Why Web Based Businesses Fail?

‘Internet Economy’ is a lucrative field today, with success stories such as Steve Wozniak and Apple computers and Sabeer Bhatia’s Hotmail. Naturally, everyone wants to get a share of these much ‘touted’ e-commerce profits. However, to succeed in the online world, businesses need to know all the possible causes of failure, even though it seems like an exercise in pessimism.

These are the common reasons why many startup e-businesses fail:

Stale ideas

Web businesses that have nothing new to offer, and are mere clones of an already successful business, don’t succeed. Does your e-business sell a product that is innovative? Is there something completely new about your social networking website? The key to avoid typecasting is to stay fresh. Look for problems and needs that you can solve.

Not defining your customer

The first rule in selling is to know your customer. Some startup e-businesses offer a variety of services and products, not knowing the profile of the users. As a result, they cannot offer tailor-made services for any specific age group or nature of target audience. And this reduces the chances of succeeding.

Ineffective Marketing

The best marketing strategy is a well calculated plan. Marketing is the backbone of any business. A web site that has been creatively marketed without any regard to user acquisition costs might become cost ineffective.

For example, even buying keyword ads is a complex process. A good entrepreneur buys keywords that people most frequently use in searches while having high relevance and low competing advertisers.A common mistake most businesses make while cost cutting, is not hiring professional marketing consultants. They work on instinct, and their marketing plans lack a well researched strategy. This makes their marketing strategies ineffective. So the websites they make have inadequate SEO, SEM, and low virality, which results in low traffic to their website.

Poor web designing

Today, most websites seem like clones. Businesses make compromises while designing their web pages. They use free software and badly designed user interfaces. So, first-time visitors find the home page unattractive and it fails to register in their minds. It is highly unlikely they will ever go back to a web site that’s hard to navigate, is poorly designed and does not offer them something interactive.

A person who wants to use an online personalized gift services will look at several companies that provide the service. He is likely to choose the site which gets the first rule of ‘catching eyeballs’ right, more so when you are dealing with the business of ‘feel-good’- gifts.

Web businesses with cluttered, badly color coordinated websites, which have long download time and unclear navigational tools don’t work. Only professionally designed, well branded websites, with original and relevant content can be effectively marketed.

Given these reasons, it is best to employ the services of a web designing company to ensure significant online presence.

Lack of web analysis

Web Designing Vs Web Development. Web analysis is a process of analyzing the behavior of visitors to a website and then enhancing and modifying the features of the website to maintain and increase the traffic. Many web businesses design a website and then forget about it; and the resources invested in web designing go waste.Such e-businesses have no feedback regarding their website, as a result of which they cannot maintain a competitive edge.

No Networking

An entrepreneur needs to be friendly and people-focused. It is good to have an extended professional and personal network, before launching a web business.Web businesses that de-prioritize good partner and interpersonal relationships lose out in the long run.

Bad time and money management

A failed web business means that the founders have not managed their finances well. It includes over-spending or ineffective spending. Such individuals overlook the basic tenet of every business- time is money. They spend a lot of time bargaining for small cost reductions, while delaying launching time and other activities vital to growth in the world of start-ups.

The most important thing that leads to failed web businesses is lack of commitment and passion towards the work. Such people may know all the theoretical pitfalls that they can encounter, yetput in a half hearted effort to avoid them when confronted in the practical world. Hence, they continue to fail.

Basics of What to Look For When Choosing a Website Development Company

Website development has grown beyond everyone’s imagination from its first days of being available to the public in 1994 to what it is today. Business communications are now benefiting from the consistent corporate image throughout all marketing and advertising materials, be it print or digital. In the early years of the Net a powerful corporate image was only achievable through print. Websites provided only basic design techniques which for the most part degraded a companies image. The Internet currently utilizes compliance across the globe and now more and more Websites are not only visually appealing but provide an incredible wealth of tools to communicate a company’s brand, message, product all the way to the point of purchase.

When choosing a Website development company research their past track record of designing clean, functional and professional sites, their ability to create a return on your investment and client service. Finding a company which not only knows about good design but also how to get your site found on line is also important. Most companies do not provide these two combined services. Finding such a company can be an arduous task as most web development companies provide only one of these two important elements. I know many companies do not choose a web development company with experience, good design capabilities or service track record but instead on their budget. The decision to choose a website development company based on the lowest bidder actually ends up costing the client more money than expected as more often than not the inexperienced vendor struggles to provide the product and service which is expected by the client. Some worst case scenarios I have heard are of the website developer who stops communicating all together with the client and basically abandons the project midway. The client is then forced to spend more time and money by looking for a new company who will be willing to finish a website started by another firm.

