I often remember saying that entrepreneurs drive capitalistic economies forward. They are the reason there’s money in the economy. As noble as that might be, the drive isn’t an easy one for entrepreneurs to take.
Add an uncertain, recessional economy and the drive just turned nasty. While this is true, mom entrepreneurs who wish to start a venture online have some other excruciatingly hard things to deal with. Here are some of them:
Dump What the Gurus Told You About Running Online Businesses
Did you want to start blogging? Or perhaps you wanted to build an empire of websites and look to earn a steady income from the combined earnings? Maybe you thought you’d create software, a web-based application or tool, a cloud-based service? Did you consider selling your services online? Perhaps, do microconsulting?
No matter what idea you choose to start online, it’s going to be a lot more difficult than what those sleazy, red-headlined sales pages promise you. Whatever you do, forget what the gurus ever told you (and never trust those who rumble in the Internet marketing niche). Starting and running a business – be it online or offline – is a hard thing to do. Don’t let the Internet – as a medium – fool you.
It Can Take a Long Time to Make it Happen
I know there are some things that are instant, like how doors open when you press a button; how barricades open when you swipe your commuting token while taking the metro; or the classic Instant Coffee. Technology does make “instant” happen.
Technology (much of the Internet, in fact) aids business; however nothing is ever instant. Here’s the hard pill to swallow: It can take an inordinately long time (it’s longer now than ever) for every blog, business, software, app, portal, magazine, information-based website, social media network, and pretty much anything else you start online to start making money and build traction unless you get some great, free PR in a major publication. How do you plan to make it easy for people to find you?
Finding a Good Team Takes Patience
Actually, this isn’t just for online businesses. For years now, every business has had to deal with attrition or lack of good talent. Yet, almost every successful business has managed to retain bright people to work.
Finding talent online is a double-edged sword: there’s an abundance of talent (and spread across the world) that you can hire remotely as freelancers and telecommuters. Yet, to find the right team (without ever seeing them in person and maybe never even talking to them on phone) is quite a challenge. Further, since most moms start with freelancers, there’s an unending search through trial-and-error that calls for super-human patience.
Are you ready for the challenge?
Competition Is a Constant
For every salesforce.com, there are hundreds of other CRM solutions available online. One social media channel gives rise to many others. The number of blogs and online magazines on the Internet today are way too many to count. For every merchant out there, there are thousands of affiliates competing with each other to make money.
Since the Internet offers easier ways to start a business for less than $100, almost everyone wants to have an online business, so to speak.
Can you imagine the tide of competition sweeping you off your roots?
Another bitter pill for online entrepreneurs to swallow is that the size, scope, and reach of your competition is growing.
How do you plan to cope up with it?
Days Invariably Get Shorter
There’s never enough time in the day – especially for moms — who wish to start online businesses. Apart from managing your home, children, and the endless list of chores, there’s that business that demands an insane amount of time.
For moms who work from home, it’s an incessant, extremely hard, and effort to manage it all. Oh yes, there are productivity tips, tools, and plenty of information available. The reality is that there are just 24 hours in a day, with every minute being squeezed out of your life.
And no, as of now, there’s no other planet with 48 hours in a day that you can inhabit.
How do you plan to manage your time?
Work and Life Balance
Given that you barely have time to get through your “to-do” list, every minute spent away from your business can feel like “guilt-time.” It’s rare to see the majority of moms who work from home take vacations and if they do they are still thinking about work.
If your family gets a lion’s share of your time, your business goes for a toss. Work/life balance is something that employees working for companies can possibly think of. For entrepreneurs, it’s always a “What the heck is work/life balance?” factor that rules. How do you plan to manage that? It can be done.
Who said starting a business online is easy, instant, and quick?
Maybe, you can. Only, no one told you the dirty truth.
I am not trying to discourage you from going after your dreams of being an entrepreneur. I just want you to know some of the details that others may not tell you. These are some of the challenges online businesses face, but with perseverance, support, hard work, dedication and a little luck, they can all be overcome.
Now to You
What are some of your challenges and how have you overcome them? Your knowledge and insight should be shared. Share them here and learn from others.