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7 Harsh Truths Many Have Overlooked About Running A New Online Business

Many people view running an online business as something for everyone to earn lots of money while not in the workforce. The reality is that this online thing isn’t a magic wand waving system like someone can wave a magic wand and then you become successful.

In fact, it is no different than running an offline one. There are still the pros and cons to examine; among with many other factors. Here are the 7 harsh truths that many have overlooked when it comes to running a new online business:

#1 You Gotta Figure Out How To Do Things Yourself

When you are working in the corporate world, there is usually someone there to tell you how to do something. There are colleagues and supervisors to guide you along the way. But that is not always possible with online businesses when you are just starting out.

There is no-one close to you to hold your hand through it all. You won’t find anyone to give you the step-by-step processes to make your business succeed. Yes, there are coaches and information products out there, yet they can only serve as a guidance.

You need to realize everyone is unique. eCommerce platform may be perfect for one person but never work for the other person. You need to figure out how to do things yourself in order to achieve the results you want. How you build it is totally up to you.

#2 You Don’t Have A Boss Breathing Down Your Neck

This is a major issue if you are starting an online business after working as an employee for years. You used to have a boss breathing down your neck to make sure you stick to every deadline. Goals would be set for you and you’d be expected to meet each of them.

That isn’t the case when it comes to your online business. One of the harshest truths is that you need to do it all yourself. You need to motivate yourself and set your own goals.

It is easy to say that you can make money online while you sleep, but that definitely isn’t the case. There is no easy money. You can’t sit back and wait for the internet to do it for you. No one can “install” motivation in you and that is a task only you can do yourself.

#3 Your Online Business Can Fail

You are not renting an office space and may not hire people to work for you. There is this idealistic idea that your business simply can’t fail. But that is not the truth. The harsh truth is that your business can fail, and you could lose more than you have invested.

There are many expenses that you put in without even realizing. You may have invested thousands of dollars to build a website. There are costs for your courses and networking events to think about. What about the costs of the tools to create your product?

Online businesses can fail, and you need to keep that in mind. It is important to go into this knowing that and design a business plan to avoid it happening. Your business plan should detail your goals and a step-by-step plan to attain those goals. This plan needs to be checked periodically to make sure you are on track and make changes if necessary.

#4 Fear Will Not Lead You To The Right Direction

Fear of something will always be there. When you are just starting out, it could be the fear of failure. Over time, it could be that you are not adequately good or your marketing plan doesn’t work out. If you are not certain and fear of all the little things, you are not doing it right. You are likely working in your comfort zone and that is often the first sign of failure.

The reason that great things are great and that payoffs come to those who do them is because they are the things that people fear to do. If people weren’t afraid of them, if people weren’t uncertain, if people were 100% sure that something would work, then everybody would have done it right? And the way that you are forging a path or the way that you are making your business succeed is because you are not afraid to take risks.

#5 It Is About Who Knows You

Unfortunately, it is not so much about what you know but who knows you. Networking is an essential part of the process, and some of that networking happens online. You will need to reach out to bloggers or experts in your niche. When you are launching a new product or service out there, these connections will be able to spread the news with their lists. This gives you the chance to gain more exposure and potentially more customers.

There is also this word of mouth in marketing. You need to provide great support to your customers, so they are more likely to rave about you and send new customers your way.

Eventually, online businesses can grow solely from the referrals it gets. Some of the top freelancers I worked with no longer have to market their skills online. Some even need to turn down new clients that is coming because they have adequate to keep them going.

#6 You Have To Work Longer Hours

Many people jump into online businesses because they don’t want to work the long hours in employment. They want more freedom and be able to take their dream vacation. But the harsh truth is you will need to prepare to work longer hours; at least at the beginning.

Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.

It takes long hours to get your website out there and make sure people know about your business. You will need to spend countless hours of unpaid work marketing your products or services to let prospects know you exist. You can rest assured that your hard work will eventually pay off in the end. You just need to be willing to put in the long working hours.

#7 People Will Say Negatives About You

I know this is annoying but there are plenty of people out there who are going to share the negatives about your business. This happen to all businesses all the time. After all, your prospects will search for you and read what customers have to say about your business.

Therefore, you need to deal with the negatives. Some of them are just people being trolls. They are purposely trying to get a rise out of you and want you to argue back with them.

On the other hand, others will have legitimate negatives to say about your business. They may have received substandard customer service or had an issue with your product. With these negatives, you need to find a way to handle them and turn them into positives; or at least you try to offer the best suppport to your customers and improve their experiences.

In a nutshell, building a new online business isn’t easy. It will take up a lot of your effort and time, especially when you are new to it. You will need to be willing to spend tedious hours getting the word out. There is a lot of networking involved too, as knowing the right people will really help you succeed. So are you ready to embrace these 7 harsh truths?

by KM Lee

KM Lee has been a self-employed geek since 2008. Currently he's working full-time from home online. You can also connect with him: