Top 5 Blunders That Cause Online Business Failure and How to Avoid Them

Are you making these top 5 mistakes in your small or online home business? Small and home business startups – online and offline are often not without one or more common mistakes that keep them from achieving success fast. In this post, we’ll look at the common blunders that cause failure among online businesses and bloggers. Hopefully, you can find one or more business mistakes that you are familiar with and also find advice on how to fix them. Read on.


Top 5 Mistakes  That Keep Small and Home Businesses From Success And How To Fix Them

top 5 online business blunders and how to avoid them
Is your business guilty of the top 5 common mistakes?

Are You Making These Top Mistakes In Your small or online home business?

Small and home business startups – online and offline are often not without one or more common mistakes that keep them from achieving business success fast.

In this post, we’ll look at the common blunders that cause failure among online businesses and bloggers. You may discover one or more business mistakes that you are familiar with and also find advice on how to fix them. Read on.

Online Business Blunder #1: Mindset of Hobby

Usually because of the low start-up costs and a job “security”, many small and home business owners fail because they treat their businesses as hobbies, unable to go “extra miles” and work a little on their businesses whenever they are broke or are threatened with dismissal at work. After that, they forget they have a business.

Action Item: Set daily actions to do in your business and commit to doing them daily at specified time. Treat your business as what it is – a business.

Online Business Blunder#2: No Definite Periodic ROI Expectation

Many bloggers and online entrepreneurs fail to put in enough efforts in their business because they have no set target for periodic (daily, weekly or monthly) returns from their efforts and business. When there’s nothing to look forward to, humans naturally tend to lose it. Some startup online entrepreneurs and bloggers just have this kind of mindset for anything business. However, if it was named “part-time J.O.B”, they would be totally alert with a different mindset and attitude toward their business. They are just conditioned to be “360 degrees employees for life”.

For this kind of ‘business people’, it is advisable to start by working on themselves and their mindset before venturing into any form of business; else they’d just lazy over serious income generating activities and never be able to put in the kind of efforts and consistency that produce success.

Online Business Mistake #3: Absence of Records

Many small and home business owners believe that record keeping is only for big, established businesses and so they deliberately fail to keep a record of business-related expenses. In some cases, they keep partial records of expenses because their start-up cost is too small for them to not consider it a risk or loss. Some bloggers and online marketers cannot even tell how much they have put in their businesses so far.

Usually because of the low start-up costs and a job “security”, some people treat their business as hobbies, unable to go “extra miles”. This kind of people work on their businesses only when they are broke or are threatened with dismissal at work. After that, they forget they have a business. -Another reason for poor record keeping by small home business owners is because they have a fall back – their J.O.B.S – in case the business fails to deliver. Is that not a failure mindset?

Action Item: Start keeping a record of your achievements with respect to: sales/ income, traffic, subscribers, social media following and more

Online Business Blunder #4: Lack of Strategy and Plan

Do you have an online business plan or a blogging business plan? It’s ironic but a lot of online marketers and bloggers do not have one – not even a mini-business plan in mind-map or a notepad.

Day in day out, these bloggers and online marketers simply do any activity that feels right, or comes to their mind, spending as much time as they feel good on any activity of the day – without care of how big or small the particular activity impacts on their overall business objectives, hence monthly business revenue.

Action Items:

  • Get any of these: mind-map software (freemind or are free tools) or a notepad or evernote. Note this does not have to be a formal, serious write-up – just draft and sketch on your notepad or mind-map. Making it sound very serious and formal usually cause entrepreurs to never get to start writing a business plan.
  • Income Goal: Write down your income expectation per month, from your business – remember, “start small and be realistic”
  • Set S.M.A.R.T Objectives: Write down objectives for different part of your business:
    • Traffic goal could be: “I want to increase my daily blog traffic from 10 visitors per day to 20, within the next 60 days”
  • Strategy for achieving goals: What activities will you be doing daily or weekly on each of those parts of your business in order to achieve each set objectives.
    • Traffic generation strategy: An example could be: Daily submit 2 blog posts (day and evening) to 30 social bookmarking sites using Onlywire, and follow a blog commenting plan to comment on 5 blogs daily….etc.
    • Write a similar strategy for every part of your online business process: such as list building plan, content creation plan, link building plan etc.
    • Be sure to look at your online mini-business plan at the start and close of every day to implement your daily tasks and track your achievements daily, weekly (I like to track achievements weekly so I don’t get into the habit of analysis-paralysis).

Online Business Blunder #5: Doing Nothing To Leave Stagnation

Every business should have a written plan to break to at least even within the 90 to 180 days (that is 3 to 6 months) of startup. Many small and online home business owners continue to fund their businesses from their pockets or salaries, long after start-up, instead of letting go of what’s not working and searching for and implementing “what’s working now” for others so that they grow their businesses to self-sufficiency within 6 to 12 months.

Lesson: Take action on every new knowledge. Test every new blogging and marketing strategy to know what works and what doesn’t.

