7 Alarming Signs Your Small Business May Fail

7 Alarming Signs Your Small Business May Fail

Thu Oct 14, 2021

Why exactly do businesses fail? Is it because they don't seek guidance from professionals?

Such as, SEO help from a professional SEO company, or not understanding their target audience? Or is it always the lack of financial resources that kills a small business?  

Read on if you want to know the warning signs that depict a startup is doomed to fail.

Sign #1: Doing Everything Yourself

That's the first sign why 80% of businesses fail in the online realm. Most entrepreneurs become obsessed with profits; they try to do everything on their own.

From social media marketing to SEO implementation and what not!

They don't have professional support to answer questions like what’s the criteria to avail best SEO services in Pakistan or why web development is must for a successful business in Pakistan?

This is a clear-cut sign of your business's failure. It is more beneficial to work with professionals, who are already familiar with all the technicalities of their trade.

Moreover, if you are good at something, it doesn't mean you're the master of everything.

For example, consider you're a digital marketing expert and do everything from A to Z by yourself.

If you lack technical knowledge, you'll have to spend a lot of time in the research phase.

In fact, you might fail in making a user-friendly website and that would be a huge loss for your business. Because at the end of the day, you need your customers to engage with your website.

Sign #2: Ignoring the Data

If you fail to listen to the data and market trends, your business is going to die a quick death. You need to understand what your customers want from you, not the other way around.

Then, you have to figure out how you can provide them value continuously so that they don't turn their backs on you.

In order to avoid this mistake, it's necessary for online entrepreneurs to study customer behavior patterns and implement changes accordingly.

You cannot assume that customers' needs will remain the same forever after all your business is a dynamic ecosystem which requires continuous adaptation.

The psychology behind a person's buying behavior is what you should be keenly aware of if you really want to see your business thrive.

Further online marketing is driven by data and not just opinions. The more data you have, the better decisions you'll be able to make regarding planning, budgeting etc.

Sign #3: Not Understanding the Market Trends

You might have an excellent product or service but do not brand yourself effectively by understanding the market trends correctly.

In other words, you have to know what your customers are looking for and what are the latest strategies in your area of expertise.

Businesses hardly focus on the latest trends in their industry like what are the latest trends in SEO and how to tackle the challenges of COVID-19 in your business?

If you are in the blogging space, SEO has to be your topmost priority. So, it's better if your website shows up on Google's first page when someone searches for "blogging tips".

If that's not the case then obviously that’s a sign your business might fail miserably.

How can you achieve this? Well, it takes time and effort to master technical skills like SEO, SEM etc.

You can hire a professional SEO company who'll do all this work for you. Don't forget the old adage 'You get what you pay for.'

Sign #4: Failure to understand Customer Behavior

Now you have to understand how your customers engage with your website. Because their experience will be a reflection of you and your brand.

Are you following color psychology to make your website attractive for your target audience? If your audience is gen Z, are you targeting their personal preference?

For instance, if a visitor hates your website's color scheme, then they're most likely going to take an action which isn't good for your business.

What is your audience talking about your business? What are their feedbacks, reviews, queries etc.? All these questions will help you understand your customers better.

Are you unsure where to begin? We've prepared a list of channels to assist you in monitoring feedback and engaging with clients.

Google reviews

If your website offers excellent products or services then of course, people will review it on Google. However, if you haven't received any reviews as such then one of three things might be happening.

Either people don't like your product or they haven't come across it yet, or the process to leave a review isn't smooth.

However, people like to post negative reviews more than positive ones and it's totally your choice as to how you'll deal with them.

Social media

You have to be everywhere your customers are.

So you have to regularly monitor social sites like Twitter, Facebook etc. for customer reviews and feedback. It's as simple as that!

Listen to Feedback

You have to stop pushing your products and services and start listening to what your customers want.

If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, there's a huge chance that they're going to get sick of you.


What articles are working in your niche? How can you improve them? What content should you avoid? These are questions which you'll be able to answer by using BuzzSumo.

Follow this diagram to understand how your customer thinks and how you can cater it to your benefit.

