The Main Reason Businesses Fail & How To Avoid This Prospect

November 2, 2023

Find out if you're making any of these mistakes that failing businesses do. Learn from the failures of others. We have shared an in-depth analysis.

The Main Reason Why Businesses Fail

Hey everyone, Jeremy here from Honey Whale Lab and we just got done with a meeting with the team, and there’s always just one pervasive question and problem that keeps coming up for businesses that are really trying to grow. So, instead of us just kind of meeting with the team and talking about it, we thought that you everyone will be able to benefit from us really running you through the number one reason why businesses fail. So let’s get ready and we’ll run you through this right now.

So in business, there is just one thing that is responsible for all of businesses, either success or their failure. Before I really run you through exactly what that is, let me put this situation to you. I want you to imagine this scenario and think of the local high street next to your house or your office (anywhere close to you right now). I’m sure you would have seen somebody come on to that high street and open up a new restaurant, and they go in there, they spend an enormous amount of money on the fit-out and then they have to hire all these staff and they get them swanky little aprons and outfits and they get this commercial lease that might be 36 months long, and they invest an incredible amount of resources, time and energy and put all of this debt into this project.

And they even craft like a special opening offer, and then they open, right? It’s crickets and you walk by there on your way home and you look in and you think like, "I feel so bad for that business". There’s no one in there, and they had gone and invested all this money and there is no one showing up. Just around the corner or just down the street, there’s another restaurant and it’s thriving, you can never get a table there, there’s a line out the front and they’re in the same suburb. That business owner is like thinking, "Oh my God, what’s going on?", and then they start to blame all these other factors that are outside of their power. They start blaming the area that they’re in, they start blaming the other restaurants in the area and they’re just dragging their pants down on price, how can they even run their business at a profit?

And then they start blaming the clientele. It sounds crazy, but it’s the truth, right? They start blaming the people in that area and start saying, 'Oh the people in this area are just cheap' or 'They’ve got no money', or 'They don’t appreciate good food', they start coming up with all of these excuses. Now, why am I talking about restaurants and why am I talking about your local high street? Because the thing that is paramount in all business and the thing that really makes the difference between a thriving business and a failing business is just one thing. That One Thing is, "What Do You Offer?".

On the premise of that failing restaurant and that really successful restaurant, when you break it down to its first principles and its core, when you really look at it, fundamentally, the reason why that business is failing is because people are not liking that offer. They don’t like the food, or they don’t like the price, or that aren’t like both. That’s basically all business is when you boil it down to its first principles, it’s your business exchanging something of value for money and a transaction takes place where the value in the mind of your prospect is higher than what the price that you ask for. So basically what they look to do is just blame the area and all these things that are out of their power rather than just looking at what is within their power. And that is their 'offer'. Looking at their food, "How can they change their food up?", "How can they offer a different price?". What can they do to make an offer that is profitable, that keeps that restaurant full, that gets people writing about it, that makes it a great, wildly successful business?

Why Offers Are Important

The reason that I’m talking about this is because what I see in the online community and the industry in general, in digital marketing and business growth is that someone will run traffic, they’ll sign up and they’ll run some Google Ads or they’ll do some Facebook Ads. They might’ve done some SEO in the past, or Instagram ads, and then they think, "I tried Facebook but it doesn’t work", And they are usually always, "Could I just hire your agency to give me that secret traffic?". That traffic that’s just going to solve all of their problems but that is just the most ridiculous thing, because businesses don’t have a traffic problem.

You can literally go out there and you can buy as much traffic as you can possibly want. So when you look at it, what really is the issue? The issue is that you can’t actually go out there and buy traffic at a rate that’s profitable, that you can make an offer to that traffic and it’s going to convert, it’s going to bring money back into your business at a greater rate with higher enough margin to sustain your business, and to then pay for that traffic.

So what most businesses do is they run a whole bunch of traffic on different channels and then they blame that traffic source as the reason to why it’s not working or why it’s not profitable. They very rarely if ever look at their own business in a critical way and think, okay, people are clicking on my ads, they’re coming to my website or their landing page and they’re either converting or they’re not. We’ll say that it’s a lead generation campaign, so they click through to the ads and they come through to the landing page and then they convert into a lead at a healthy enough rate, but then something happens when those leads come into the business. This is when a sales rep needs to get on the phone with those leads. They then start to make up all these excuses like, "These leads are bad", or "These guys aren’t serious buyers", or a whole multitude of different excuses.

Godfather Offers

They just blame that traffic source and they think it must be the traffic. It must be the traffic, right? Well, it’s actually not. Most often than not, it’s when they get on the phone they’re unable to convert that prospect, and that’s because the offer that you’re making to your market, it’s not irresistible. It’s what’s called a resistible offer. It’s incredibly easy for people to resist it, that’s why they’re not buying from you. So instead of looking at how you can shave a few points off your Cost Per Click (CPC), or you've whittled down your cost per lead, you should be really looking at, 'What is an offer that I could make to these leads that would make doing business with our business a complete no brainer'.

