Common Reasons Online Business Startups Fail

It seems like starting a website should be easy enough – there are almost unlimited free online resources spouting off advice, it can be relatively cheap to launch a website, and, naturally, you have the best business idea for your website. So why is it that so many website startups fail?

1. Low Quality Web Design

One of the biggest mistakes that web startups make is having poor web design. Your website is the most important aspect of you company so why would you skimp on that? The overall design of your site is what initially draws people in, it’s what their first impression of you as a company is, so having a solid website design is crucial to your success.

2. Poor Content

In the same respect as low quality web design, having poor content on your site will be a huge turn off to people. To retain visitors you need to be able to provide content that wows them. You want to show anyone and everyone that visits your site the best you have to offer, so why would you fill your site with uninteresting or poorly written content?

3. Poor Marketing

Google SEO Chart

Google is one of the best places to start your online marketing – both simple SEO and paid ads are are good place to start.

You can have the best website and the best content in the world, but if no one ever sees it then it won’t really matter, will it? You can never retain a customer if you can’t even catch their eye to begin with. This is why it’s imperative to spend ample time marketing on social media, through email campaigns, and through traditional marketing routes. You have to be willing to put time and money into your marketing scheme to achieve the best possible outcome – after all, you reap what you sow.

4. No Passion

Picking a niche market just because you think it will be profitable is one of the worst reasons to start a business. You have to actually be passionate about what you’re trying to make money off of, otherwise it’s going to be a lost cause and people will be able to see right through you.

5. Not Enough Funds

When you don’t allocate enough money for a startup company, you run the risk of forcing the company to fizzle out because you lack the proper funds to keep it going – or worse, you risk driving yourself into debt.

Get rich quick schemes rarely work in life and the same holds true for web startups. The road to success can only be reached by hard work, dedication, and money. So if you’re contemplating launching a startup business, make sure that it’s something you really want to do, otherwise you’ll be doing your potential customers and yourself a disservice.

How to keep up to date with web design trends

A lot has changed in the world of web design in the past few years. For instance, today we use a lot of design terms such as minimalistic web design, intuitive interface, contextual menus etc. All these terms were unheard of or not so common, a few years ago.

Nowadays, there are a number of spectacular websites, which are dynamic in nature. These sites have been designed using some of the latest tools and technologies. Hence, if you too want to be a part of this new world and develop some of the most amazing and innovative websites, then you must be well-versed with the latest web design trends in the market.

Let us take a look at some of the ways how you can stay updated with the latest web design trends doing the rounds.

Take part in discussions with fellow designers

Take an active part in discussions with fellow designers on various forums and blogs or even face-to-face. This allows free-flow of information, which includes the latest design news and trends. For example, on one of these forums, you may get a chance to interact with an expert designer, who has used a certain technology on his/her website and end up getting a tip or two on that particular technology. Later on, you can implement whatever you learnt, on your website.

Make full use of the internet

You get a wealth of resources online, to update your knowledge in the latest web design trends. Let us take a look how you can use the power of internet for your advantage.

Social media sites – Social media sites need no introduction. Such sites are growing by leaps and bounds these days. You can use various social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to keep yourself updated with latest web design trends. For instance, you can visit various design forums, share your work, connect and network with the industry experts and fellow designers, join various groups, attend designer events and do lots more on these sites.

Design blogs – There are endless design blogs and even full-fledged websites dedicated to website design such as Smashing Magazine, Mashable, DesignModo etc. You can go through these blogs and websites and read reviews, comments, write-ups and learn numerous tips and tricks relevant to website design.

Smashing Magazine's logoeBooks – A number of latest web design ebooks penned by expert authors are available online. You can buy a number of such books at discounted rates or download some of them free of cost. Use these books as a reference when you design your sites.

Newsletters and magazines – Subscribe to receive various newsletters or online magazines from different sources. For instance, you can visit various tech-blogs or tech-news websites and sign-up to receive their newsletter/magazines directly in your inbox.

Browse the work of top designers

Whenever you find some time, go through the work of top/expert web designers. Many of these designers have their own sites. View their galleries/portfolios to get an idea about the latest, ongoing trends in web design and take a cue from them.

In conclusion

These are some of the ways through which you can know the latest web design trends in the market and design innovative websites.

The story of the online auction monopolist eBay

eBay. A firm which in 2011 had a net income of more than 3.2 billion. A website which almost everyone has heard of.

In an article I recently posted which explored whether there is really that much diversity online, I noted how eBay owned four websites in Alexa’s top 100 ranking – eBay.com, eBay.de, eBay.co.uk and PayPal.com.

