8 Signs That Indicate Your Business Is Failing

The business marketplace has never been so competitive and saturated. During the last decade alone we have experienced the biggest shift in history. In a recent article for Curatti, I talked about the emotional era. I was quite blown away at the immense amount of inquiries received from different individuals. Many validated my perspective on the emotional era which felt extremely relieving. Being able to operate and sustain a business is far more difficult now than ever before. Many companies are feeling the struggle and only a few willing to admit their mistakes.

Over the last decade of professional experience I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of different brands. From franchisees, agency start-ups, established marketing companies, corporations, and some Fortune 500 clients. In the reality of things each were making the same mistakes with valiant attempts to build a dominant brand. I believe it’s extremely important for any business in 2016 to be adaptive, flexible, daring, and experimental with their business endeavors.

There are many businesses out there who are operating like it’s 2009. If you’re expecting different results with the same business practices than you’re in for a rude awakening. Nearly 40% of companies will be dead in the next decade according to soon retiring CEO of Cisco giant. I truly believe that some of the reasons why these companies will go under is due to these factors listed below.

These are in no particular sequence or order of importance either. Consider these areas strongly though if you intend on staying afloat.

 

Is your email funnel failing to perform?

email vs messenger

 

 

#1 Outdated Marketing Techniques
Outdated-and-Left-in-the-Dust-img1-1000x600Save
A huge portion of businesses these days fail due to employment of outdated marketing practices. For instance, why would you waste your marketing dollars on billboards? Heck, the average daily driver is not even looking them anymore. Instead they’re bolted down to their smartphone. Wasteful spending that can be avoided.

Do you still think banner ads are hot? The average CTR is around 0.0001%. If you’re hanging your hat on banner ad conversion than I definitely feel sorry for you. Is your company spending crazy marketing dollars on direct mail pieces? A vast majority of those brochure type pieces end up in the trash. Consumers do not want to be marketed with something they do not have genuine interest in. Now there’s more marketing dollars wasted down the toilet.

You seriously can not expect to have different results in your marketing endeavors if you’re advertising like it’s 2009. I have seen some companies during the last decade who have been daring. Always pushing the limits by testing out different strategies, methods, and tactics. This is one of the best ways to discover new and untapped avenues that can help generated income for your business. Everything these days revolves around mobile marketing and digital media consumption.

Over 67% of consumers will purchase a product or service on a mobile device.

That is a substantial amount of users especially when looked upon at a global scale. Having a mobile-responsive website is simply the first step to improved mobile engagement. In the fast-paced digital era it’s all about a mobile-responsive presence that influences, impacts, and connects potential customers with your brand.

#2 Poor Business Practices
Selling hopes and dreams isn’t the answer to staying afloat. Sadly though I’ve seen and worked for a good portion of businesses that simply follow that methodology. Transparency in modern business is a key ingredient to success. If your product or service performs the way its intended than your customers will most definitely appeal to it.

Misleading business practices are quite common. For instance, some companies will promise you Page 1 rankings on Google. Others will tell make false promises on make-believe ROI. There is also companies out there that are merely interested in taking your money. Honestly, poor business practices simply put a bad name to brands who are being authentic and follow thru on their promises.

STOP selling hopes and dreams. It will not help you stay afloat for the long-term.

Consumers are not dumb by any means. In fact their bullshit radars are becoming a lot more sophisticated. Although many businesses theses days seem to underestimate the intelligence level of consumers. Be forewarned that such poor business practices of underestimating will force you go out of business. Don’t ever underestimate the your potential customers. They will absolutely call you on your bullshit when they see it.

Other poor business practices include lack of transparency, being genuine, authentic, and generally misleading to your customer base. If you put yourself in your customers shoes, would you buy your own product or service? Always attempt to reverse engineer situations to see if the outcome would be one that you would happy with.

#3 Lack of Social Media
It seems quite baffling to me that any business in 2016 would refuse social media. There are those out there though. If your target audience are millenials than it’s even more critical to have a social presence. Having a social media presence though is simply one step of the equation. Being proactive, engaging, and strategic with your social media endeavors serves of utmost importance.

Social media providers online users with a voice. One that they can use to communicate with your brand or even judge it. It’s also a channel where new brands and experiences are born. In addition to new market trends and patterns that you should strongly take into consideration.

 

Are your subscribers ignoring you now?

