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25th February 2020

4 Bad Habits Business Owners Should Give Up For Lent

minute read

If you failed to stay dry during January, or you just couldn’t make those New Year’s resolutions stick - don’t panic. Lent is just around the corner, where there'll be plenty of opportunities to kick the habit(s) once and for all. 

Business is not always about what new things you should do. Sometimes your emphasis should be on what you should stop doing. Whether you’re guilty of doing too much, not enough or keeping your employees out of the loop, Lent is the time for a fresh start. 

We’ve compiled 4 of the worst habits committed by small businesses, which we hope will help adjust how you do business and drive success in 2020.

1. Attempting to do everything

One common pitfall of small business owners is trying to do it all. While having confidence is great, trying to run everything on your own can sometimes do more harm than good. 

The most successful businesses are run with the help of a devoted staff, so encourage loyalty by showing interest in each individual's personal development. It’s not enough to involve your staff in important decisions, you need to teach them key skills so they can effectively contribute.

Create a culture of learning, making sure there are proper processes in place to inspire all employees. Set learning goals and growth plans to track their development, or even training programmes to encourage ambition. This can encompass anything from leadership training to building a new skill. 

2. Not paying attention to the market

Any business, regardless of its size, is influenced by the latest marketing trends. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, keep a close eye on which rising innovations make sense for your business. 

Thoroughly research all platforms, tools and techniques in the marketplace, understanding which are the most popular and lucrative. Start attending marketing conferences and events, participating in workshops and really throwing yourself, and your employees, into the deep end. 

Now it’s time to think about your own business. Conduct a focus group with colleagues, employees and customers and discuss how best to apply these insights. Consider customer behaviour and current competition, and whether there are any tools, platforms or products you should invest in. 

Get a heads up on 2020 with our explainer on this year’s digital trends

3. No online presence

Nowadays, everyone and everything is online. While having a website, email and social media are important, you need to really put the effort in to make your customers take notice.

Start with optimising your website, making sure your design is responsive and widely compatible. Your customers are likely to access your site through multiple devices so it makes sense to cover all bases.

When it comes to social media, creating a publishing schedule is a great way to plan your content in advance. Sticking to a schedule will reduce the everyday stress of posting each day, and help you keep on top of important dates and events that might be relevant to your users. 

Still debating whether your business needs an online presence? Maybe this explainer will convince you

4. Looking to the past rather than the future

It’s easy to get overwhelmed with daily operations, but business owners need to look toward the future in order to retain long-term success. 

As the digital world continues to flourish, it feels like a new trend or innovation pops up every week. Video advertising; for example, is now the fastest growing advertising format and helps businesses attract 9x more attention. To be successful, you need to embrace all these new marketing opportunities and anticipate the next steps for growth.

Creating a marketing calendar is a great way to plan your marketing in advance. Your calendar will help you coordinate all your marketing efforts and assist you in budgeting your strategy. Marketing moves at an increasingly fast pace, and planning ahead will reduce the risk of being left behind. 

Start afresh

Choosing what to give up for Lent can be a tricky business. While cutting coffee or chocolate out of your life is never easy, identifying bad business practices now will help things run much more smoothly in the long run.

If you’d like some advice on keeping your marketing on track, contact one of our experts now

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