5 Ways Your Business is Wasting Money | Nettl® Edinburgh

5 Ways Your Business is Wasting Money

Being an SME ourselves and catering primarily for SME’s across Scotland, we know in the hectic day-to-day operation of a business, it’s common to overlook ways in which your business is unnecessarily spending money. This is especially true with web design and digital marketing which tends to be a foreign language to most business owners.

Below we have listed the 5 ways your business might be losing money, that you probably hadn’t thought of before. And yes, we have made these mistakes as well!


Misusing Social Media

 

Theres no doubt social media is an extremely powerful tool. In fact we run digital marketing campaigns for clients each month (shameless plug!) and the best ROI we see across all marketing channels generally seems to be social. I mean there is a good chance you arrived at this article via a social media channel!

The mistake most small businesses make is simply using social media to build a “following” with no real strategy behind it, almost using it as a vanity tool with the end goal being to get as high an amount of likes as possible but not really utilising these likes. Back in the days when Facebook’s algorithm allowed for a higher organic reach, this was acceptable but now that only a fraction of users will see your content in their news feeds, this is not.

The mistake most small businesses make is simply using social media to build a “following” with no real strategy behind it, almost using it as a vanity tool with the end goal being to get as high an amount of likes as possible but not really utilising these likes. Back in the days when Facebook’s algorithm allowed for a higher organic reach, this was acceptable but now that only a fraction of users will see your content in their news feeds, this is not.

The solution? Tailor your social media objectives to capture customer data. Instead of investing your money to build a social following (which you have to pay to access?!?), use social media as a tool to capture your customers email addresses, which will allow you to contact them directly at a fraction of the cost social media platforms will charge.

social media icons on phone screen


Not Using Data to Understand Your Current Customers

 

When the customers are rolling in and business is good, its easy to relax and not worry about how you acquired these customers. I mean if you’ve found the winning formula and its working, or you are at least comfortable with the level of incoming customers, whats to worry about? If you don’t change your marketing they will just keep coming in? Wrong.

This approach and mentality is a time bomb waiting to happen and WILL lose you money in the long run. Algorithms change, consumer trends change and to prepare for this, you need to understand how you are attracting your customers, especially your biggest clients, so you can adjust when they do

The solution? Utilise data and tracking methods, especially if you are an e-commerce business. Set up specific landing pages for different campaigns or marketing channels and track which contact form the enquiry came from by doing this. Set up conversion tracking within Google Adwords and Facebook to track incoming customers who enquire. If your company doesn’t sell online, try traditional methods such as a customer survey and ask how they found you. This can be bundled into an after care package and gives you a good excuse to ask for a review as well!


Placing Urgency Ahead of Planning

 

When we start a web design project with a client, we like to be thorough which includes a great deal of planning from our end. Part of our design meetings which pre-empt any actual design work, is understanding the customers target market, as they are essentially the intended end user of the website.

What is also included within this planning phase, is the inclusion of agreed timeframes and milestones about when the project should be completed and it is here we tend to find a clash. The majority response we always hear is “We want the website done ASAP”, with the focus being to start working on the website right away.

However, the approach we always take is to research your target market first and design the website around this research. What features and benefits of your company will they respond to? What imagery, fonts and colours are most appealing to them? What call to action will they respond to?

Being able to answer questions like these through proper planning before you begin with your website will save you money ensuring you see a ROI and it meets your objectives. It also means you won’t be visiting another web design agency 6 months later looking for a completely rebuild.


Taking the DIY or Cheapest Route

 

A big part of being successful in business is knowing where your strengths lie and maximising your time in that area – as they say time is money! With so many DIY web design options appearing such as WIX and Squarespace, it is never easier to create your own website.

Sure you can get a website put together yourself and save your business money and whilst your skills may not be in design, you can do it to an extent. But that time is taking away from your true business skills and is an “opportunity cost” – the opportunity to make money through your true skills that you lost whilst making the website.

And the opportunity cost doesn’t stop there. Too many people view web design as a static job, design it and its finished. However, a website is a dynamic and organic tool that requires monitoring and adjusting to maximise its potential, which is why our design agency offers monthly concierge packages to our clients, doing precisely this (another shameless plug – sorry!)

Lastly, the most obvious and important point – poor or mediocre design will cost you potential customers and cost you potential revenue. Customers can only take a business at face value over the internet, and generally what they have to go by is your website. Make sure you have the best website for your budget that makes the right first impression with your customers and doesn’t leave them making the wrong assumptions.

woman typing on mac keyboard


Stale & Out of Date Content On Your Website

 

This is one of our biggest gripes and one I touched on in the previous point – out of date content! The root cause of this is the mindset that a website is a one off job – similar to hiring a builder. But a website isn’t a wall – once its built the job isn’t finished.

Your website should be one part of an integrated marketing strategy, moving and responding with the elements of your marketing such as social and PPC. It should be monitored for essential data and updated accordingly to this. Being able to track anything from a customers movements, to where their mouse cursor spends the most time to what page they drop off at – the customer is telling you exactly where your website needs improved and they don’t even know it.

And this is exactly what you should do, have a website that is updated regularly. Customers expect your website to contain the latest information about your products, services, and company. When it doesn’t have this, they may assume you’re not in business any longer, or simply aren’t innovative and ahead of the competition. Your content must address the needs of your customers (or potential customers) and be updated as things change. If you have a blog, updating it at least once a week — if not more — can help you drive visitors to your website and keep search engines happy. (Also small tip,
although guest blogging is a create way for building back links, also look at directories such as WL – WebLinks Directory)

Not updating your website not only costs you potential business by creating a bad impression – it also means you are not maximising your integrated marketing strategy and as a result not maximising your online earning potential.