 

 

Consumers are frequenting all social media channels. Picking one or two channels to focus on simply isn’t enough. This is due to the fact that your customers are frequenting more than just Facebook and Twitter. Capturing their attention is also much harder to do. Hence why you should strongly consider using multiple social media platforms. At the bare minimum your brand should have a Facebook business page, Twitter account, and LinkedIn company profile page.

#4 Not Enough Influence
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This one is huge! Is your brand influential in the modern business marketplace? Do you have emotional and physical impact on your customers? Does your brand address your customers needs and wants? A good majority of brands fail these days due to lack of influence. Being influential takes a lot of emotional impact on consumers. Appeal plays a major role in establishment of influence.

Logic also has huge impact on your potential customers. Logic in a sense that your message and intent is clearly conveyed and interpreted by the people you are intending to influence. This can be a bit difficult to accomplish though. Especially when you’re attempting to identify someone’s level of intellect.

Be influential, impactful, helpful, and provide some form of value to your potential customers.

What does it mean to be influential?

Connect on an emotional level.
Establish logic and interpretation.
Be appealing to your customers.
Offer something of value.
Help solve problems by offering insight.

Influence is probably one of the most important ingredients to business success. Being a strong influencer can also attribute to development of brand loyalty.

#5 Digital Adaptation
Technology helps us accomplish things. Being adaptive to new digital technology is simply an essential component to modern business. Lack of understanding in new technology can impair a business by prohibiting them from growing. In the course of my decade career I have encountered some interesting occurrences.

The problem with some companies these days is that they misrepresent themselves to the general public. In essence hiding behind digital technology simply to avoid the possibility of folding. It’s intricate to understand digital technology, how it works, and in what ways it can help you grow your business. I am more specifically referring to hardware, software, or any other element that employs new technology.

Technology helps us do things in business. Learn how to master it to become more effective and efficient.

Social media platforms are considered a piece of technology. Specific coding languages such as HTML or PHP for instance can in some extent be considered as technology. The misleading interpretation of technology is that in the earlier days it represented something else. Now in 2016 it has a much broader meaning that encompasses several areas.

#6 Inconsistent Communication
Communication plays a huge part in business. There is nothing worst than having mixed communication. Lack of communication for that matter. This is literally a critical component that will cripple your business in a heartbeat. The vast majority of companies I’ve worked for have struggled with this aspect of business. For instance, unclear expectations would occur quite often simply due to the fact that someone snoozed for took an extra long coffee break. Projects have failed due to poor internal communication regarding implementation.

Inconsistent communication though more specifically is just as bad. So many things can fall through the cracks when inconsistent messaging occurs. Typically this tends to occur mostly during a time crunch. Especially when down to the wire on a project or proposal even. Many businesses fails miserably due to inconsistent communication. Solutions like Slack can in fact assist with improvement of communication, processes, and operations.

#7 You’re NOT Hustling
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Gary Vaynerchuk was really one of the first individuals who really amplified the meaning of hustle. Businesses tend to also fail due lack of hustle. Hustling a sense of working hard to achieve the things you strive for in your business. Modern business is extremely fast-paced and requires a constant hustle. Those businesses which hustle the hardest will probably achieve success a lot quicker than others. Today’s competitive and saturated business marketplace requires a lot of hustle to remain afloat. If you want your business to thrive than consider working harder, smarter, and faster.

The modern business marketplace is extremely competitive & saturated. Hustle and grind harder than anybody else you know.

If you want something bad enough than you need to work for it. Time to ditch Netflix and the golf game. Focus and hustle more to become successful in your business endeavors.

#8 Missing Human Ingredient
A lot of businesses these days are inhuman. They tend to act human but in reality all they are after is the monetary reward. Guys, relationships present indefinite amount of value. New and current relationships will always predicate anything of monetary value. Companies seems to totally miss the human component when it comes to business. In actuality it’s quite emotional and logically oriented. We do business with people we like. Acting in a human nature to those individuals or other brands will help forge new relationships. By enforcing and maintaining the human ingredient your business will be able to propel in the business world.

 

 

Stop burning money!

 

 

Do you think you are wasting money with advertising?

Do you think you are losing the cash flow battle?

Do you think you are on the verge of closing your business?

Do you think you are getting beat by your competitors?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose employees?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose customers?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose your sanity?

 

See what this revolutionary tool can do for your business now.

 

Click to see the demo

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Top 5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Social media is an extremely powerful tool to engage your target audience, but if perceived in the wrong way, it can become incredibly hazardous to your brand.