Online Business Blunder #6: Sticking with the Wrong Crowd

This is an extra bonus tip to the 5 already discussed above.

It’s good to hang out with successful people but not when you discover that months after months of following, you have not replicated a tiny bit of their success. Not a good idea to hang on. Many people just love staying with a popular successful person even while they have remained broke up to 6 months and more of following that “leader”. This usually happens in Network Marketing or MLM companies where some people just love to “flock and belong” to the popular camps and say “do you know that I also know John Doe?”

The only way to test if you should be there is to ask yourself how much you have become like that leader within 90 to 180 days of following. How much have you grown your business or income like him? If it ain’t working for you there, go find another leader. A particular leader may not be teaching in a style that you’ll effectively absorb while some people are doing well there.

It should be all about you and all about the interest and health of your business – how long do you want to keep following ‘a popular leader’ that’s not paying off in your business health (and bank account too)?. Time is money – how much longer do you want to keep wasting your time being a learner? It’s time you start thinking of teaching other people what you have learnt so far and if you have not learnt anything this far, get out and be useful to yourself. Are you just looking for popularity or to really EXPERIENCE financial freedom? It’s all about what’s working for you – you have to set a time frame for testing out any time and monetary investment and head over to “what’s working and where”.  You cannot get back lost time, therefore use it wisely!


That’s it on the top blunders that cause online business failure and how to avoid them. I hope you enjoyed reading.

Have I missed anything? I’d love to hear it from you – in the comments area.

Before you go, help a friend read this post – all you have to do is use the easy share buttons below to email it, digg it, Facebook it, tweet it…

Yours in success,


P.S: Sometimes mistakes are unavoidable but  “Failure is success if we learn from it.”

24 replies on “Top 5 Blunders That Cause Online Business Failure and How to Avoid Them”

Interesting points on the blunders. None of these I can disagree with, and yet even with your extra point I think there’s one last business blunder that we all miss, even me after so many years.

That blunder is not working enough on marketing and learning more about marketing. I’m still bad at it, and the thing is that when I have projects I totally forget about taking at least a little bit of time to continue marketing, and when I’m not on a project I need to try to remember to market at least an hour a day while I’m working on other things, and probably at least 3 to 4 hours a day if I’m not working on something else. Either that or read about marketing, find webinars or other things on marketing, or go to live presentations on marketing; I at least do 2 of the 3.

I would recommend this article to every entrepreneur. Having important knowledge about doing online business you will be able to succeed in your bisiness much faster and avoid mistakes, which many people do. Very useful information. Thanks a lot.

Hi Stella,

Nice tips! No wonder that there are some online marketers and home-business owners do not succeed because of these factors. Before you start your business, you need to know the pros and cons and some other ways that will help you grow as a businessman/businesswoman. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and I’m glad that you enjoyed this post:)

You’re right about knowing the need to know the pros and cons before starting out but in reality most people do not – especially because online business has got no barriers of entry, one can start free without risking any money. You know as humans, we tend to scrutinize risks (pros and cons) mostly when we had some money on the line, to risk.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you around some more:)

You’ve got cool wedding stuff at your site.

Hi Stella,

Oh, Thank you. If you have some relatives or friends that would like to purchase wedding favors, just visit the site. 🙂

Anyway, I love reading new information especially if they are really helpful. And I agree that there are some who like to take risks because they know that it is for free. Their trial and error theory.

HI Stella,

You cover it all. Mindset, planning, Action and improving your personal Value as a leader. all necessary to be successful in the venture. I will be sharing this on the different social media sites.

Hey Wendell – good to see you around, always a pleasure. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Wow – that’s so nice of you to share the post around – I appreciate and will return the fave.

Thank you so much, Ellen for reading and commenting.

I’m glad you could connect with this post. I hope you also had a chance to look over other really interesting posts on here.

Thanks for coming by and enjoy the best of today!


Great post Stella you named many key points that a small business owner should have my personal favorite is mindset and having a scheduled plan of action if one can just develop those two success will follow.

Hey Wa’Dell, thanks for coming by (your first time here, right?). I appreciate it.

I’m glad you like the post. Yea, I like that mindset point too, with the tip on having a specific schedule for working the business. Those are key PLUS being consistent because at the beginning one may not see so much outputs physically but all efforts are working together to snow-ball SOON. Some people may not just hang in there (working it) long enough before success happens.

Thanks for coming around; will be at your blog later in the day. Enjoy your weekend too:)

Amazing tips, Stella! This is exactly the push I needed. My freelance career is just lifting off and I really need to sit down and make sure everything’s in order, so that I’m not just making ends meet every month. =P Fortunately, I’m already an OCD record keeper, so that one’s down. Check! But I know that I can optimize further — I especially need the mindset and the plan that you speak of!

I used to be a hardcore goal-setter — I had an entire document that I reviewed daily with measurable short-, medium- and long-term goals. I need to get into the habit again! =)

Thanks for the motivation and I loved your clear writing style, Stella! =)

Thanks Sam, I’m glad you liked this post – it’s actually one of my first drafts on starting this blog; have had a PDF version at Scribd, Docstoc etc.

