Last Updated on 17/08/2022 by Steve Wanjie
The biggest challenge for most businesses when going online is how to develop a plan
. You need a concrete plan (or strategy) on how to take your business online.
Otherwise, you wouldn’t get over the huge number of challenges awaiting you online.
Thus developing a plan is your first task. The other challenges for most businesses when going online are discussed too.
You know the answer to the question, what is the challenge for most businesses when going online is developing a plan.
The next question is, how do you develop a plan for taking your business online?
This question will be answered here too.
The Biggest Challenge for Most Businesses When Going Online
There are numerous challenges for businesses when going online.
You are likely to be thinking, why bother taking my business online with all these obstacles?
The reason why you must take your business online is simple; your customer spends most of their time online.
You go where your customers are to engage them.
You want to ask, what are my customers doing online?
These are the answers:
- They are socializing on social platforms like Facebook
- They are reading their favorite blogs, magazines, or newspaper
- They are watching videos on platforms such as YouTube
- They are shopping online
- They are taking online courses
- They are playing games
- They are doing some research
You have no option but to follow your customer where ever they go to remain in business.
Do you want to ask for evidence?
Evidence that customers are online is a piece of data from Hootsuite and We Are Social.
Digital 2019 Reports say that there are;
7.676 billion people on this planet
5.115 billion people are unique mobile phone users
4. 388 billion people are internet users
3.484 billion people are active social media users
3.256 billion People are mobile social media users
The report says that new internet users’ numbers are growing by 11 people per second.
That is 660 new internet users per minute.
In one hour 39600 new internet users are recorded.
How many new internet users are recorded in one day?
950,400 people join the internet every day worldwide.
This is enough data (or evidence) to convince you that your customers are online.
Note – This report came out in January 2019 thus, the data is for 2018.
You should be able to overcome these challenges once you identify them.
Here are the challenges:
- Domain Name Challenge
What is a domain name?
A domain name is your website’s address online. The online address for this website is dijitomarketing.com.
You should be something like this example.com. In the place of the word “example” should be the name of your business.
Cars have number plates. Websites have domain names. You need a domain name for your website.
Since you have an offline operation you may want to use your business name as your domain name.
If your registered business name is Genius Nest School you may have your domain name as geniusnestschool.com.
This will help your customers find you online because they know your business name already.
You may find that someone else has registered your business name as their domain name.
This means you can’t use your official business name as your domain name.
You will have to use a different business name online. This causes confusion amongst your current customers when looking for your business online.
Where do you register a domain name?
Domain names are registered by domain name registrars such as Name Cheap. Search for domain registrars.
There are many domain name registrars though I prefer Name Cheap because they are cheap.
Don’t buy a domain name through domain brokers.
Buy directly from an established and registered domain registrar.
Domain brokers cause many problems. They often close shop without notice and you lose your domain.
2. Website hosting challenge
Businesses hire office space from landlords. Online, businesses hire office space from website hosting companies.
Your website needs a hosting service provider online. There are many companies that provide this service.
They charge differently depending on service quality.
This website is hosted by Dream Host. The leading website hosting service providers are;
- Liquid Web
- Name Cheap
Here are some challenges that businesses face looking for website hosting services
a) Knowing the type of site hosting to use
There are 3 types of website hosting to choose from;
- Free hosting
- Cheap hosting
- Premium hosting
Which type to go for confuses most first-time hosting service seekers. All of the 3 will have your website online.
How do you choose?
Free hosting is not meant for business. You cannot use free hosting to do business or make money online.
The free hosting provider will not allow it. Free website hosting is only good for a hoppy or personal diary.
Why you should avoid free website hosting:
- You have zero control of your free website
- You site can be deleted without warning
- You cannot do business on a free hosted website
- Free websites are slow and sometimes useless
Examples of free hosting service providers are;
Cheap website hosting:
You must have heard this line, “cheap is expensive.) It is a true statement because in the end, it comes to pass.
Cheap hosting is meant for new bloggers just starting out. Websites with less than 1000 visitors a month.
Websites that don’t provide or require to collect sensitive user data such as credit card information.
No transaction carried on the site is an ideal cheap hosting candidate.
If you will not be using your site to sell online then cheap hosting is okay for you.
Here are some cheap web hosting services providers:
- AccuWeb Hosting
- st web hosting
- FatCow web hosting
- Hostinger web hosting
- Domain.com Web hosting
- iPower web hosting
Point to note:
A small business could start with cheap web hosting services but upgrade as the business grows.
Well-established offline businesses should avoid cheap hosting s they go online.
This is to safeguard their brand’s reputation.
b) Website hosting price tricks
The problem with website hosting companies is using price tricks to sign up new clients.
For those not familiar with price tricks it means being misled at a low price.
You are asked to pay $2 per month for hosting.
Then in the second year, you realize that you have to pay $18 per month payable yearly.
