If you’re the owner of a small business startup, you know that the odds are stacked against you, with only about 78% of small businesses making it through their first year – and that’s non-pandemic numbers. Bonus points (or deductions?) if you are an online business; the chances of your failure are a whopping 90%. I know it is a harsh realty, but it is true. And this number is likely to go up as technology makes it cheaper and easier for people to enter the online marketplace without the proper skill-sets.
Why does this happen?
While traditional businesses fail for a variety of reasons, according to DigitalMarketingBriefing.com, the number one reasons that e-commerce startups end in failure are poor digital marketing and lack of online visibility in search results (37% and 35% cited their failures as being due to these two reasons).
Most startups enter service without any plan at all to proceed and market themselves. They are great at what they do for their busienss, but they believe the Internet will do it all for them. And yet, the internet is being grossly underutilized. As of February 2020, 60% of businesses said they planned to finally start using their website in 2020, and 29% had yet to even build one.
That means that if you’re a online business owner, the odds are that you aren’t using your online presence to its full advantage.
Add to this to the fact that Industry Giants are shifting millions of dollars online as their customers migrate there, reducing the visibility of small businesses, and suddenly the 90% failure rate isn’t all that unbelievable after all.
Note: This data doesn’t even take into account the unknown final effects of the COVID19 pandemic, but its likely that the competition is going to get even stiffer. Current data says that the COVID19 crisis has accelerated the shift towards online-only business by an estimated 5 years, according to TechCrunch.
So, how can you prevent your business from becoming a statistic?
Beyond the necessary traits of consistency, focus, and delegation of roles, many businesses attribute their success to their marketing. In fact, 86% of successful businesses invest in technology and marketing that will grow their business, and attribute this to their success.
And with 35-37% of online businesses failing because of a lack of marketing, you can’t afford to NOT market yourself.
Marketing starts with research and self knowledge. Understanding who you are, where you fit into your competitive market, what problem you solve, and what type of customer you solve that problem for is the first step of your marketing strategy.
The second step is attracting that customer by proving to the world that you are the best at what you do in your field, and then using that authority to show customers how their lives will be transformed by the work you do. Then you are finally able to focus on visibility and attracting clients, utilizing the tools of modern day digital marketing (SEO, social media marketing, ad campaigns, etc).
Most people think of marketing as glorified market research – as taking out ads in papers or on radios, as posting endlessly on your social media, and telling anyone who will listen to spread the word about you and your business. And yes, marketing does involve many of those things.
But in the age of digital businesses you can hyper target your audience. With the growing competition, just being out there among the noise is not enough. Market research and authority building is still important, but to even have the chance to be found by potential customers, you have to be visible, which means using the tools of digital marketing, and utilizing the skills of those who have training in both traditional and digital marketing to create a comprehensive plan for getting more clients.
Digital Marketing is about putting emphasis on the “Marketing” part and not the “Digital” part . You cannot realistically turn your website and online presence over to your 15 year old nephew who is “tech savvy” and hope for any kind of real success beyond luck. Marketing requires thought, time, calculated decisions (a lot of math), and investment in a marketing strategy that works.
Your business relies upon you being better than the 90%. Don’t let shoddy marketing be the source of your failure.