Washington, a city by city digital readiness initiative to foster local economic development. Chaitra has a proven track record of enabling global transformations, architecting innovative business models and leading communities with excellence. She is recognized as Top 100 Small business influencer and holds a patent in Web Methods.

11 Reactions
  1. With #1, an email list is often how you’re able to capture value from a first-time visitor. They may not purchase the first time and an email gives you permission to remind them about what you offer so they can purchase later when the timing is right.

  2. Virginia Gutierrez

    1. Not Having a Customer Database to Communicate via Email – Been there done that! We lost alomost 30% of our customer’s cause of not taking a track of previous offers and orders 🙁

    • Hi Virginia,
      Oh no! What we have seen is that most customers are not taking care of their customer list regularly.
      So, How are you addressing it now? Are you backing up your customer data regularly?
      Let me know. Cheers,

  3. Hi Robert,
    You make a great point! Followup and regular updates is a critical business function to keep your customers engaged and happy! Cheers,

  4. Most business owners are too focused on leads that they fail to provide useful content to their customers. What they don’t know is that this sacrifices their potential to become a leader in their industry.

  5. This is a good and sensible list or priorities. I can’t say that my business is doing them all or doing the ones that I am doing perfectly. But I am continuing to improve. Thanks for the reminder of what is important.

  6. The key to effective digital marketing is having the right resources to measure engagement and analytics of the people coming your site. If you know where people are coming from you can invest more into that channel.

  7. I agree with all the people above. In my opinion in conetent marketing it’s important to know your audience, write valuable and interesting content in order to make interactions.

Win $100 for Vendor Selection Insights

Tell us!
No, Thank You