May 27, 2014 | Elite Wolf Why small businesses fail I read an article at Forbes that listed 5 reasons why 8 out of 10 small businesses fail within the first 18 months. If you want to read the article it is here. I’m just going to summarize the 5 reasons and give you a reason to think about your web development company you have or will be hiring. I’m not just posting this article to peddle our services, it’s more of a public service announcement because I have seen the way companies take advantage of small businesses in terms of some of the services that I will be highlighting from the article. I have said it before we are in the business of helping businesses, not just finishing a project and sending them out the door. We want your business to succeed. This is a measure that helps us know that we also did everything we could on the internet side of things for your company to give it the base it needs. Without further adieu here are the reasons. 1. Not in touch with customers through deep dialogue– The way customers communicate with businesses has drastically changed in the past few years. It used to be a just a phone call would be the medium to contact support with a question or concern. A few years ago it was a call or an email. Now it can be a call, email or a response through your social media. A message through facebook or a tweet with your company handle. Social media is a great way to reach out to potential customers but also a quick way to interact with existing ones. Does your company answer questions via social media? As a web development company we strive to not only put your website online but we want your online presence in the public eye as well. You should have a very clear contact and/or support page and information. Social media clearly set up and marketed so that your customers can find you, as well as monitored at least during business hours. Do you have to hire someone to do this? No, you can set up alerts on your computer or phone and respond immediately or have an employee that will handle this duty. Can you answer all their questions with a tweet? Maybe not, but at least you can give them enough information to find out how to solve their issue, whether its a phone call or an email. Making sure every aspect of communication for your customers is streamlined and functional is what we strive to do. 2. No real differentiation in the market– So you started a business. What separates yours from the others? A very well designed website will always be a great first start. With some of these free and starter templates that many small businesses are attempting to use they are very poorly and simply designed as compared to a well designed professional website. If you google a local search in your area for a product or service, and you compare 2 websites. One simple or hard to navigate and a second that has an aesthetically pleasing interface that is easy to find what you are looking for, which business do you contact? You would be surprised at how affordable websites these days actually are. Shop around and find a company that works within your budget and will deliver the site you want. Web designers are up to date on current trends and what customers want and NEED to see to convert a sale on a website. If you build your own, do you know what CTA and above the fold mean? 3. Failure to communicate value propositions in clear, concise and compelling fashion-How do you market your company? Print media is slowly dying. Radio and TV? Not unless you have a huge marketing budget. Those used to be the way, now social media and internet advertising and the way. Did you just create a facebook page and twitter account and start throwing up tweets and posts? Social media is a giant industry that just about everyone of your potential customers are using. Do you know how to target these customers? Do you know what types of messages your customers will notice and share? These 2 are the biggest things that most companies lack when they start a social media campaign. Let a company that knows what they are doing help you. You don’t have to hire someone to do your campaigns but you can at least hire them to set you up with the right path to take to make the most out of your social media marketing. Another marketing tool is Pay Per Click. Did you know that 60% of people don’t know that the top couple of search engine results are ads? Those PPC ads are invaluable to a company and knowing how to target and convert those ads will greatly reduce wasted ad spending. 4. Leadership breakdown at the top– This one is on YOU. 5. Inability to nail a profitable business model with proven revenue streams- Do you sell any of your products or services online? Do you read your analytics in depth? The way you and your employees spend your time and money is important to the success of your business, so why wouldn’t you want to know how your time and money spent on your internet marketing is doing? Learning and knowing if your time and money investment is paying off is as easy as reading deep into your analytics. Reading the data we can see what is being clicked, by who, at what time of day and if it results in a sale or successful call to action. We can teach you how to read into them so you can have an understanding of how your valuable resources are doing on your ROI. We can also alter the website structure and move underperforming products or components out of key areas and move better ones into their place. Your small business CAN succeed and you don’t have to do it alone. These services will not kill your budget and the return on your investment will definitely get you moving on a path to success.