We love talking all things business at Fingerprint Marketing. From making your brand more relatable for customers to delivering your marketing message in an impactful way — and all the necessary design steps in between.

What we often come across in talking with clients and business friends is that they’re making all kinds of costly mistakes that could easily be avoided. But that doesn’t mean these errors are obvious to everyone! So we’ve gathered up five expensive mistakes to avoid when building your online business and shared them for you below.

Mistake #1: Your website is poorly designed

In the digital world, first impressions are based solely on appearance. And those snap judgments can make or break your online reputation and credibility. Your imagery must be excellent, not akin to clip art. Your color palette must resonate with your intended audience, not merely look pretty. Your content must connect and engage, not just exist for search engine sake.

Investing in web design makes good business sense. A professionally designed website looks great, enhances your brand and is responsive to any device your customers use. Plus, revamping your website doesn’t have to cost a million bucks to look like it. You simply need a robust content management platform like WordPress that can affordably meet all of your needs.

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Mistake #2: You don’t have a brand

Having a company name, a logo and some marketing materials don’t make a true brand – they’re simple one part of a much bigger package.

Branding is all about perception. Especially when it comes to how your customers perceive you. With branding, you can turn your website from a group of pages into a finely crafted presence. Or a tweet into a tool for growing your community. And even a simple transaction into a delightful customer experience.

REX Veterinary rack cards designed by Fingerprint Marketing
REX Veterinary rack and business cards designed by Fingerprint Marketing as part of the company’s new branding.

Mistake #3: You’re not marketing your business

Are you the best kept secret in your industry? All signs point to yes.

That’s because not marketing your business means you’re not getting in front of your ideal customers. Just because you build / write / create / design it, doesn’t meant people will find it. You have to guide them there, again and again.

Consistently marketing your business where your audience hangs out helps you get seen and heard by all the right people. Being selective about how you promote your blog, services and products – and doing it well – puts you squarely in the spotlight.

Mistake #4: You overlook website maintenance

If your website went down at this very second, how much would it cost you in lost data and functionality? How many customers would you lose if your site was down or the shopping cart stopped working?

We’re guessing it’s probably a lot. And even more so the longer it takes you to realize your website is down.

How much time do you spend working on your site each day or week? If your schedule is too busy for you to properly maintain your website, don’t leave things up to chance. Find a website care plan that suits your needs and your budget. Any plan worth its salt will give you expert support at your fingertips, so you can always rest assured things will be taken care of quickly should they go awry.

Mistake #5: You’re not measuring your efforts

Having a website alone won’t guarantee you’ll get web traffic, no matter how awesome it looks. And it’s not just about how many people visit your website; the quality of your traffic matters, too. Because all the traffic in the world is great – unless it never converts.

It’s difficult to improve results or optimize sales if you’re not tracking SEO and other key metrics in your business. By regularly monitoring your analytics, you can ensure you stay ahead of the competition. And because your web analytics program can only track data from the moment you turn it on, there’s no better time than right now to get everything in place.

Over to You

If you could have a do-over in starting your business, what expensive mistakes would you avoid? Share what you would have done differently in the comments below.