Why Do So Many Small Businesses Fail Online?

by Jon Wade FSE Online Ltd

There is a common consensus that this is a golden age for the small business. So why do so many struggle to succeed online?

These days, it is the easiest thing in the world to set up your own business, and there are more budding entrepreneurs out there than ever before, with an astonishing 80 new business startups per hour, according to some commentators. The phenomenon is understandable – the flexibility that digital technology provides in enabling us to operate a business from anywhere, with minimal spending means barriers to entry are low.

Yet there is more to business success than starting a company, and the media is fond of quoting one statistic that 90 percent of new businesses are doomed to fail in the first 18 months. The source of this nugget might be obscure, but the underlying message nevertheless rings true. The business world is more competitive than ever, and only the fittest will survive.

The key to doing so in the digital age is clearly to get together with your SEO agency to make sure your digital marketing effort is slick, effective and creating the best possible return on investment. However, it is at this first hurdle that so many small businesses fall.


A Limited Understanding

We cannot all be good at everything, and while most entrepreneurs will have a certain degree of IT skills, that is a large step from being an expert in the nuances of SEO and digital marketing.

The digital revolution has, perhaps, had a bigger effect on marketing than any other business discipline. Without a clear understanding of keywords, PPC, social media marketing, content marketing and how they influence click through rates and conversions, it is impossible to get anywhere.


Reluctance To Invest

For a new business, cash flow is everything, and it is understandable that the business owner will want to control all costs as far as possible. However, stinting on digital marketing is a false economy – your website is your online shop front, and it needs to be right from the get go, or you are fighting a losing battle.

Choose the right SEO agency at the outset, and they will help you create a website with great content and links, all tied in to an effective social media presence. And by doing it right from the start, you will be saving yourself money in the long run and getting the optimum return on investment.



Building an online presence takes time, particularly when you are doing so on a tight budget and focusing on organic methods to improve SERP rankings. The problem is, too many small businesses heave a huge sigh after six weeks, say that SEO “isn’t working” and give up on it.

A survey of SEO companies recently showed broad consensus that it takes between four and 12 months to make a real and sustained difference to a company’s Google rankings, so it is essential to remain patient.


Joining The Ten Percent

It might be easier than ever to start a new business, but in order to make a success of it, there is no room for mistakes in your digital marketing strategy. Get the right support, and take your place among the 10 per cent that go on to bigger and better success.