Why do most online businesses fail?

A lot of people start their online business with a lot of enthusiasm but unfortunately, most of the businesses fail.

Why does this happen?

While there can be a lot of reasons, the number one reason why online businesses fail is because the owner does not know the most important skill required to run an online business – which is – getting traffic quickly using paid ads.

Gone is the time where you could start a website, do some basic SEO and make some posts on social media and expect your online business to run.

These days, the market is too saturated for those strategies to work quickly.

The fastest way to grow your business is to use paid ads, like Facebook ads or Google ads.

But why is this the case?

Let’s take an example.

Let’s say tomorrow Shah Rukh Khan or Tom Cruise or Priyanka Chopra or any famous celebrity starts an online business.

Do you think they will need to worry about traffic?

Not at all.


Because they have done their work in their world beforehand and these people already have a huge following.

Once they launch an online business of any kind, all they need to do is to put out one post on their social media accounts and BOOM! , their business will be up and running in no time.

But here is the problem for the rest of us – We are not known people like the names above.

If we put out a post on social media announcing our new online business, we will get the attention of only the following people – Our mom, our dad, our brothers and sisters and if we are lucky, maybe a few close friends who are not secretly praying and hoping that our business fails. But these will be sympathy customers. They won’t make your business sustain.

That’s why you need to have a skill that can bring in traffic quickly and without much effort.

This is the reason why in Online Course Blueprint I created a module on how to create and use Facebook ads to sell your online courses. . Because Facebook ads is currently the number one way to get targeted traffic quickly and at a very less cost (if you do it the right way). And it’s very user friendly for beginners.

Developing to skill to run ads also allows you to do one more important thing – it allows you to quickly test the market by creating a rough product or service and then running ads to it. If you get a good response, you can be sure that there is a market for your product or service. And then you can develop your product and service properly and in an assured manner.

The reason why many people don’t learn the skill of running ads is because they always feel the pinch of spending money, fearing that they may never get a return on it.

And that’s true also. Some ad campaigns will not work and you will lose your money.

But you won’t lose one thing – your time.

Would you rather spend Rs.1000 and quickly test out a market in one day or spend 6 months promoting your business using free methods only to find out that it did not work out.

In one case you lost Rs.1000 and 24 hours. In the other you lost zero money but you lost 6 months and precious energy.

But the important thing is this – What if your test ad campaign showed good results? Now that Rs.1000 suddenly becomes an investment. You can easily make a return on it because you know that the ads gave a good response, thereby validating your market. Now all you need to do is to work on your product or service and BOOM!, you’re in business.

Just like anything, learning how to run ads is a skill and it takes a lot of time, practice and money.

Your initial campaigns may not work and you may lose money.

But in this process, you’ll end up learning the most valuable skill that you can ever have – Getting targeted traffic in no time, which is the oxygen for any business.

No traffic = No business.

From there on, you can implement other strategies like social media postings, SEO and other time consuming stuff, which is also important, but only when you have a business that has proved to be profitable. These things will then make your online business go to the next level. But not before.

Before we end, I’ll give you a quick recent example of the power of ads. Last Monday (1st June 2020), I did an experiment. On Monday, I stopped posting any content on Creative Pad Media‘s Instagram or Facebook accounts. It’s been 8 days of no social media posting and I haven’t seen any negative impact on my sales. They have been at the same level. Why? Because I have Facebook ads running in the background which don’t require me to do anything. They keep working and generating sales for my online courses even when I’m sleeping. They make my business automated.

That’s the power of learning the skill of running ads. Never neglect it.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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    1. This is insightful Kush, most of the online entrepreneurs’ lack of marketing ie responsible for not taking off. The rule of online business is similar in offline too where it is dependant on footfalls.

      1. Thanks Gurpreet! Yes, a comparison with footfalls is an accurate analogy. Basically it’s all about probability. More the traffic (accurately targeted traffic), higher the probability of sales.

      1. Kalyan, join me for my next webinar on How to Create and Sell Online Courses. There I explain how I can help you. You’ll get a notification via email whenever we announce the next dates. Meanwhile check out our main course called Online Course Blueprint.

    2. While I couldn’t agree with your approach more, I’ve noticed a rather strange ‘attitude’ issue with a ton of online entrepreneurs I’ve met.

      They’ve spent, perhaps around INR 10,000/- to INR 15,000/- minimum getting a website built and hosted.

      98% plus have not really taken a serious interest in their ‘Marketing Messaging’ to a website visitor (i.e. a prospect). Hence, arresting and engaging a website visitor is far from what’s necessary.

      They haven’t got any kind of well planned and thought through social media marketing strategy.
      Hence, the idea of attracting the ‘Most Appropriate’ prospects to the website does not exist.

      Then, what good would it do spending INR 1000/- per day on Facebook advertising?
      Wouldn’t that just be wasted money as well?

      While Facebook (push advertising) could benefit 2% of the online entrepreneurs who understand their ‘Sales Domain’ reasonably intimately, would you recommend Google PPC (pull advertising) to them as a better alternative?

      In your opinion would their money invested in Google PPC provide a moderately better R.O.I than that of Facebook Ads?

      It would be a privilege to read your thoughts on this.


      Ivan Bayross

      1. You’re absolutely correct Ivan! Running ads (on any platform) for the sake of running ads is not going to get you anywhere. You need to have a marketing funnel in place before you start running the campaign and you have know which step of your funnel the campaign is addressing. I’ve even some people put over Rs.100k by using Boost Post ads on Facebook where they were simply redirecting the users to their homepage or a poorly designed landing page with no apparent intention or goal. That obviously is handing over that money to Facebook with nothing to show for.

        Even in my Facebook advertising course, I mention in the beginning itself that Facebook ads is just a mechanism which should be treated as a part of an overall strategy. And of course in Online Course Blueprint, an entire module is only dedicated to creating a marketing funnel and then the module on Facebook ads comes after it.

        As for FB vs Google Ads, again it’s about what you are using the ads for. For instance Google Display ads are great for brand awareness but not so much for conversions. And relying on Google Search ads can definitely result in higher conversions but they are also very costly as compared to Facebook ads. For beginner entrepreneurs, I would say Facebook ads are the way to go since the UI is easier to comprehend and provided things are done in a correct manner, generating a positive return is more feasible. Make no mistake, Google Ads is a giant, but it comes with a tougher learning curve that can involve more investment of time, effort and of course money.

        Ultimately, one should strive to incorporate all sorts of advertising (and organic marketing) so your eggs are not in one basket and also so that the net on the top of the funnel is as broad as possible.

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