There has been a huge focus on health trends over the last few years. Suddenly everyone has a gym membership, has gone vegan, or they’re suddenly growing muscles faster than you can say ‘protein powder popup shop’. This emphasis on health and physical vitality is a good thing, and even better, there’s no reason it can’t extend to your business too.
Businesses can suffer devastating diseases that cause all kinds of symptoms and side effects, and maybe even the death of the entire enterprise. Businesses can grow weak through lack of movement. Businesses can become too heavy, carrying too much unnecessary weight but there’s no need for your business to become a couch potato.
Don’t worry, you can get your business healthy this year. There are things you can do to help defend your business against unwanted diseases, and to help it grow stronger, and healthier day by day, so by this time next year you’re looking at a completely different business. A thriving, lean business with plenty of strengths and a strong beating heart.
Here are 6 unhealthy business habits SMEs suffer from and the healthy swaps you can make to create a thriving business:
Unhealthy Business Habit 1 – Disorganisation & Lack Of Planning
“Failure to plan is planning to fail” – Alan Lakein
If you don’t make scheduled plans for financing, marketing, IT strategy, operations and communications, there can be no forewarning of risks. This could mean you lose clients, projects may fail and all kinds of issues could arise.
Switch unplanned business running for annual and quarterly plans in all key areas of your business. If you have a business deeply related to sales or trends, then you’ll need more regular planning sessions.
Unhealthy Business Habit 2 – A Lack Of Goals
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at” – Bruce Lee
Look at any successful company and you will be able to read about the fact the founder had goals in mind for that business from the get go. Your entire business drive needs to be moving towards an objective. Fail to set objectives and there will be a lack of cohesion and pace within the company.
Learn how to set SMART goals using this handy YouTube video. Set them regularly alongside planning meetings to keep the core company drive strong and focused.
Unhealthy Business Habit 3 – Neglecting To Adapt Sales Strategy
The way you sell to a customer will need constant tweaking because lots of different elements change how any company sells. Digital marketing, influencers and ecommerce have all radically changed consumer buying habits over the last decade. Fail to change your selling habits, fail to sell.
Never be afraid to adjust sales strategy quickly and concisely to keep up with trends that affect your industry. With sales, you have to be one step ahead. Fall behind, and you could see a significant drop in sales very quickly.
Unhealthy Business Habit 4 – Failing To See Where Your Money Is Going
If you don’t check overheads and business costs, they can quickly add up and drain a significant amount from your business unnecessarily. With smaller businesses, unnecessary overheads can quickly put business growth to a stop. A recent newspaper report showed that UK SME’s are losing a massive £250 billion pounds of cash flow all because of things like unpaid invoices and the amount it costs to have an external company chase the payment. This is just one small area of business overheads and costs. Imagine lots of issues like this remaining unchecked and allowing money to drain from the business at speed – the consequences are terrifying.
Take a look at your overheads regularly and always have a view to save wherever you can. You should also be checking you can afford all necessary outgoings. Having a forward thinking approach with financing means you can set up things like business loans, invoice financing and investment rounds well ahead of when you need the money.
Unhealthy Business Habit 5 – Old Technology
Technology moves quickly, and if you fail to keep up you could find yourself at all kinds of risks including:
- Viruses, which cost businesses $55 billion dollars annually
- Slowed productivity
- Inability to connect with your target market or new customers
- A lack of faith from clients who want to work with forward-thinking companies
- Failing to attract the best staff who want to work with companies on the cutting edge of technology
Align your technology with your businesses ambition. You may not need the latest technology if your business doesn’t need it, but if you do use technology regular updates are important.
Unhealthy Business Habit 6 – Assuming You Know It All
Any staff member, member of management or senior management who assumes they know all their is to know about their job is set up to fail. Skills, experience and qualifications can always be improved and companies that aren’t continually looking to fill skills gaps will find this affects productivity and profitability.
Training the staff you have is cheaper than recruiting new staff with the skills you need. All levels of staff should be attending regular refresher training and new skills training.
“Great things in business are never done by one person, they are done by a team of people” – Steve Jobs
Work together with your colleagues to create a healthier business. Simply having your eye on the ball is a great start. With lots of teamwork and forward thinking, your company has a great chance of thriving.