Being an entrepreneur takes a special kind of person; someone with drive, intelligence and thick skin. After launching my e-commerce startup, I learned some important takeaways to share with other aspiring business owners. Below are three of the pitfalls that I’ve encountered myself, why to avoid them and how to overcome them.
Pitfall #1: Waiting until your offering is perfect to launch
From the conception of an idea, there are a lot of things that can keep you from getting the ball rolling on your new business venture. You can have a disagreement with a partner, over-analyze your opportunity, or let something just fizzle out. Not starting is one of the top reasons that startups can end before they even begin.
When I started my own business, I had to accept that the first round of the website was not going to be perfect (disclaimer: no website is ever going to be perfect). My team and I decided on a starting point for our website, and delivered on that – nothing more, nothing less.
We took something that we were passionate about and launched it without worrying about every single photo, sentence and piece of functionality. Our excitement was still fresh by the time we launched, and we still had the momentum to quickly get our first mistakes under our belt.
Pitfall #2: Underestimating launch efforts
You’ve heard it a million times: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” For startups, this is especially true.
Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of underestimating how long it takes for a website or a brand to take off. Entrepreneurs often assume that because their idea is so great, the marketplace is going to be just as excited and enthusiastic as they are.
In reality, regardless of how great the product or service, few companies start booming right out of the gate. Even with a lot of powerful marketing, it can take years for brands to find success. Starting a business is a marathon, and not a sprint.
Pitfall #3: Assuming beautiful branding alone will create success
All of the internal passion in creating your brand’s name, logo, slogan and creative branding can give the motivation and fuel to launch a website. But, it can be difficult for those outside of the business to be equally as excited about those branding concepts.
The initial excitement can cause business owners to overlook some of the details in other important aspects of branding such as marketing and pricing. Upon launch, reality can set in when the logo didn’t drive traffic or the slogan didn’t cause more conversions.
Most buyers are creatures of habit; they want something that’s either unique that they can’t get anywhere else, or a commodity product at the best price. If you can do one of these, plus create a great branding experience, then you can attain the high degree of loyalty you’re looking for, higher order values, or more frequent purchases.
Have you fallen victim to any of these pitfalls? What did your business do to overcome them?