For instance, the Facebook campaign for Smuckers went wrong and it earned a lot of negative publicity. Smucker’s, a reliable food brand in the U.S got a lot of criticism from Facebook users for its perspective on GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling. Hundreds of comments poured in showing their distress. In an attempt to take control of the situation, they deleted a number of comments which further worsened the situation.

Had the company or its marketers known how to use Facebook as a brand building tool and how to manage bad publicity, they wouldn’t have to face such circumstances. The list of brands that have messed up with Facebook marketing is endless, so if you don’t want to be one of them, here are top 5 marketing mistakes that you should avoid:

1. Too much promotion
You might take pride in your company’s accomplishments, but the audience on Facebook is looking for much more. They use Facebook to connect to brands that offer value to them.

It is okay to share your achievements with your loyal followers but you should never overdo it. If you are not offering value to your visitors or are not providing them with the information they are looking for, you’re missing out a lot. People spend time on Facebook to get entertained, inspired and interact with like-minded people. So in order to promote your brand, you should find innovative ways that inspire visitors and give them a reason to connect.

If you become too promotional, you will soon see the ‘Likes’ turning into ‘Dislikes’. Take the example of Newegg, a computer parts outlet that cleverly used this platform to attract 1.4 million likes for a post on their primary Facebook Page. The post congratulated one of their customer service representatives for completing 15 years with the company. This is a more humane way of engaging visitors and company values than flooding them with deals and discounts.

 

Are your subscribers ignoring you now?

 

 

2. You’re focused only on ‘Likes’
Yes, winning ‘Likes’ for your post is important; more likes means your message reaches more people; but your primary focus should be winning brand advocates and not just likes. These are people who like your post, share it with their networks and promote your brand for free.

A post on Reese’s Facebook page received 11,815 likes and 7,508 shares. The post shared a brownie recipe that used Reese’s Mini’s as a garnish ingredient.

The Book of Mormon Facebook Page, also did a great job to engage its visitors and win both ‘Shares’ and “Likes’. Thanks to their quick witted thinking.

Book of Morman on Broadway – example of Facebook marketing mistakes

Source

Create an editorial calendar to post content strategically. The study of industry-specific engagement stats, by Buddy Media shows the best days and time to post content and get more shares. Engagement rates for Facebook posts are highest (18 percent higher than other days) on Thursday and Friday, according to the Buddy Media research.

3. Incomplete information on your brand page
Have you ever come across a brand page that mentions its details half heartedly? Did you feel left alone in the middle of the road, not knowing where to go? Surely you wouldn’t want to ill treat your visitors in a similar way.

The Brand Page is the first point of contact with your audience, so it is necessary that you make a solid first impression! It is important that you provide as much information as possible. Mention the hours of work, address, contact details, URL, and whatever you find important for your visitors to know.

4. Too many words
Write shorter posts (between 250 characters) and get 60 percent more shares. You can get even more likes, if you slash down the word count to 80 characters or less.

Facebook post length – example of Facebook marketing mistakes

 

Is your email funnel failing to perform?

email vs messenger

 

 

You need to determine the frequency with which you should post your content. Posting too frequently or not often enough can both be harmful for you. Depending upon your target audience, you need to identify how often they want to hear from you. It is also necessary that you stick to a pattern to maintain consistency.

If you are unable to post for some time, let your audience know you’ll be unavailable for that period of time. When you’re back, let them know you’re ready to go again. The audience will appreciate your efforts.

5. Out of context posts
Failing to align your posts with your brand might confuse your audience. Right from the text to images and videos, everything should be a reflection of your brand. Offer variety but make sure you don’t go out of context. You can cash in on major events happening across the world, but make sure it matches the core message.

For instance, after the incident of Luiz Suarez (star forward for Uruguay’s soccer team) biting the shoulder of a defender on Italy’s team, an array of leading brands like Snickers, McDonald’s Trident Gum, etc. took advantage of the situation.

A final note
Facebook is a critical element in the social media landscape. But this does not mean you have to implement every strategy you come to know about. Measure what works for your audience and what they dislike. Take out a few minutes from your daily schedule and plan your strategies. Update yourself and tweak the Facebook marketing strategies accordingly. Also make sure you avoid the deadliest Facebook marketing mistakes, to position your brand in the best possible way.

