I’m sure you had a lot of ups and downs in 2015, and hopefully learned a lot of lessons in online business.
I sure had my successes and failures in 2015.
There were a lot of things that I did right, and a lot of things I did wrong.
But even in the failures, you can move forward if you learn from them.
In this post, I’ll share with you what was successful in 2015 and what to continue into 2016. I’ll also share with you what didn’t go that well, and what lessons I learned.
As a treat, I also as a few of my friends in online business to share with you some of their experiences.
What Worked in Online Business in 2015
First up, planning and strategy. The times that I spent to plan my work for the day or the week made me so much more productive. When I strategically planned out my blog posts and campaigns, they were so much more successful. When I didn’t, I ended up wasting a lot of time.
Next is consistency. I run multiple website businesses. The ones where I blogged consistently saw a tremendous growth in web traffic. The ones where I blogged on and off started to fizzle out. It’s nor about frequency. You can get away with blogging once or twice a month. Just be consistent and intentional with your content.
Finally, work with other people. If you’re stuck in your home or office at the computer, it can be draining. Go to a coffee shop. Sit in a common area. Having company is great motivation to work and get stuff done. Plus it offers nice little breaks and chats.
What Failed in Online Business in 2015
The biggest failure was not putting focus on building my email list. I heard a lot about it and knew it, but didn’t really start work on it till later in the year, and as a result, some of my product launches and campaigns failed. I should have put the majority of my time and energy into building my list early on, and it will definitely be a focus for 2016.
Related Read: Leading Plugins to Generate New Leads
Another failure was not testing my products. For one of my product launches, I spent a lot of time building a product. I wasn’t able to sell it that well because it wasn’t what my audience wanted at the time. In the future, I’ve learned to test my product first – which means polling my audience to see if that’s what they really want, and then offering pre-purchases before I actually build it to ensure that it’s something people would actually buy.
Finally, it’s pursuing a lot of different tricks and tips without a strategy. Sometimes known as the “shiny object syndrome,” we tend to chase down a lot of “hacks” that are supposed to get us with growth. In doing that, I wasted a lot of time trying a million different things and running in different directions. What I should’ve done was create a strategy where all my marketing efforst were tied together.
Business Lessons from Other Entrepreneurs
With new offerings, start slow. Test the waters before committing to an expensive system or tool.
Ashley Swymeler, Alpaca Your Bags
A social media calendar helps streamline posts and saves a lot of time. Whether curating posts or sharing my own content, I refer to my calendar and schedule my posts according to where in the week it’s supposed to go. It helps my posts throughout the week be balanced and cover a variety of topics.
Darlene MacAuley, Inspired Birth Pro
Make sure you are investing your time in something you ACTUALLY love doing! Running an online business will be a lot harder when you’re not passionate about your work or willing to put in the long hours. Also, make sure you pick the clients that align with your goals/interests. This will also make it easier to put in the long hours.
Launch before you’re ready. It’ll never be perfect. Something can always be tweaked. You may still feel nervous about it months later but, put it out there. Let others share express their feedback. Test the waters to make sure it’s accomplishing what you need it to. Tweak as you go along. Finally, relax a bit. And enjoy the experience while you’re in it.
In my first year of this rendition of my business, I’ve learned that I’m never going to feel 100% ready, or feel like something is absolutely and completely perfect, and that I need to just start anyway. When I do my best, I don’t need to obsess about what could be better if I were more skilled in one area… I can develop those skills and finetune along the way. The fear of not being ‘perfect’ had me hitting the breaks on my business for 3! years. Now I recognize that I’m improving as I continue to produce content and work with clients. You don’t have all the experience at the beginning smile emoticon That’s only acquired along the way.
The best thing I learned is that doing things on the cheap and doing it all yourself doesn’t set you up to build a successful business. You have to be willing to invest in your dream, even if that means adding some debt to your pile. It also means delegating some tasks to someone who could do it better. I hired a web designer when I revamped and re-branded my business. I couldn’t afford it at the time but the investment has paid off in spades. I had to believe in myself before I could expect anyone else to. I put my money and my pride where my mouth was to create something I am really proud of – the foundation for my new business.
What Online Lessons Did You Learn in 2015?
Let us know in the comments!