Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Growing Your Online Business

Anyone who tells you that starting and growing a business online is easy is blowing smoke up your wazoo. While it’s worthwhile in the end, building an online business is a hard process filled with a lot of frustrating moments, especially for those who are totally new to internet marketing.

The good news is that a lot of the problems that beginners face when creating their online business can be overcome through learning and implementing the right strategies. But there are three common constraints that hinder a lot of internet marketers from building successful online businesses especially if they’re trying to do it all while living a regular life of family, day jobs, errands, and all the rest.

So here are the three big things that most commonly get in the way of success and how to avoid falling prey to them yourself.

The 3 things that block the progress of people working on creating successful online businesses are:

  • Time Shortage
  • Information Overload
  • Lack of Technical Know-how

All too often we see people setting off on the journey into Internet marketing but they eventually disappear off the radar for one reason or another. Their enthusiasm slowly starts to wane until they give up altogether and these are the three main things that stop most people in their tracks and prevent them from achieving success as internet marketers.

Lack of available time, information overload and overwhelm, and lack of technical know-how are all huge challenges but each of them can be overcome with a bit of determination on your part.

After all, the reason you set out on this online business journey in the first place was that you wanted it, right? So let’s help you get back on track by tackling these common pitfalls one at a time.

Dealing with Time Shortage

This is usually suffered by those with day jobs that take up most of their time and leave little time for anything else. You will feel this particularly if you have a family and stuff to do at home after spending a full day at work.

Where do you get the time to work on your business when you have to change diapers, run errands, and do a million other things at home?

Most of us do lead busy lives but it’s no reason to let it distract us from our goals otherwise we will never get anywhere. Now, if you will allow me to get a little philosophical here, we may be able to get to the bottom of your ‘time’ problem.

So how exactly do you manage time?

You don’t. You manage the things you’re doing. Time is just an idea, a viewpoint. It isn’t really something that you can ‘manage’. For example, to a slow moving turtle, time is normal and yet from our viewpoint, the turtle is super slow.

We humans think that we’re doing things at a normal rate, but to a hummingbird, we look super slow. So time is different for all of us when considered from different viewpoints.

How is This Relevant to Our Productivity?

Everyone in the world has the same 24 hours in a day, right?

From those people that we consider to be extremely productive and able to do whatever they set their mind to, to those who are never able to get anything done making you wonder what on earth they were doing all day.

Of course, sometimes it’s just plain laziness, but often it’s really just a matter of their viewpoint. Extremely busy people who are used to high levels of activity don’t consider that they are highly active because to them it’s their normal way of being. To others who are less busy, however, they seem almost superhuman.

Fortunately, this is a trait that you can develop and cultivate within yourself.

Getting your online business started and growing it can be done even if you only have a few hours to work on it each week. Just as long as you spend those hours in a highly effective way. When it comes to creating a successful online business, it’s more important to focus on the quality rather than quantity of the time you spend on it.

The less time you have to work on your business, the more areas of leverage you should look for so that you spend your time on the right things to get the momentum going. One of those things is to set deadlines.

Become More Productive by Setting Deadlines

Do you remember times in your life when you felt ‘in the zone’ and you were getting tons of things done in a short space of time? I’m willing to bet that the reason you were on fire with productivity is that you had a deadline coming up.

Setting deadlines and reducing the amount of time to get tasks done is one of the best ways to condition yourself to ‘speed up’ and be more productive in everything you do.

So, whether you have 3 hours or 30 hours to work on your business each week, set deadlines for the things you have to do, make them challenging and then create a game out of getting the things done by the deadline.

Here’s a simple analogy to help you understand this even more clearly.

Think of an athlete training for a race. He trains himself over time and improves his speed incrementally until he gets to a point where he is fast enough to compete in the race. The athletes perception of his skills when he first started months before is seen through a slower light that he would find hard to imagine now that he is so fast. And yet it was all achieved by taking baby steps.

In the same way, when you set a deadline for any task that you have in your business, make it challenging, and make a game out of getting it done, then you’re working on speeding up.

Over time, as you increase your challenges (just like the athlete) you will find that your perception of what is challenging changes and before you know it, you will be one of those extremely productive, superhuman achievers.

And all you did was change your perception of time and become more like the hummingbird.

Is there a task that you need to get done today?