Keeping a website’s content fresh and up-to-date has always been one of the most important aspects related to a company’s relevance in regards to being found easily on search engines. Google, for example, ranks websites higher by how relevant the information is and how often it is updated on a site. Being an online authority on the subject of your business by providing fresh content will rank your site higher than the sites which have old and not frequently updated information. Writing news articles and publishing them onto your site and related sites is another effective method to boost your site ranking. Links back to your website from related sites is another very important method to help your site rank high. The development company of your choice should be proficient with all of these methods and more.

Most importantly when choosing the company to develop your website you should have a good feeling about them. Trust your intuition. Ask the Web development company the right questions about their experience, methodologies, design philosophies and make sure they are the right fit for your company. Good luck and I wish you much success!

10 Important Questions To Ask Your VA Before They Develop Your Website

I think VAs (Virtual Assistants) can have an important role in an entrepreneur’s business. They can help out with many tasks that are often not something that busy people want to do, nor can do.

VAs can be very handy with managing calendars, sorting through dozens of emails, doing minor website updates and even helping manage campaigns to ensure all the moving pieces are all lined up.

But even with all the ways that a VA can help you out, there are some areas of your business that you have to be careful about and not just hand over to them, hoping things will miraculously materialize with little involvement from you.

One of those critical areas is the development of your website.

Lately I am hearing more and more about business owners having their VA (or business manager or even doing it themselves for that matter) put up their website for them. I’m going to assume it’s either because of the convenience of having someone on your team do it or because it’s more cost effective than hiring a website developer.

And it’s because of this that I feel compelled to express caution… As mentioned, VAs can play a vital role in a business operations, but in my experience, most who say they can do your website for you have either:

a) Installed a pre-built WordPress theme or two and have figured out how to install plugins, making them think this is all they need to know to put up a website.
b) Got a buddy they will delegate the work to and make a profit off of the work done.

Sure, there could be more qualified VAs who know a bit more than that, but think about it, if they knew enough to be a web developer, then I would question why are they doing VA work and not developing websites for a living?

So before you say “sure” to having a VA put up your website for you, here are some questions to ask them first:

1) Can they prepare an in-depth target market analysis so that it’s clear on who your website needs to appeal to?
2) Are they well versed with Branding and Graphic Design? Do they know how to properly optimize images on your site so they download quickly on slower Internet speeds and smart phones?
3) Do they know what kind of layout design that would best suit your business and target market?
4) Are they knowledgeable in SEO? (Not just knowing about keywords, but all of the aspects that come with building an SEO friendly website.)
5) What do they know about programming? If something went wonky, would they know how to fix it? Can they do any customization to your website beyond what is provided in the purchased theme?
6) Are they aware of what makes a website responsive so that it looks proper on smart phones and other devices?
7) Do they understand fundamental copywriting principles when writing for the web?
8) Do they study marketing? What is their education, experience and do they understand your industry well enough?
9) Are they aware of all the different features and functionalities that could be used to best enhance your site or do they only know a select few plugins?
10) Do they know other CMS platforms other than WordPress that might work better for your needs?

Building a website requires someone with knowledge far beyond simply being able to install a WordPress theme. And in actuality, it’s rare that a single person possesses all of the knowledge and expertise required to create a fully functioning website.

These necessary skill sets range from brand and user experience design (UED, UXD and information architecture design), to HTML/XHTML, CSS knowledge and ideally some programming, SEO expertise, copywriting skills, and of course, marketing know-how since your website is your central marketing piece of your business.

So before embarking on a website project, consider carefully all of the areas of expertise needed to create a successful website that is fully supporting your business and portraying it in a way that will attract your target market and convert them into buyers.

While having a website up is all that you think you need, the journey on how you get there is paramount to how functional and successful it will be. This is not the time to pass off this important component of your business to someone who is not fully qualified to do the work.

Instead, be actively involved in finding a qualified web developer or development firm to take you through the journey that will result in an excellent representation of your business and get you the results you’re wanting.

To your success,