Ivan Temelkov
April 20, 2016

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.

#1 Outdated Marketing Techniques

Outdated-and-Left-in-the-Dust-img1-1000x600A huge portion of businesses these days fail due to employment of outdated marketing practices.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.Click To Tweet

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.Click To Tweet

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.

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

Education-options-influenceThis 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.Click To Tweet

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. Click To Tweet

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

46395907_sGary 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.Click To Tweet

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.

We do business with people we like. Be real, authentic, genuine, and HUMAN.Click To Tweet

Do you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions? I’d love to hear them below. 


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Copyright: ‘http://www.123rf.com/profile_rawpixel‘ / 123RF Stock Photo

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A digital marketing practitioner bringing nearly two decades of seasonality to the table with emphasis on Search, Social, & Content. I'm enthused about helping small businesses increase their digital footprint by utilizing the power of technology, web, strategic thinking, and targeted execution for maximum market penetration. CEO of @RazorSharpDigit, a human-centric digital brand but can be found @ivan_temelkov on Twitter as well.