I’m glad you can use some of these tips to organize your freelance business plan. To make creating the plan ‘sweet’, I suggest you use Freemind or Bubbl.Us (free mind-mapping tools) – do a brainstorm sketch; sometimes I use pen and paper to flow freely. You know writing these goals on documents can make the mind see them as chores and very serious ‘business’, hence the mind-mapping.

It’s a good idea that you want to get into goal setting again. I encourage you to.

And you know, blogging is an internet thing and we easily get lured by the ‘SOS’ (Shiny Objects Syndrome) and that again keeps us far from our goals. You may want to read this too: top productivity killers and how to avid them.

What’s OCD?

Thanks for your compliments on my writing, and please say hello to your Peruvian friends:)

Wow! Those are some great resources for brainstorm sketches, Stella! I had no idea that it was possible to do so digitally. You are just filled with information! =) Thank you so much! =)

I’ll head over to your productivity post right now!

OCD = Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. =P

Stella, I admit I am making some of these blunders!!! I think I do treat my business like a hobby and need to make more goals to work towards and achieve!!! I need to get serious!!! THANKS!!!! 🙂

Hey Samantha, it’s always a pleasure to see you around:)

Hehehe – confession time. I’m glad you found an action item to work on. You know you rock at what you do and already got some business mindset (your membership product) and a raving reader-base to set it off.

Thanks for reading – I’ve been following your emails and FB page and learning about the Kombuchas and your family favorite raw meals:)

This is a Must read post in my opinion. I know I’ve fallen into the very same things you speak about avoiding but with more experience have gotten on track! This is very Valuable and worth sharing indeed! Thank You Stella!

Hey Barbie, thanks for coming around – I appreciate that.

I’m glad you like the post:)

Thank God you got right back on track, having made some business mistakes however, there are still lots of entrepreneurs swimming in it – especially not aware they are. I hope more bloggers in business would read posts on this subject.

I love the steps you laid for anyone to create a system that allows them to profit from helping their downlines build their network marketing business online. Creative tips there.

Loved this post, Stella. I’m in the middle of launching my business and determined that from the start I would make it “pay for itself” [i.e., profit (not my wallet) would fund further marketing expansion].

So I really liked tips #1,2. I also think that your advice about planning and strategy is so important.

This is something I need to work more conscientiously in my business. Most of us have a strategy (in our heads) but we don’t take the time to really write it down and spend time with it. It’s hard to execute something that is constantly morphing and somewhat ambiguous.

I think many entrepreneurs don’t like rules and feel boxed in, so they neglect to write their business and marketing plans. I need to really spend some time on this. I think I’ll prioritize it today! Thanks for the clear-headed direction that will make a difference in my business right away.

Wow Steve, thanks for stopping by and the post retweet. I appreciate greatly:)

Just reading your comment and you are so right on all points. That’s the point – a business must pay for itself – at least in driving a business with blogging, we have 12 months to generate a minimum of the initial investment (hosting, domain registration and autoresponder). One should not refund those from the wallet – if anyone is doing that then, they are not likely ‘working the business’, maybe they are consoled by a full time job. *This reminds me of you raising this in your excellent guest post at Stacy’s.

This made me laugh but TRUE – many small business and online marketers / bloggers have their entire strategic business plan in their heads. Even their daily method of operation is haphazard – on impulse or as the brain leads – not good. A simple checklist or sketch on paper, notepad or mind-map is good enough. I doesn’t have to be geeky serious.

In Guy Kawasaki’s book ‘the art of start’, he simplified the business planning process for entrepreneurs – using day to day languages as he said those geeky, serious names to the process of mapping out a plan even makes people scared to start drawing their plans. I have my online business plan mapped out and constantly revise it – most are on mind-maps – the traffic strategy, contents strategy, link building, list building etc – helps to look at it and check off what I have done and track progress.

Well, success has rules and only 3% seem to follow those. Let’s work at being in the 3% and it’s a choice for other people to start stepping in, with their plans in hand or risk being out of business soon,

Thanks for reading, I enjoy discussions like this after posts. You should do get Freemind (free mindmap) – to brainstorm and put together your strategies. I do better early mornings. Don’t try to do everything in one day – keep updating as your inspiration and ideas come, before you know it, you’ll have a full blown plan. Use a mindmap first – doing it on Wordprocessor can make the human mind get bored:)

Reading your latest blog post now.

Awesome! Thanks for the tool suggestions…I’ll look up Freemind. I haven’t read Kawasaki’s book (though I’ve heard of it, of course), so will put that on my reading list.

I love your “let’s work on being the 3%”….yes, let’s! 🙂

Thanks Steve, for the quality contribution you made to this post. I appreciate every bit of your conversation.

Enjoy your weekend!

You’re welcome, Steve. Please do – it’s a great nifty brainstorming tool, very simple too. You can read that book’s excerpts from some of the business books sites.

Thanks for all the wonderful contributions – let’s keep rooting to be in the 3%:)

Have the best weekend!

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