by Nigel Hilton

When you start a business, it becomes your life. You pour all of your time, energy and passion into it- chances are that in your eyes it’s nothing short of fantastic. And when you’ve put so much of your effort, time and money into getting things going, it’s hard to accept that people aren’t as interested in your business as you thought they would be. You have to get honest with yourself, you have to be adaptable and willing to make changes. Here are some brutally honest reasons why you’re not making the sales that you thought you would.

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Your product or service isn’t good enough

First things first, if what you’re selling isn’t good enough then people aren’t going to buy it. It might be a tough pill to swallow, but be realistic- do people want what you have to offer? There are so many businesses out there, the market is saturated with them. Customers have choice, they don’t have to settle for subpar quality. You need to do market research, find out what people really think. Find out what kinds of prices other similar products and services on the market sell for, and what people are willing to pay for them. If it turns out that people simply don’t like or want what you’re selling, it’s back to the drawing board. What can you change to improve things? Use the data you’ve collected to make informed decisions, don’t just guess. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, money and hassle in the long run.

Your website is a mess

Your website is the first thing most customers will see when they come into contact with your business, and so even if you’re selling good products or services, they might not stick around to find out more if you’re not making a great first impression. A site that’s slow to load, full of errors or looks amateur are all bad signs. Don’t try and put together something yourself, spend money on an experienced web designer who can build you something beautiful and custom for your company. It’s money well spent since it could be all that’s needed to keep people interested enough to check out your products and buy from you.

Your marketing efforts are poor

You can’t open a business and expect the custom to come flooding in, it just doesn’t work like that. Reaching the right audience requires skills and technique, it requires careful marketing efforts based on real data. You need a combination of SEO, social media marketing, content marketing and other methods to reach the people that are likely to be interested in what you do or sell. It’s naive to assume that you’ll be able to make a decent profit without putting money aside to market and promote it. Employ an expert, or outsource to a professional marketing agency.

Your bad reviews put people off

As a new business, you have a lot to prove. With so much established competition out there, you need to convince people to buy from you rather than a business they already know which can be tricky. One thing potential customers will do to help them decide if you’re worth their time is check out review and see if others have had a good experience with you. So negative reviews can be incredibly damaging, you need to do all you can to make sure customers are happy and those that aren’t are dealt with in a polite and professional way. Most companies will receive the odd bad review, but if yours are mainly negative then it’s something you need to put right.

Your customer service isn’t up to scratch

Another way your business could be putting off customers is through poor customer service. Never get emotional, keep a level head when responding to complaints and problems even though it can be frustrating at times. You’ll need to reply in the correct way, when it comes to social media when your replies are public, other customers can easily be put off if they feel that they’ll get a rude response from you. Employ staff with experience dealing with customers, you want a ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude and someone that can remain positive even during challenging situations. Your customer service will keep people coming back, and will show others that you’re professional and trustworthy.