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Hidden Challenges of Running an Online Business and How You Can Overcome Them

As a business owner, you’ll understand how rewarding it is to be your own boss and to manage your own success. Running a traditional bricks and mortar business means you have to focus on footfall, managing and storing stock as well as paying additional fees such as utilities, rent and other running costs whilst you try to turn a profit.

This is why more entrepreneurs and established businesses than ever before are purely based online. When your entire business model has the potential to reach clients on a global scale, and you don’t have to worry about the competitiveness of the high street, or paying extortionate business rates, it’s easy to think that running a successful online business is an easier option. However, in reality – this statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

Essentially, running an online business comes with its own trials and tribulations, with persistent and unwavering challenges that make standing out from your competitors that much harder. In this post, we’ll explore the hidden challenges of running an online business and how you can overcome them.

Managing Your Tax Obligations

As an online business, your tax obligations are just as resolute as those of a physical business. And much like a traditional business, getting ready for filing your tax returns, keeping and recording accurate accounts and protecting your business from tax audits are still relevant concerns of an online enterprise.

Thankfully, the solution is simple. By investing in professional tax software (like this), you can not only streamline all your tax obligations but also take back control of your business finances, helping online business owners keep on top of their cash flow, make better financial decisions and get ready for those demanding tax submissions. Protecting your online business from tax audits is easy when you have HMRC-approved cloud accounting technology to help you file your tax return and keep accurate records. Investing in tax software also keeps your online business aligned with MTD (Making Tax Digital) legislation, keeping you compliant and able to focus on other areas of your online business.

Generating (And Maintaining Site Traffic)

While physical businesses can usually rely on passing trade and regular footfall, online businesses have to work extra hard to gather and maintain site traffic. Competition is fierce, therefore online businesses are required to adopt a variety of digital marketing strategies to drive traffic to their sites and to convert clicks into customers.

Digital marketing takes many forms and adopting a variety of on-site and off-site SEO practices, email marketing, social media marketing, PPC, content marketing and others are needed to develop a digital marketing strategy that pulls in the results you need. Online businesses can either go it alone and handle these campaigns themselves or bring in the experts to help execute these campaigns effectively.

Building and Maintaining an eCommerce Site

While a traditional business and tempt consumers inside with an impressive window display and an inviting ambience, online businesses have to work a little harder and overcome the challenge that comes with being found and maintaining high levels of engagement with site visitors online.

This is where an eCommerce site comes in. Your eCommerce site plays a pivotal role in selling and highlighting your products, creating levels of trust amongst your visitors and encouraging them to come back. Creating an engaging, informative and user-friendly site isn’t as easy as it sounds therefore it makes sense for online business owners to bring in a web design team that can cover all these bases for you and ensure your site represents your business accurately and encourages visitors to convert.

Recognising the biggest challenges facing you as an online business means you can give yourself the knowledge and insight you need to overcome them as quickly as possible and move your business in the right direction.

Aaron Taggart and Matthew Nelson, 2011

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