Research reveals that more than 90% of online businesses fail within four months. Why is that? Industry observers believe that online enterprises without a well-defined business idea and strategy are likely to fail. If your goal is to sell “cool stuff” online, you may as well join an auction website or an e-commerce platform.
Starting a successful online business requires dynamic and diverse skills. If you wish to create a sustainable and profitable brand, you need a solid business idea. More importantly, industry-specific knowledge and expertise are essential so that you can manage multiple aspects. Running a business involves financing and budgeting, marketing and promotion, supply chain management, customer service, and much more.
Entrepreneurs are overwhelmed with an abundance of responsibilities and chores to maintain and drive profitability. Even if your goal is to create a “cool” online shop, you will have to learn supply chain and logistics management. Is your online business doomed to fail? Keep reading to find out.
● LACK OF BUSINESS ACUMEN
Do you possess the understanding and aptitude to run a successful online business? Most aspiring entrepreneurs believe that digital online tools are all they need to start running their business. Websites offer built-in templates and shopping carts, while social media campaigns bring in customers. So, you’ve showcased your products and attracted customers, what’s next?
How will you manage your suppliers, logistics, inventory management, deliveries, returns, and customer service? More importantly, do you have any expertise or training in managing suppliers, inventory, and using communication tools? Are you capable of conducting financial forecasting, budgeting, and planning?
Most online businesses fail due to a lack of expertise and academic training. If you don’t possess industry-specific knowledge or financial savviness, your business might struggle for stability. Premature business ideas and a lack of skills are a recipe for disaster. Enrolling in an online masters degree in business administration will offer many new opportunities to learn and grow in this industry. If entrepreneurship is your professional dream, then an MBA can provide you with professional development platforms. It will enrich your skillset with specialized training and expertise to ensure profitability and sustainability.
● BRAND WITHOUT IDENTITY
Many online businesses and e-commerce websites disappear and get lost in the convoluted labyrinth of the digital marketplace. An online business is not necessarily a brand because branding requires extensive effort and promotion. A business needs an exclusive, unique, and distinctive identity to appeal to its audience as an influential brand.
When you focus more on the product and revenues and less on branding, your business does not survive the competition. Even if you manage to attract a few customers and make some sales, how will you establish authority and credibility?
Establishing a brand identity requires you to answer the following questions:
- What does my brand offer to the industry?
- Who is my target audience?
- Will my target audience benefit from my brand?
- What makes my brand different from my competitors?
Answering these questions will help you curate a distinctive brand identity and understand your target audience’s needs.
● FAILURE TO PERFORM MARKET RESEARCH
Most failed businesses are run by entrepreneurs who focus solely on the product and not the consumer. If your business strategy does not consider the consumer and competitors, it fails eventually. It is pertinent to note that the modern-day digital marketplace is aggressive and volatile.
The competition got drastically heightened, and each business model has millions of competitors today. You will find your brand competing against dozens of competitors offering similar products/services, even on a local level.Masters in product design can help to build products with unique features that will stand out. Performing market research is instrumental in understanding your target audience and your competitors.
Your research must answer the following questions:
- What are the needs and preferences of my target audience?
- Are my competitors addressing these needs and preferences correctly?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my competitors?
- How can my brand build upon the weaknesses of my competitors?
Businesses that fail to personalize their consumer experiences cannot enjoy long-term success. Personalized consumer experiences are the key to securing brand loyalty and build a flourishing clientele.
● POOR OR NO WEBSITE
How can one run an online business without an interactive and user-friendly website? It is surprisingly common for entrepreneurs to rely solely on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. They use the shop tools offered by social networking sites and, therefore, fail to survive after a 4-5 month run.
A user-friendly and impressive website is an instrumental ingredient to establish a digital footprint and a credible brand identity. Modern-day consumers seek out quality website experiences to validate the credibility and authenticity of a brand. If your website doesn’t have a website or offers a mediocre experience, you will lose customers.
If the website has an awful loading time, a complicated shopping cart, or overly complex checkout processes, customers will leave. On the other hand, a user-friendly and immersive website experience will boost customers and revenues. However, having a website alone isn’t enough. Try to build a strategic marketing campaign and advertising initiatives to increase traffic, generate leads, and boost conversion.
It requires extensive keyword research, creative content generation, link building strategies, and PPC ads. You don’t necessarily need an enormous marketing budget. But instead, you must understand your audience and use external links to boost SEO ranking and keyword targeting.
Launching a successful online business may seem challenging and overwhelming, but all it needs is a solid business plan. Once you’ve completed your MBA, you can conduct a feasibility analysis and create a well-research business plan. Higher education will also equip you with refined business acumen, marketing know-how, and supply chain management skills.
If entrepreneurship is your long-term career plan, jumping too soon is a mistake you can prevent. While learning from experiences and failures is a great strategy, there are better strategies and gameplans. Completing your education will put you at a significant advantage while planning, forecasting, budgeting, and strategizing.