Think of how long it would usually take you to complete that task and then set a deadline which is a little sooner than that. Make it challenging but achievable and then DO IT. Do the same with the next task and the next, and pretty soon you will start to notice your inner rhythm shifting.

Dealing with Information Overload

Information overload in any situation leads to confusion. It’s like having millions of bits of information from ideas, thoughts, and things to do all floating around in your head in constant motion simultaneously. This leads to frustration and overwhelm. Luckily, there is a very simple solution to that kind of situation, and that solution is:

Just focus on one bit of information that is relevant to the situation.

Once you do that and make that your focal point, then everything else becomes relative and starts to fall into alignment. You can then focus on another piece of information and another, and before long, the chaos will begin to clear and make more sense.

Yes, there will still be tons of information particles that are whirring around inside your head, but the few that are stable will make more sense. And as time goes and you add to those stable ones, the ones that aren’t will start to matter less and less.

How do You Apply this to Building Your Online Business?

By being selective about what you pay attention to.

There is a lot of information out there. For any search you perform on Google, there’s a sea of results that are sent your way and the only way to avoid being overwhelmed by the amount of information is to choose what you focus on very carefully.

If you’re just starting your business and trying to set up your blog, then you don’t need to be reading on advanced traffic generation strategies. Focus only on what’s relevant at that moment and put everything else on hold.

A lot of beginners in online marketing fall into the trap of trying to follow a bunch of blogs, get on a whole lot of email lists, and listen to endless podcasts and so on. The pile of ideas and ‘things to do’ just grows and grows.

Every guru has their own viewpoint, after all. Before you know it, you’re feeling so overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information flowing to you and all the stuff that you’re ‘supposed’ to do that you don’t have time for.

Stop Paying Attention to it All

You’re creating the chaos by setting all these bits of information into motion simultaneously.

No wonder there’s an information hurricane in your head. So just stop right now. Stop reading the blogs, stop watching the how-to videos, stop listening to the podcasts, and get off all of those email lists. Once you’ve done that, start to move forward one thing at a time.

How do you do that?

By implementing JIT (Just in Time) learning. Don’t bother learning stuff that doesn’t directly apply to what you need to work on right now. Keep it all in sequence and do one thing at a time. If you don’t already have a roadmap to follow in creating and growing your online business, there are some really great posts on our blog that will guide you.

Once you have the pathway to follow, and now that you understand how information overload can keep you from succeeding, all you have to do now is to be vigilant about avoiding it in your life. Exercise self-discipline and avoid the temptation to focus on things that aren’t applicable to the work you’re doing right now.

Dealing with Lack of Technical Know-How

The lack of nerd credentials is something that can cause a lot of frustration while building an online business. It’s one of the major reasons why a lot of people give up on their dreams of running a successful online marketing business.

You’re struggling to set up your blog, create your opt-in form, program your email auto responders, and now you have to learn code? The good news is that you don’t have to be a tech-savvy genius to build an online business.

So how do you do it?

By using tools dedicated to their own purpose.

Technology has come so far that these days most of the tasks associated with creating a website and growing your online business can be accomplished at the touch of a button.

There are a lot of tools that are designed for helping tech-challenged people when it comes to all aspects of online business.

Never has it been easier for non-geeks to build and grow online businesses.

Just a few years ago, programmers had to build sites manually using a lot of programming but today your site can be up and running in moments with just a few clicks of the mouse.

For example, you can now install WordPress with one click and you can build landing pages with simple drag-and-drop page builders that even a six-year-old could use with very little instruction.

There are tons of tools that make it possible to do all of this without having to learn any HTML, CSS, or all that other nerd stuff.

Whatever you want to do for your site, there’s probably already a plug-in that is designed to do it for you without any programming. Need to create an opt-in form? No problem. Most opt-in solutions now integrate directly with the email list host.

You just have to be willing to get and use the right tools.

Some may be free, but others you will have to pay for but when you consider what you stand to benefit from using them, it’s definitely worth it. And besides, most of those tools aren’t expensive at all. All things considered, online business has the lowest startup costs of any kind of business.

A lot of people continue to struggle simply because they don’t want to pay for the right tool for the job. This just leads to wasted time and energy, and that’s not what smart marketers do.

