The Toughest Tasks Facing Online BusinessesKey challenges for online business owners and managers

The digital world can be a lifesaver when it comes to your business’s needs.

You can easily develop your whole company online and have it ready to go in just a matter of days.

However, with 71% of businesses now boasting an online presence, the competition is fierce.

As with any business, the key to overcoming your challenges is to first identify them. So, no matter your business type, here are some of the main challenges you’ll find when running an online business, along with their potential solutions.

Digital marketing

As the digital world evolves, your business must evolve with it. One of the main challenges that comes with running an online business is creating a valuable online presence.

Gone are the days where people will stumble across your company in person; with an online business you will need to actively drive traffic towards your website.

One way to do this is through digital marketing. By effectively using marketing strategies such as search engine optimisation (SEO), digital advertising, and email and social media marketing, your business will begin to reach a larger audience, many of whom will be potential customers.

Managing a team remotely

Another significant challenge that accompanies running an online business is the need to manage your team remotely. Whether it’s just yourself and a freelancing colleague, or an expanding team that specialises in different areas, managing each individual through a screen will have its difficulties.

Communication will be the most effective thing you can do for your team. Not only will it boost morale, but it will also support the collaboration that your business requires. Ensure that you keep everyone connected with Findmyshift’s group messaging features.

Similarly, without a physical office, your team will need aid in terms of structure. Setting business hours and storing the actual hours your staff work with timesheets can help you oversee the time spent on tasks and keep your team members—and budget— on track.

Optimising your website

The fewer difficulties a customer faces when on your website, the better the chances are that they will complete a transaction. Ensure that you optimise your website to make it user friendly, informative, and efficient.

Errors such as inactive links or buttons, and spelling or grammar mistakes, can seem unprofessional and are ultimately off-putting. Review the content of each page of your website and seek feedback from website testers or friends and family who can test your website’s flow.

Additionally, it will also be prudent to analyse your website’s statistics in terms of traffic, drop off points, and scrolling patterns. Such analysis will help you to identify the areas of your online business that are thriving, and which areas need more work.


Cyberattacks can significantly affect the growth of an online business and, in an ever-growing digital world, they continue to be a prevalent threat.

In 2022, 39% of UK businesses identified a cyberattack. One in five of those affected identified a more sophisticated attack type such as a denial of service, malware, or ransomware attack.

Keeping data safe and secure should be at the forefront of your online business. Ensure that you have an immediate response plan and an effective cybersecurity policy in place should you ever need it.

An online security breach can cost you in terms of trust and reputation and can ultimately wipe out your business. It is therefore also wise to be vigilant and always back up your data and install security plugins onto your website to prevent malicious attacks.

Customer retention

It has been measured that repeat customers spend an average of 67% more than new customers. Customer retention is therefore a vital addition to any business, yet it is one that can be a considerable challenge to achieve.

Failure to create a pleasant online experience, or failure to compete with offers and discounts from competitors can deter customers from returning. Engaging a customer in ways other than transactional matters will make them feel valued and more inclined to return.

This can be simple things such as offering a thank-you or birthday discount, or a surprise freebee in their order. By taking the time and effort to build and nurture customer relationships you will be met with their loyalty in return.

Take the next steps for your online business

In our ever-evolving digital world, it seems that starting or taking your business online is more difficult than ever.

However, if you identify your challenges and take steady steps to overcome them, you will find that the benefits of running an online business can heavily outweigh the difficulties that may crop up.

Start scheduling your employees online.

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