Guest Author: Vineet Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of V1 Technologies, a Website and Mobile Application Development company based in London providing premium technology solutions to small and medium businesses. A graduate in Business Management and Post-Graduate in Business Process Outsourcing, Vineet is passionate about helping his clients achieve sustainable business growth. Follow him on Twitter to catch up on any of these topics.

Stop burning money!

 

 

Do you think you are wasting money with advertising?

Do you think you are losing the cash flow battle?

Do you think you are on the verge of closing your business?

Do you think you are getting beat by your competitors?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose employees?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose customers?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose your sanity?

 

See what this revolutionary tool can do for your business now.

 

Click to see the demo

 

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The Signs of Business Failure

by Brian Hill

Small-business owners are optimistic by nature, but when they make the decision to launch a new venture, they should recognize there is a chance the business will fail. The signs of failure often show up well in advance of the business entering a crisis stage, which gives the owner and her team the opportunity to take action to remedy the situation before complete failure — having to shut down the company — occurs.

Declining Sales
Success for a small business means increasing sales each year and at an ever-increasing rate. If the rate of sales growth slows significantly or — even worse — if sales decline year-over-year, it could mean the company is in danger of failure. The situation may be remedied by making changes to the company’s marketing strategies and methods and by refocusing the message it delivers to customers to persuade them to buy. Declining sales could be a result of a change in customer tastes and preferences, or the company’s products or services may be on the downside of their life cycles. In either case, to avert eventual failure of the business, the owner must change the company’s mix of products or services to offer those more in line with customers’ up-to-date preferences.

 

Is your email funnel failing to perform?

email vs messenger

 

Rise in Customer Complaints
A significant increase in the number of complaints received from customers because they are not satisfied with their purchase or the post-purchase service they received is an early warning sign of potential trouble for a company. A drop in customer satisfaction can quickly turn into a drop in customers. Dissatisfied customers no longer purchase from you and tell others about the negative experience they had. The business owner and her staff need to find out the primary causes of customer dissatisfaction and implement changes in the company’s operations to address them.

Cash Deficits
Most small businesses find that certain months of the year are better than others in terms of cash flow — the money collected from selling the company’s products or services. A company may encounter a month in which it experiences a cash deficit when the company’s expenses exceed the cash that it earned. A one-time deficit can be remedied by drawing down the company’s credit lines. Persistent deficits over a period of months, however, point to serious issues with the business. If the company exhausts its cash reserves or borrowing capacity, it will likely fail.

Loss of Key Customers
A business that relies on a small number of key customers for the bulk of its revenue can be in serious trouble when it loses one of these to a competitor. It could be a sign that competitors have come out with superior products or services. The business owner needs to quickly identify the reasons that longtime customers are leaving and make changes to the company’s strategies to prevent the further loss of customers.

 

Are your subscribers ignoring you now?

 

Drastic Spending Cuts
To a company’s employees, competitors and vendors, a CEO’s decision to reduce the workforce or administrative staff levels is a sign that the financial condition of the company is deteriorating and there is potential for business failure. Cutting costs only works to a certain extent; it is a short-term remedy for a cash deficit position rather than a solution to restore the company to growth and financial health. For example, cutting the marketing budget can lead to further loss of market share, lower sales and an increased chance the business will not survive.

Stop burning money!

 

 

Do you think you are wasting money with advertising?

Do you think you are losing the cash flow battle?

Do you think you are on the verge of closing your business?

Do you think you are getting beat by your competitors?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose employees?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose customers?

Do you think you are making mistakes that will cause you to lose your sanity?

 

See what this revolutionary tool can do for your business now.

 

Click to see the demo

 

See what all the commotion is about now.

See the 3-minute demo.

 

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5 Ways Facebook Messenger Bots Can Help Your Local Business

Make money with a membership site

 

Whether you own a day spa, beauty salon, chiropractic center, real estate brokerage, insurance agency, restaurant, or any other local business, you can definitely benefit from a Chatbot.  This post will explain how as well as provide you with an opportunity to see one in action.

Starting up and running a small business is all about taking small but calculated steps towards sensible, realistic goals. The same principle applies to small business chatbot development as well. In my experience, the best chatbots for small business websites are those that start out with the basics, and slowly expand to include additional functionalities. Successful small businesses wait for their new chatbot to fulfill their first set of objectives — bringing in a certain number of new leads in a given time period, for example. It’s only after this that they consider using the chatbot for other features such as shopping cart integrations, customer support, promotions, and so on. It’s a fail-safe approach that brings positive returns, which is what a small business relies on.

