Why do internet businesses fail?

Probably the number one enterprising activity in today’s world is starting a business on the internet. Such businesses, generally known as internet businesses or online businesses are the subject of many discussions. Not only because they are a virtually new area of interest, but also because of the many challenges associated with them. These challenges do not only make it hard to run an online business, they are also the reason why most internet businesses fail.

So what are those challenges?

In this article I indicate several of them based – as usual – on my personal experience. Here are the reasons why – according to my experience – internet businesses generally fail:

1. Lack of time

The lack of time is perhaps the biggest reason why most internet businesses fail. Many people are becoming aware of internet business and the benefits it offers. And so more and more people are getting involved in it. But like any other business venture, it doesn’t start to produce an income for its owner at once. The owner still has to make ends meet and survive which in the traditional sense of things means he/she has to be “employed” offline.

It’s only a few persons who can make an income without it taking up much of their time. The rest have to be occupied to make that happen – which takes most of their time outside of sleep time. To finish, they hardly have that extra time to devote to an online business after they’ve started it, leaving it to die. It may be easy to start, but not so easy to continue running when you have professional occupations offline.

2. Lack of knowledge

In a past article, I mentioned how a key to success online is understanding the perimeters of what you are doing as an online business owner. Without knowledge of what online business is about, how it works, how to approach it, and the like, the online business owner will struggle a lot with his/her business and eventually give up.

We had a member of our online community who we had gotten to know to some extent. He tried to be active in the community, and once would have thought that he was getting along. I was therefore surprised when I logged in one day and saw a post by him. It was his last. In it he wrote, “I don’t think this (i.e. online business) is for me. He then thanked everyone and that was the last I know of him.

I concluded from what I remarked: he did not get to understand how online business works. Sure he knew he could make money by doing it. But how it works was actually very far from him.

3. Lack of skills

There’s a difference between knowledge and skills. Knowledge has to do with knowing, while skills have to do with doing. You could have relevant knowledge in online business, but it doesn’t stop there. To become successful, you have to learn and apply relevant skills.

I was on the line with a relative who’s new to online business around this time yesterday. And he was like whether I could help him with promoting his products. He had had an e-commerce website build for him with products he has to sell. He understands that he has to promote them to succeed with it. That’s knowledge.

But to DO it, he feels powerless. With no prospects, such a person could easily abandon his newly created online business.

It is your skills that will actually make your success to happen.

4. Lacking the right mindset

In another recent article, I mentioned having the right mindset as key to succeeding online. Approaching online business with the wrong mind set would cause you to become discouraged easily, which could lead to the failure of the business.

A wrong mindset could be expectation of instant gratification. Many people create an online business believing they’re going to begin to milk it after a few days – or weeks. When such expectation is not met, it leads to frustration which in turn leads to them abandoning the business.

Another example of wrong mindset is the expectation that you don’t have to do much. It will all happen on its own. With such a mindset, your business is bound to fail. As a matter of fact, it will not succeed if you don’t work hard at it. And no-one is going to take your place when it comes to doing that.

5. Doubt

Another major killer of online business! “Will it even/ever succeed?” – the preoccupation of so many online business owner. Instead of them taking the time to learn and put into practice what they’ve learnt. They allow doubt to take over their mind. Like that, the effort they need to put into making their business succeed is not harnessed.

I guess you’ve seen the picture of two men who had been trying to reach treasures by digging into the earth. There’s one who after digging for so long needed to hit only more time to get to the treasure deposit.

It was at that point that he doubted that he could get something out of what he had been doing. He turned and left, only a hit away from achieving his dream.

Many online business owners are like that man. Their business fails as a result of them doubting.


So it is true that online business is a very lucrative activity. But it only becomes when you sustain it up to maturity. It may not be easy for many to keep an online business up and running for long for several reasons. But the few who are conscious of the challenges that exist and how to overcome them see success at the end of the day.

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