Build up your brand and people says Poll

Business management can often feel like spinning plates; it is important to show all areas a little bit of love in order to ensure the plates keep spinning and performance across the board is the best it can be.

A new study looking into the most neglected areas of a business has found that two fifths of SME and start-up owners and directors confess to neglecting employee happiness and welfare. Meanwhile, 32% admitted that they don’t prioritise their marketing and 25% confess to neglecting employee training. The survey was conducted by digital agency More than 600 respondents were quizzed, all of whom were SME or start-up business owners or directors. All respondents remained anonymous throughout the research.

The research aimed to uncover which areas of business SMEs were perhaps not prioritising as much as they should and it also found that more than half of businesses that sell online do not use SEO tactics to attract new customers. First of all, everyone taking part was asked to select which areas of their business they felt they neglected the most, which revealed the following top 10 answers:

• Employee happiness/welfare – 41%
• Marketing – 32%
• Staff training – 25%
• Finances – 16%
• Customer service – 14%

Two fifths (41%) of business owners confessed to neglecting employee welfare and happiness. At a time when mental health is such a focus and priority, it is important to make sure staff are well looked after and supported. Besides being the decent thing to do, when employees are at their happiest, they will produce the best work and be more productive. It is, however, encouraging that 62% of businesses are on a mission to put an employee welfare plan in place.

It is strange that so many businesses (32%) neglect their brand’s marketing and many don’t have any plan or activity in place, as this can be crucial to the acquiring of more sales. Making your business more of a household name will make sure you are reaping the rewards of a good marketing strategy. PR and marketing are much more than just a solution to a crisis; they can promote the key messages of your business and keep you one step ahead of the competition.

SEO can be an invaluable asset to any company too, if utilised correctly, and can go hand-in-hand with PR, because acquiring links on new sites can help to increase your Google ranking, resulting in a higher placement on the results pages for people searching for your key terms. Generating online media coverage offers the potential to also secure links.

As a business owner, you never want to feel like you are neglecting any area of your business. Sometimes, time can run away from you and, before you know it, those things you should have prioritised have fallen by the wayside.

Similarly, marketing, staff training, company finances and customer service should all be thoroughly covered and polished. The future of your business can rely on all of these things working in cohesion. The SEO one is a really interesting one for me; the number of businesses we’ve had an approach as with SEO briefs made me think it would be something on the minds of all online businesses, but that’s clearly not the case. The returns of a good SEO strategy can be colossal, as a slight bump in the rankings can put you in front of potential customers that would’ve otherwise overlooked your site.