We have already analysed and reflected on 6 key reasons why a significant number of small businesses fail in the first 18 months. Most of these reasons have focused on factors which can inhibit growth, but we have also considered the impact of unmanageable, rapid growth.
According to the article on ‘BusinessKnowHow.com’, the final reason why small businesses fail is because they have ’No Website’.
Why Small Businesses Fail – No Website
Websites are used in different ways by different companies and organisations. The obvious benefit of having a website for a product based business is that customers can order your products online, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Another less apparent reason why having a website is important is to show that you are credible and professional. Branding and positioning are as important, if not more important online because your reputation can be built or damaged by reviews and discussions on social media sites.
In addition, owning a well-structured website can bring in new business through Search Engines and other online marketing strategies. Without a website you could metaphorically be “leaving money on the table” for your competitors.
Why Small Businesses Fail – No Online Sales
Since the digital revolution, we have moved into an ‘Information Age’, where people are keen to research and gather information before making buying decisions. Most people nowadays also like to scour the internet to make sure they are getting the best price and value for money too!
On top of this, people often need to feel that they know, like and trust someone before purchasing from them. If it is outside of your business hours, then how can a potential customer learn about you and your business?
It is important to remember that people want to purchase at different times of the day and for various reasons, but your shop may not be open when they are ready to order. Different factors encourage people to purchase products, as buying is often an emotional decision rather than a rational decision. It might be something that a person sees or hears that reminds them about your products or influences their choice to purchase from you. This is most definitely the case if there is an element of decision making required before buying what you have to offer (i.e. high price items, subscriptions, health products, etc.). Make sure you can be found when your future customers need you!
Why Small Businesses Fail – Credibility
As mentioned previously, we generally buy from people or companies that we know, like and trust. One of the advantages of personal branding is to allow people to get to ‘know’ you. Personal branding can be achieved by having an ‘About Us’ page on your website, where you introduce yourself and outline your background. If you are building a brand for your businesses, then you can introduce yourself as the founder, or owner of your business.
I personally believe that one of the benefits of running a small business is that you can remain as the face of your business. This allows you to be personable and write content in a conversational, rather than corporate style, which makes for easy reading. It also means that you can get your personality, views and opinions across to enable you to connect with readers. If you are able to connect with your potential customers, then they may even start to ‘Like’ you!
It is important to always be honest with your prospects and customers, so that you maintain your integrity at all times. If you can’t provide what an individual requires then be honest and try to help them find it elsewhere. Focus on being helpful and trustworthy when people contact you. If you can demonstrate that you dependable and have credibility in your sector, then it is likely that they will begin to ‘Trust’ you. However, you must make sure that this trust is not misplaced!
Why Small Businesses Fail – Internet Marketing
Assuming you have a well-structured website with valuable content you may wish to promote your site to a target demographic, or for specific keywords.
Social Media Marketing is becoming increasingly popular as you are able to target specific demographics. For example, you may wish to have an advert appear to anyone who is female, between the ages of 30 and 50, living in London and interested in gardening. You can achieve this with Facebook advertising, as an example.
You may also wish to target specific keywords, where your advert appears as a sponsored listing in Google when someone searches for your chosen keywords. This is something that can be done using Google Adwords.
However, I believe that Search Engine Optimisation is the single most powerful strategy for finding new customers. You can optimise pages of your site for specific product names, or focus on keywords that your potential customers are likely to be search for in Google and other Search Engines. If done properly then you will appear in the Organic listing, which is completely free!
For details on how to put this to work in your businesses, please click the link below:
If you are interested in starting a small or home business, please use the link below for some suggestions and recommendations: