You hear it all the time, "Why did my internet business fail?" The reality is that running an internet business is just as tough as running a traditional brick and mortar. By no means is it easy to be successful at either. Driving traffic, generating leads, challenging competition, and marketing strategy are just as prevalent online as it is offline. Based on a recent study, we know that over 80% of the population by the year 2010 will be running a for-profit business online or have some kind of internet presence [Resource: Oneupweb Research]. It's clear that as internet marketers, we have to challenge ourselves to find the reasons why businesses fail in order to succeed.
Finding a systematic approach for an online business is key to your success. Trisha Ahlman, CEO of Augment Marketing Group recently released a poll of nearly 35 unsuccessful internet businesses and why they failed. Research indicated that most internet businesses failed due to 10 very important and common reasons. When marketing an internet business, marketers have to clearly devise a plan of action and take these reasons serious if wanting to succeed with an online business model.
"The 10 Reasons My Internet Business Failed is Revealed" [print it out and study]:
1) Commitment - Some people are starters but never really finish anything. They are people who want to succeed but never really quite get there. It boils down to commitment. When running a home-based or internet business, you have to be committed and disciplined. According to one success story, "I learned when marketing my internet business that commitment is a real key component. Having action plans, calendar of events, step-by-step instruction, and check lists have really helped with marketing my internet business successfully".
2) Budget - Internet business that failed did so because they lacked budget. The rule of thumb is 10% to 20% of sales, in most cases, depending on how aggressive you intend to be with marketing your internet business. The question consultants face, "How do I develop a budget from sales when I first start?" The answer is that you have to have the mindset that you will spend a specific amount each month in marketing. Sure, there are grassroots internet marketing techniques just like there are offline, but you still need a budget in mind to get started. The research indicated that most who failed had little if any budget.
3) Resources - Lack of resources was a clear reason for failure based on the poll; including time, money, hardware, software, and manpower to name a few. An important point to remember when marketing an internet business is that you should treat it just like any other business. If you lack resources in one area, you have to make up for it in another area. If you lack money, for instance, put more time into marketing the internet business. There are tons of free trials, low monthly subscriptions, and/or automated marketing software that can help multiply your marketing efforts.
4) Support - Lack of support from family members, team members or customer support depending on your business played a huge role in failure based on statistics. Running a business offline or online is really no different. As an entrepreneur you are working long hours, you are committed and you are determined to succeed, then when you need to rely on a source for support, perhaps it's not there. Forget selling to consumers, your first sales job is to your inner circle of support. Make sure you have ultimate buy-in from family, friends, and key support players.
5) Systems in Place - A systematic approach to marketing an online business includes developing an organizational chart, setting time lines when to launch products, services and PR campaigns. Developing an online business model, setting up a merchant account, marketing plan, and all other systems that should be considered to run a successful online business is still necessary. Those businesses that started marketing an internet business without systems in place or, at the very least, set it up on the front-end of their business --simply failed.
6) Planning - Writing down goals for sales, budgets, projections, campaign tracking strategies, as well as target audience, keywords, etc... were a huge role in failure across the board. When asked, businesses polled did not understand the power of goal setting and planning. Most didn't even have plans for (3) three months out much less 12 months or (3) three years out. While the internet changes quickly, planning is still important to success when marketing your internet business.
7) Strategy - "What do you mean long-term strategy? This is a home-based or internet business. Why would I need to think of strategy? ", commented one business. Long-term vision is important to every business. Companies that failed did not take strategy into consideration when developing concepts for their brand. There's a simple solution for online marketers. If you are marketing your internet business with success in mind, write down your vision, mission, and at least three to five core values. Begin creating a strong foundation for what you provide consumers even when marketing an internet business.
8) Motivation - Attitude is everything and internet marketers were consistently discouraged easily for those internet businesses that failed. Implementing core beliefs when starting an internet business is just as critical for online marketing. It's highly recommended to get a dose of motivational inspiration on a daily basis or at least every other day when starting an internet business. Getting easily discouraged is not an option.
9) Mentorship - The number #1 reason that internet businesses failed was due to lack of mentorship. Most off line franchises are successful because they are team-centric and offer a ton of support, mentorship, and coaching. In order to sell more franchises, success is critical; therefore, it's in their best interest to offer help. If you have an internet business that does not have some sort of mentorship program, team support, or coaching plan, you either need to begin developing your own or research services that have mentorship programs.
10) Training - The number #2 reason that marketing an internet business failed was due to lack of training through either mentors or through the chosen internet business franchise. Staying abreast marketing trends and techniques can only be achieved through training and instruction. Those who failed simply did not understand all the facets of marketing online. If the internet marketer is committed to marketing their internet business then they will seek training resources to support their success. If not, like the 35 polled internet businesses, they will fail.