Reason #5: Not Having an Effective Business Plan

Are you using a proven and tested business plan? If not, then it's time for you to do that as soon as possible. The only way to survive in this competitive online world is by having an effective business plan.

You have to know where you're heading and why.

What's your plan? How will you reach the top? Avoiding these questions is one of the main reasons why so many people fail.

You have to work hard and be disciplined. But if you have a plan, it'll definitely boost your chances of succeeding online.

Including media outreach in your business plan will 3x your success. But how do you plan an effective media outreach?

Media outreach

If you want media coverage for your website, then first learn how to write powerful news pitches which are likely to get published. It's harder than writing catchy headlines!

Now, if you do have an online business, promoting it on Social Media is a great idea too but without proper analytics it's hard to track your efforts.

A successful marketing campaign requires more than just posting content on social media sites or sending newsletters via email campaigns.

Without keywords and research beforehand, you'll end up wasting precious resources which instead could've been spent in developing effective ads.

That said, there are some things that even professional marketers get wrong!

Here are 3 common mistakes made by them while running marketing campaigns:

  • Not using the right keywords
  • Paid ads without planning
  • Making assumptions about your audience based on internal data.

The steps for efficient marketing campaigns are simple:

  • Set SMART business goals
  • Build an online presence that people will notice
  • Use cost-effective online channels that get results
  • Create powerful campaigns that'll get you conversions
  • Measure your ROI and identify areas that can be improved

Although it's not entirely possible to avoid all mistakes, by following the steps mentioned above. you'll ensure that your business is a success.

Reason #6: Not Targeting the Right Audience

Every business has a target audience in mind but knowing your customer is the most challenging aspect of your entire business.

And that’s where most businesses fail to resonate with their audience and end up wasting their content marketing, social media marketing campaign and the result is failure.

For example, you might be doing great in delivering high-quality content to the audience but there's always room for improvement.

If you're not getting the desired number of leads, then there's something wrong with your business model.

Maybe you're targeting too small an audience or maybe your content marketing strategy does not appeal to the right people.

Talking about solutions, it is always advisable to hire professional ecommerce solution experts  or take help from a good digital marketing agency if you want to stand out in the crowd.

However, remember that there's no one-fits-all solution in this competitive world.

You have to come up with innovative ways of attracting leads and converting them into loyal customers who generate revenue for your business.

Reason #7 Too Many Competitors

A classic case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, online entrepreneurs fail to beat their competition due to lack of proper planning.

You have to create a unique selling proposition (USP) which will make you stand apart from your competitors.

If your USP is also similar to that of other businesses in your industry, there's no point in having a business at all because it'll be extremely difficult for your prospects to choose you over others.

For example, if you are providing web hosting services in Pakistan like your competitors, then don't even think about getting leads if you don’t know how to stand out among all.

Your chances are close to zero!  

Create a unique selling point. For example, do you have a great portfolio and pipeline of clients to vouch for your service?

The only way out is 'innovation'.

So when it comes time for creating an effective USP, you have to think out of the box by going beyond the point of competition.

An additional illustration involves observing your competitors in the ecommerce sector. For instance, if they are offering a complimentary trial, you might consider implementing a 30-day satisfaction guarantee or exploring unique approaches that have not been adopted by others..

Final Thoughts

In order to ensure your business doesn't go down the tubes before you even get started you have to keep a tab on all the vital factors.

First, don't try doing everything yourself because you won't be an expert at everything. Second, don't be afraid to ask for help from professionals.

Because it might cost you a few bucks in the beginning but will save you hundreds in the end.

Third, don't ignore your customers because ultimately, they're the ones who are going to spread word about your business.

Fourth, create a USP that'll make you stand out from the crowd.

And finally, learn from your mistakes by analyzing the data and applying necessary changes in your business.

The author Benita

Benita lights up Websouls with her flair for content creation, bringing over 4 years of magic to the table. She has a knack for crafting stories that stick and making words dance. Her playful touch and creative spark turn ideas into engaging content that everyone loves. Benita's the word wizard of the team! LinkedIn.

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