18 Aug Online businesses you can start tomorrow
Why do they fail?
Why do almost 90% of online businesses fail?
Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse believes that too many entrepreneurs think that starting an online business is just a question of putting up a website and doing some Facebook posts. The reality is that one needs business skills, you need to know how to position your brand in a crowded space and of course, have sufficient funding. Most importantly, one needs to be in touch with attitudes and emerging behaviour of market segments.
Gary provides the following pointers:
1. Think brand and business
- Think business and brand, not website. The website is the platform.
- You’ll still need a solid business plan. ‘Online’ does not mean chaotic, anything goes – it’s business.
- Base your concept on known and emerging market behaviour and attitudes – not what you, your friend or family thinks.
- Don’t think “my time is my own” – that is a hobby or lifestyle indulgence, not a business.
2. Funding and investment
- Don’t expect to make easy, quick money. It doesn’t work like that. Be patient and make sure that you’ve got the cash to see you through the early days, maybe 3 – 4 years!
- You might not have the costs of bricks and mortar to contend with, but you still need to invest in a top class graphic designer for your logo and corporate ID, a very good website, quality photography (for products), search engine optimisation specialists, probably Google ads and a social media campaign which connects with your audience (and needs money to feed it). And don’t skimp on your website – it must position your product perfectly, it has to be secure, functional, mobile device friendly, have a great search capability and load quickly. Done correctly, none of this is cheap.
“There are fantastic opportunities to conduct business online but it is not cheap nor easy. And it’s not just for start-ups – existing businesses need to take their model or components thereof online as well. Not getting your business model perfect first time around is normal, but you need to make sure that your business has a decent chance of success,” says Gary.