The majority of website hosting service providers play this trick on new website owners.
c) How to know which website host to trust
You need to research widely to find the right web host for you. Some web host service providers are briefcase companies.
They are brokers otherwise known as web host resellers. Avoid hosting brokers at all costs. They are bad for business.
Deal directly with an established, well-known service provider.
d) Knowledge limitation on your part
When you are new at something you have little knowledge about it. The same applies to your online business.
This is a challenge because you don’t know. And you can be taken advantage of. The solution is to acquire a basic understanding.
Take a course on how to run a business online.
Developing a plan for taking your business online – Building a new website challenges
In everything you do in this life you need a plan otherwise, you wouldn’t find success. Planning is the foundation for achievable success.
There are many small and big businesses without an internet presence.
These businesses are missing out on the basic need for a business, fresh sales lead generation.
The reason is that customers are no longer spending time offline. Potential customers are on smartphones most of the time.
Doing what with their phones?
Browsing the internet.
Because the internet gives a 21st-century man or woman everything he or she is looking for.
The internet is the number one source for;
– social activities
Thus it is very important that you create a presence online for your business to survive and grow.
You need to do a lot of research to develop a good online marketing plan.
With that information in mind, here is how to develop a plan. Do your research to give answers to the following questions. This will help in developing a plan.
- What is the purpose of taking your business online?
What is your aim?
What is your goal or objective of having an online presence?
Do you want to;
– Inform your customers about your product
– Inspire your customers
– Generate sales leads
– Sell your product or service online
All of the above?
- Who is your typical customer?
What is your target customer online?
You need to define your primary target customer.
You need to know their age, where they live, how much they make, their level of education, and their likes and dislikes.
Research to get the answers!
- Who is your competitor online?
What sort of a website do they have? What marketing tools and software are they using? What market are they targeting and how are they doing it. Are they succeeding? What can you do better to beat them?
- What is your value proposition?
What is it that you can do differently to gain an advantage over your competitors in the marketplace?
Do you need to find a unique value proposition?
Something that makes you stand out in the marketplace.
Define your competitive advantage. What is your incentive that shall make your product irresistible?
Develop an incentive. It will help inspire customers to buy your product.
a) Developing a plan:
What should be in your internet usage plan?
- Project timelines
- Online operations budget
- Website development requirements
- Business processes integration tools
- Performance management and monitoring
- Communications methods and tools
- Digital marketing strategy
All actions, plans, and strategies must be geared towards reaching your target market.
What tools, software, and methods will help reach and serve your customer base efficiently?
That should be the guiding thought in this process.
b) Build your website according to your plan or online goal
You have developed a plan. Now you need a website that can help implement your online business plan.
When you know what you want to do online you discover the type of website to build.
i) If your purpose is to sell products online you need to build an eCommerce website.
ii) What should be built in an eCommerce website?
An eCommerce site should have at least:
- A shopping cart – checkout
- Payment processing
- SSL – Secure Socket Layer certificate
- Content management capabilities
- Promotion and discount code tools
- Email marketing integration
- Reporting tools
- Search Engine Optimization code and layout
You can build your website using content management system software such as WordPress.org. But these must be informational sites such as blogs.
For an eCommerce site, you need to hire a professional web designer to do it. Ecommerce sites are complex and you can’t do it yourself.
Where do you find a professional web designer?
At Fiverr you will hire a qualified and experienced freelance designer for a reasonable price.
A professional web designer will ensure your website is;
- Mobile responsive because most people use smartphones to access the internet
- Make your site dynamic by having a blog built-in
- User profile
- Social media integration
- Search engine optimized
- Email marketing integration for list building
- User friendly
- Secure and has an SSL certificate
- Google Site Kit ready for web analytics
Once the website is built the next step is launch. If the designer has completed his work the site should go live online.
Now we can say your business has gone online and is available via search to current and potential customers.
Security: Online business risks Challenge
The online business world is as insecure as the offline trading environment.
There are many e-business security risks a small business has to deal with.
Some of these security risks are:
- Credit card fraud
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
- Bad Bots
These security risks have to be dealt with adequately, and this means more expenses to you.
The best way to handle security risks is by hiring cybersecurity professionals to help overcome the challenge.
What Is The Biggest Challenge for Most Businesses When Going Online
In conclusion, I would like to say that the next big challenge is marketing.
Without proper marketing, nobody will find you online though you are available online.
Our goal today was to explain how to overcome the biggest challenge for most businesses when going online.
That challenge as mentioned above is developing a plan.
This article has given you basic ideas on how to develop a plan for taking your business online. The next challenge for you is digital marketing.
I hope we have answered and given a solution to your question;
what is the biggest challenge for most businesses when going online?
Thank you for visiting with us
Founder – Dijito Marketing
Steve Wanjie is a digital marketing specialist, SEO Expert, expert article writer, blogger, sex educationist, and businessman. He is the founder of Dijito Marketing and Laikipo.com. He works and lives in Nairobi Kenya.