Ruby Slippers and The Yellow Brick Road

The Top 10 Reasons Entrepreneurs and Businesses Fail Online

The Top 10 Reasons Businesses Fail Online

Over the last decade, I've learned a thing or two, because I've seen and experienced a lot. In that time, I've developed perspective and opinions about why most businesses get failing grades online.

The Framers Insurance slogan "We know a thing or two, because we've seen a thing or two" comes to mind.

Working with some of the most amazing people, small businesses and professionals, I've had the opportunity to invest more than 25,000 hours in online sales and SEO marketing research. I've directly managed implementations on websites, online Shopify stores, and Amazon product listings for some of the most amazing and innovative small businesses.

Having created and managed search advertising campaings (SEM), and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) programs for entrepreneurs, top advertising and media agencies, for the benefit of some of the largest US companies.

The biggest losers are often the biggest companies. I've seen the truth, from the outside - and the inside (Google Analytics) - of just how hard it is to make a buck - no matter who you are. The biggest companies, those without digital savvy leadership are wasting enormous sums on advertising (they can), and in most/many cases they have the wrong people in the most important roles.

I've seen patterns for success and failures that we can all learn from. We're all in this together, trying to "make it" out there, figure out how the internet works best so we can realize the American dream, and/or make a living.

Happily, the internet allows all of us a level playing field to prove value. Small businesses, and large businesses compete for visibiltiy and trust, which are earned. Savvy entrpreneurs have an enormous competetive edge.

Now onto the list, from my perspective and backed up by lots of studies or data.

The Top 10 Reasons Businesses Fail Online

I define failure as both outright failure, and failure to realize their potential as defined by revenue earned. 

Not in order of importance.

  • Poor Strategy. We all figure this out the hard way. 
  • Too Much Outsourcing. Many people who know how to "pull the levers" (build the website, create content) don't fully understand your customer, or the business / niche.  
  • Too Much Focus on Website Traffic, Instead of Sales. If you're a huge business, you can make a living off the 1-2% that take action. For many, the numbers (sales) don't add up.
  • Poor / No SEO Strategy. People are told they should "write blogs" for SEO. That's not a strategy, without a plan and purpose.
  • Cold, Clean Websites and Landing Pages. Clean and simple works when someone is already convinced to act.
  • Not Enough Detail Customers Care About. The more you share, the more you care. Informative Text, Images, Videos. Pricing. Who it's good for, who it's NOT good for.
  • Sales & Marketing are Not Aligned. Think "Chief Renue Officer". The person responsible for the eCommerce site(s) should have authority & accountability.
  • The Boss Doesn't Understand Digital. Why? Lots of reasons, including that they are busy managing their company, and cant keep up. They may understand social, because they use it.
  • Boring Offer. Not compelling. Price is what you pay, value is what you get. People don't necessarily need the absolute lowest price, but they don't want to be suckers either. 
  • Unskilled Work Force