8 Obstacles Online Entrepreneurs Face
It’s okay. We’ve all done it. We’ve all kicked our feet up on the desk and imagined what life would be like working for ourselves. We picture whopping paychecks, skipping out early on Fridays if duty calls, coming in late so we can get the kids off to school, borrowing from our own personal piggy bank, working alongside people who share our passions, and finally being able to call all the shots. Of course, we soon find the reality is that we’re working longer hours than we ever thought possible; continuously feeling frustrated and disappointed in other people; wolfing down fast food morning, noon and night; and pushing our sanity to the brink.

Here are the top eight obstacles online entrepreneurs face.

1. Time Management

There are many distractions in the online entrepreneur’s workplace. Social media can be a huge time-waster, especially if you are working on a client’s social media. A simple Google search can easily turn into an hour of reading newspaper articles as one thought (and link!) leads to another. Working from home brings another set of challenges, as you fight the urge to “tidy up.”

2. Delegation

Most online entrepreneurs begin as the one-man or one-woman-show. We try to do it all — web design, blogging, press release writing, SEO, PPC, social media, offline marketing, client acquisition, and more. A big obstacle early on is determining what you’re best at and making the decision to outsource the rest. One person cannot do it all alone! The early years can be overwhelming, so it’s best to focus on one task at a time.

3. Hiring

Finding a team you can trust and rely upon is VERY difficult! Hiring contractors is a lot harder than it sounds. It can be tough to sort out who is truly honest and knowledgeable from what people outwardly portray. You’ll likely encounter many shady, worthless contractors who will cost you thousands of dollars before finding the good eggs that will help you build your business. Unfortunately, hiring and firing is all in a day’s work!

4. Organization

Organization is the key to success, but it’s much harder than it sounds. Proper organization involves understanding your business, your goals and yourself. There is an endless suite of technological solutions to your organizational challenges, so it can also be a matter of figuring out what you find to be most user-friendly. Here at Mod Girl Marketing, we find tools like Sprout Social and Basecamp make social media and project management way easier.

5. Negativity

Negativity can sink your ship and make you feel really down. Dealing with clients isn’t always pleasant. At times, it’s very stressful! The online industry is challenging in that Google is always changing their algorithm, so what may have worked yesterday will not necessarily work today. That translates to a lot of unhappy customers! Remember, a few bumps in the road is perfectly normal — just keep trucking! Surround yourself with positive people who encourage your business ventures.

6. Trust

If you have a good product or service, people will be lined up around the block for it, right? That’s what we think, but building trust with your audience takes time. If you’re young or new, people may not be willing to take the gamble. Even after working with some clients for three to five years, they may still not fully trust you. Even with testimonials, portfolios and proof to back yourself up, you will still need to work to impress people and solicit their trust.

7. Saying “NO!”

Learn to say “no” to prospects who are not a good fit for your company will save you a lot of heartache and aggravation in the end. Even as you’re just getting started out and hungry for the business, you need to be selective about the companies you choose to work with. It’s not easy to find the “right” client, but it’s better to walk away than to spend copious amounts of your valuable time on a small account that isn’t going to pay you. Conversely, you may find that the larger accounts aren’t worth it because these clients tend to micromanage and set their expectations much too high.

8. Focus

Remaining focused means deleting the million “How to make money” emails you’ll inevitably get every day. There’s a reason why online marketers have a success rate of 2%. There are many so-called “gurus” promising to have all the solutions for making money online. Knowing who to trust and not buying into every shiny new online marketing program can be an overwhelming process, but you will find what works and what doesn’t through your own trial and error. You will meet mentors and friends along the way who will help you when you need it most. Just keep yourself focused on your core business objectives and philosophy — and the rest will fall into place.

What obstacles do you face as an online entrepreneur? Leave a comment below.