 

As a small business owner, you can create a chatbot for your website as early as tomorrow, and get started on interacting with hundreds of new clients or customers in no time. In my experience, small business chatbots always pay for themselves. And they do that while getting your business a solid footing in the customer service department.

 

Chatbot platform that is already built by professionals and ready to be tailored for your website is what will get you the maximum return on your investment. Time is money when you’re starting out as an entrepreneur, and you need to invest it in marketing, sales, and areas that need your specific expertise. There’s very little point in wasting time trying to create something that will continue to need work before it can be fully functional.

 

There’s a lot of hype and commotion surrounding chatbots, especially with the rise of bot-building tools. Chatbots have completely changed the way brands interact with their audience. Now, users can contact brands at any time of the day, and always receive a personalized response. Today’s consumers are driven by positive experiences and added value, and chatbots give them exactly that by helping them minimize the amount of time spent solving an issue or researching a product. Moreover, chatbots can help users by:

  • Providing information on demand
  • Delivering valuable content
  • Placing and editing orders
  • Personalizing user experiences and only displaying relevant content
  • Referring them to the right person within a business

 

1. Push special services and promotions announcements.

Mobile apps were successful because they offered a huge range of automated services. Chatbots are the next natural step, as they allow even more automation options that are delivered to clients through their favorite messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger. An effective chatbot can help users by allowing them to:

  • Discover daily or weekly promotional offers
  • Discover new service offerings
  • Learn about the business team and their expertise
  • Learn about the benefits of products or services offered
  • Schedule an appointment or consultation with a team member

Allowing subscribers to receive information as well as schedule appointments or consultations through chatbots rather than using traditional methods is a great way to save valuable resources. You can easily acquire a chatbot to handle special services and promotions, and allocate your time to other areas of your business.

email vs messenger

 

2. Engage your audience.

Consumers are always looking for businesses that offer the most innovative features. Chatbots allow you to catch their attention. Chatbots are great tools that allow interaction with your audience. You can interact with them by sharing different types of content, some of which includes:

  • Useful tips
  • Fun facts
  • Holiday reminders
  • Guides
  • How-to articles
  • Useful blog posts
  • Industry news

Chatbots can also help connect users to their peers. Chatbots can help you push games, events, and interactive posts that users can share with their friends and invite them to participate in. Allowing the businesses to benefit from referral marketing strategies.  

 

3. Deliver content with a personalized touch.

Chatbots can be used as a cornerstone of your content marketing strategy. They can deliver personalized offers to your clients based on their preferences and interests. Bots can even launch complex marketing and remarketing campaigns that implement A/B split testing and other advanced techniques to optimize your strategy’s performance. Chatbots also gather valuable user information that can be used to fill gaps in your market.

 

 

4. Provide information and FAQs

Allocating resources properly is the key to success, especially for small companies and startups. If your team receives the same inquiry over and over, chatbots can prove to be an effective solution to the problem. Your chatbot will not only help you answer the same question, but it can also give your customers valuable information, such as:

  • Hours of operation
  • Complete list of services and products
  • Service areas
  • Prices and stock availability
  • Deals and time-sensitive discounts
  • Storytelling and branding
  • About the business and contact information

5. Monetize your social media account.

One of the reasons ecommerce platforms became so successful is because they allowed consumers to make purchases from the comfort of their homes. Chatbots go one step further, as they allow users to browse, view, and purchase services and products from the comfort of their Messenger app, which they can access from virtually anywhere with an internet connection. Chatbot tools allow you to integrate your chatbot to popular e-commerce platforms. Your chatbot can then take orders straight through Messenger, eliminating the need for any additional steps. Consumers can view your products, read reviews, compare prices, and purchase items directly through their Facebook Messenger app.

Implementing Facebook Messenger chatbots into your marketing and sales schemes has become easier than ever. Launching a quality chatbot can help you push your special services, deliver personalized content to your clients, and generate revenue directly through your social media platforms

As a small business owner, you should opt for a chatbot platform that comes with a service package. Essentially, you should be able to talk to a support team if you face any issues with your chatbot. Even if you don’t encounter any issues, an inexpensive safety net such as this makes for a wise decision during the initial stages of your business’s journey.

Your turn…What do you like most about Chatbots?

If you would like to view a local business Chatbot demo, click on the link below and enter the keyword “start”.

https://m.me/1913306522087900

 

 

 

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