That’s really what the biggest digital agencies in the world are offering, it's called a 'Godfather Offer'. It's really just crafting an offer so white hot, so irresistible that your markets simply can’t refuse it. That’s really what you want to focus 80% of your time on. Most people spend 80% of their time on squeezing down their traffic source or trying to find the cheapest traffic that they can, or turning off certain keywords, or ad sets and targeting options that are too high of a cost per click rather than looking at, "What’s going on here?". I’m not really hitting market fit because not enough people are buying this offer at a rate that’s profitable for my business.

So let me find out what is the bullseye of this market place? What is that center of the market that has got such a pressing problem that when you present your offer to them, they buy with as little resistance as possible. So that’s where you want to spend 80% of your time. You want to have a look at what your competitors are doing, what their prices are, how they’re bundling up their offers, what is actually being communicated to your market? Because that marketing message doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s not just your business that’s communicating to that prospect. There is a full market that is all shouting and yelling offers to that same prospect, and there is so much noise out there in the marketplace in today's day and age that you need to know what that noise is so you can shoot a signal right through the bullseye, you can make it that your offer just stands out, head and shoulders above what all of your competitors are doing.

That is the absolute central part that I would tell you to focus about in your business. Think about that, think about what is it that I could put in front of my marketplace that would be so compelling that it would be complete 'no-brainer' for them to do business with me? Then what you want to do is once you’ve kind of found that thing, you want to write it down on paper, you want to summarize it in just one paragraph of what that offer would be, and you want to go over the top. You want to make this thing completely outrageous, to the point where you know if your lawyer saw it, it would give him the sweats.

Now don’t be worried about that just now because all we’re doing is writing down that offer. What it is that you’re offering at what price and what the guarantee is. Then write that down and it’s only you that’s going to see that. Then what I want you to do is I want you to start pulling back and making that offer a little bit more watered down to something that you could actually deliver on and you could deliver on that promise, and it’s not going to get to you to any hot water legally.

Now, that’s the place that you want to start. Something that is so good that it’s hard to believe and then you want to actually be able to deliver on that promise. Once you’ve got that, then you're starting at a position of power. What most people do is they craft the worst offer that they can possibly do, they then run traffic, and then they find out that it doesn’t work, what they try to do is then they try to dress up that offer and make it better to find a point where it would work, and that is the completely wrong way to go about it. The way that we think about it is that I have a knife to my neck and I absolutely have to make this work, this is my last R5,000 that I’m able to pour into advertising, and if I don’t do this, I will be closing down my business. I’ll be firing all of my employees. They’re going to have to go back to their families and tell them that they no longer have a job and things are going to be very bleak.

Now you might be thinking , "That’s a pretty negative place to operate on". Now as you are scaling a business and you start getting more money in the bank, people tend to be a little bit loose with how they look at the numbers and they start to think this doesn’t matter so much if it doesn’t work, "I’ve got a whole bunch of more cash in the bank and everything’s going to be fine". That’s when you start to get sloppy and that’s when you especially get eaten alive. Somebody will just come in by night and just take over your whole market within a blink of an eye, someone that is an expert that understands what the target market want.

The way that you don’t do that is by coming from the situation where you have a knife to the neck and it absolutely must work, a "Do or Die" situation, if you had a knife to your neck and it must work, otherwise you will be beheaded, you are not going to be operating with a bad offer, with something that is vanilla, something that is lackluster. You are going to make the absolute best and most compelling offer that you possibly could because this is literally a situation of life or death. That’s the way that we look at it. When we have clients coming into the business, we really push them to come up with offers that make them uncomfortable. We have a saying that if the offer doesn’t keep the founder up at night, then it’s not a strong enough offer. So that often needs to be completely white-hot just to melt through the marketplace and what everybody else is screaming at your prospects.


I tell you that if you spend even one week in your business really thinking about this, really looking around at your marketplace, what other people are doing and craft something so irresistible, that’s the hardest thing that you can do. Because once you’ve done that, you can make traffic that wasn’t profitable, highly profitable. You can afford to go out there and not have a cap on your cost per click and be wanting to get the cheapest traffic, but being able to go out there and buy the most expensive traffic, it’s the most expensive for a reason, it converts better, it’s more profitable. So you’d be able to go and just buy as much traffic as you want, you’ll be able to outmuscle all of your competition and pay a premium for traffic. You’d be able to buy more leads at a higher cost than anyone in your marketplace because you are converting a much higher percentage of that traffic of those leads coming in with your irresistible Godfather Offer.

This just allows you to come in and just beat the pants off all of your competitors. So go ahead and literally do this exercise, go and look at your marketplace, go put your ridiculous offer down in writing. Make it a Godfather Offer to the point where it’s just so good that it can’t be true, but then find a way that you can deliver on it. Go and do that. Go out into your marketplace, and I assure you the results that you get will be absolutely ridiculous.

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