Tools are awesome and the right ones will make your job so much easier and more efficient when you use them, but you still need to learn how to use them first. This means that you will have to learn some basic terms.

Trying to plow through without the basics will create more stress for you down the line. When people struggle with tech, in most cases it’s because they are either not using the right tool for the job or they don’t understand basic terminology, which makes them think that it’s more complex than it actually is.

This is why it’s vital that you take some time to look up any unknown words that you come across and find simple explanations.

Oh, and remember the advice on how to avoid information overload?

It works for tools, too. You’ll likely get tons of recommendations on the various tools to buy if you’re paying attention to many people at the same time.

Remember, only get the tool you need for the task at hand otherwise you will fall prey to shiny object syndrome and end up owning a bunch of internet marketing tools that you have no idea how to use.

The Bottom Line

Creating a successful online business is certainly doable even if you have no technical know-how and can only spare a few hours each week. Just follow the guidelines in this article with consistency and determination and you will be able to overcome all obstacles that you encounter.

Feel free to post your comment below.  An email address is required but it will not be shared with anyone, put on any list, or used for any kind of marketing, just to alert you if there are any replies. Thanks and happy hunting!

PlanetBizOp.com

->Steven

Updated: Originally published May 22nd 2018

June 6, 2019
  • Sharon May says:

    This was a lot to read, but the timing is perfect because I’m going to start up an agency and so need as much help as I can. I have a lot of experience blogging and building websites, but an agency is something totally new…I think for this it’s going to be trial and error. I agree setting goals and deadlines is a must, and my daughter and I have agreed to do a 3-month evaluation of the agency to keep things in check. Great article and I contribute most of my help and success from Wealthy Affiliate.

    • Steven says:

      I’m glad you got some good information from the article. Best of luck in your new venture.

      Thanks for the comment Sharon!

  • asmithxu says:

    Steven,

    This post is so spot on. I have had all of these issues at one point or another. Setting deadlines and taking things one thing at a time has really helped me out as far as making sure that I am making progress.

    The worst is when I discover a change that I need to make to all of my posts and then going back and manually changing things (this happened when I paid for a theme that required featured images). It was worth it in the end though.

    Thanks for your encouraging words and wisdom!

    • Steven says:

      Glad to help. Changing themes is rarely straightforward. Good to hear you tackled it, hope you don’t have to do it again anytime soon.

      Thanks for the kind words asmithxu!

  • Herman says:

    I appreciate your post on growing an online business. I agree with what you wrote. Self discipline and focusing on what is relevant at the time will eliminate a lot of the stress. Being selective is also important because everyone claim that what they have to offer is what is needed. There are tons of information, some good, some not so good, and some bad. The key is to remain focus and to be encourage.

    Thank you

  • Furkan says:

    As you said I think that I need to focus on the information which is needed. This is why I am bored too quickly. I wonder what should be the working limit for a day. Since I want to learn without effectively. What is your experience with this and what do you recommend?

    • Steven says:

      Remember, it’s perfectly fine to take a day off! Early on, when there seems to be no reward for all the hard work, it’s easy to get fatigued. Avoid burnout and take a step back now and then. Go do something for yourself and relax.

      Take care of what you have to each day, focus on what is productive. It isn’t always how much time you spend working, but, how you use that time. You will get a feel for what actually furthers your cause and form a routine as you gain experience. Once you recognize unproductive activities you can eliminate them and find a working balance.

      Hang in there, take time for yourself each day, avoid burnout. The biggest reason people fail at this is they get discouraged at the lack of early success despite working crazy hours. It will happen for you, don’t run yourself into the ground before it can though.

      I hope this helps… Keep at it!

      Thanks for the comment Furkan!

  • Vic says:

    This article was perfect timing. I’m finding myself a bit overwhelmed right now. And, when that happens to me I tend to just stop doing anything. It’s so frustrating. You covered a lot of great points and things for me to take action on. Thanks for not blowing smoke up my wazoo (love that opening by the way). Thank you.

    • Steven says:

      Patience and persistence… You’re going to need both to succeed. Don’t let what seems like a lot of work for nothing dissuade you! It will happen, I promise, if you hang in there. The biggest reason people fail at this is because they quit.

      Keep at it, experiment, persist, and you almost can’t fail.

      Thanks for the comment Vic!

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