There is no doubt that eBay holds a monopoly on the online auction market. But how did it get there? On September the 2nd 1995, eBay didn’t exist. One day later on September the 3rd it did, and after just over 3 years and 6 months, the site made its first major acquisition, the auction house Butterfield & Butterfield which it purchased for the price of $260,000,000 USD. A spend of 260 million after less than four years trading? eBay’s rapid early growth set it up to become a global internet phenomenon.

eBay kept buying up smaller firms, but not spending nearly as much as it had on its first purchase until mid-2000 when it forked out 318 million (USD) to buy Half.com. This was an amazing investment at the time, as even today it stands as eBay’s 6th largest ever investment, and it has made hundreds.

PayPal's logoThat said, the purchase of Half.com was to prove small fry to PayPal, which the now giant auctioneer purchased 2 years later in July 2002 for an astounding $1.5 billion. PayPal integration with eBay is (in my opinion) one of its greatest ever business moves. eBay is now able to seamlessly integrate processing credit card payments without having to pay millions every year to third parties. Fees eBay would have lost to PayPal are now extra revenues.

eBay wasn’t done though, going on to make the biggest purchase in its history, by buying Skype Limited for more than $2.5 billion. The auction site purchased the Luxembourg based company in 2005, only to sell 70% of its shares in 2009 for $2 billion – a healthy profit. Later, in May 2011, Microsoft bought Skype in its entirety for $8.5 billion, an investment which I am not sure it will see great returns on in the near future at least.

Skype's LogoeBay started to turn into a Microsoft and a Google. It was fast becoming an internet giant which bought up pretty much anything it could see turning it a bigger profit, or anything which posed a threat – in terms of competition. Just some of its purchases include StumbleUpon, Bill Me Later and Magento, the ecommerce web application.

Many say that eBay is one of the most notable successes the dot-com bubble, and I have to agree. Without the internet, eBay would be nowhere. It got in early and grew from the start, giving its competition very little chance.

Like it or hate it, eBay is an internet phenomenon, and also an internet giant. In my opinion it is successful down to luck: a good idea at the right time. Had it been thought of a year later, eBay might not be what it is today, had the internet not really taken off as it has and still is doing, eBay would again might not be where it is today.

What are your views on eBay? Were you aware of how much it owns and how rich it is? Is its monopoly unfair, or don’t you mind?

How to find impartial reviews

One of the first things I do before I spend significant money on any product is search the internet for reviews of that product. It might be a physical product such as a computer monitor or a digital product such as a file storage service. One thing I’ve found over the years is that not all product reviews are truthful.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few product review websites that give positive reviews to sub-par products. The root of the problem is that almost every product in the world has an affiliate program that backs it. Webmasters join these affiliate programs and receive compensation for every customer that clicks through and purchases a product.

Whenever there is a financial incentive to sell products, webmasters will be tempted to write positive reviews no matter what. The more sales these webmasters generate, the more money they make. This can make it difficult for us searchers that are in need of legitimate, unbiased product reviews.

EDITOR NOTE: Please note that Technology Bloggers admin team will never give a good review of a bad product, it is unethical and against what we stand for. We will also never enter affiliate schemes which require us to promote a product we don’t believe is value for money – note by Christopher

1. Search For Discussions

The most unbiased product reviews are written by people that have no incentive to sell those products. Two of the most reliable places to find reliable product reviews are discussion forums and the comments section of major websites.

Discussions:

Let’s take online file storage for example. You can search the internet for “online file storage reviews” and find dozens of websites that review online storage services. Some of these websites are dependable, others… not so much.

What you can do instead is run a Google search for reviews, but then narrow the search down to discussions. You can narrow down the results by first running the search and then clicking on the “more” link on the left side of the Google and then the “discussions” link beneath that. See below:

Google search for discussions about online file storage reviews

Clicking on this link will change the results to only include discussions related to your term. These tend to be real discussions between real people and are therefore pretty reliable.

Note: Remember that you are likely to see more negative reviews than positive reviews when you search for discussions. People who are happy with their products post fewer comments than people who are angry. Keep this in mind as you read through various discussions.

Comments:

If you’re looking for a physical product, you can often find a good number of comments by visiting large websites such as Amazon.com and BestBuy.com. Visit those websites and search for the exact product model that you’re considering. The chances are you’ll find unbiased comments related to that product.

2. Find Trustworthy Websites

Not all review websites are bad. In fact, some are awesome. They will break down the product in its entirety and give you both the pros and cons. The key is knowing how to identify these websites.

For the most part, you can tell if a website is trustworthy or not by reading through a few reviews. The writing style will tell you a lot. Trustworthy review websites tend to stick to the facts. They will tell you both the pros and cons of any product. They will also give you hard numbers that you can use to compare various products.

Low quality review websites tend to offer more generalities than facts. For example, bad review sites will tell you that a product is “amazing” or “life changing” but they won’t back those claims up with hard numbers or legitimate reasons to like the product.

However, it is worth noting that some websites make it a point to only review products that they deem to be of high quality. They don’t even waste your time writing reviews of products that are inferior. But even in this case, the reviews include hard numbers and are willing to note both the strengths and weaknesses of each product.