Most Neglected Areas Of Business Revealed – Employee Happiness and Marketing Top Poll

Expert Insights

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 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.

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.

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%

Of the respondents who said that employee happiness and welfare was an area of their business that they felt was neglected, 62% said that they were looking to put some kind of system or plan in place to ensure their staff were content and well looked-after.

Although 32% of the respondents said that they neglected the marketing of their business, only 41% actually had a solid marketing and PR plan with regular activity that they followed in place; whilst the remaining 27% confessed to only doing ‘very occasional’ activity. When asked for more information on their PR and marketing strategies, it was discovered that 44% of the relevant businesses saw PR as an ‘answer to problems/a crisis’, as opposed to a tactic to drive brand awareness and new custom.

Respondents who said that they neglected the company’s finances were asked “Do you hire an accountant to take care of your business finances/bookkeeping?” to which 58% said that they did have an accountant. 36% said that they looked after their business finances themselves, whilst 6% said that they used someone else to look after this area (but not an accountant).

Under half (48%) of the respondents said that all of their staff received training of some kind; with most of these (61%) saying that it was via a mix of in-house and external staff training for the development of their team, whilst 32% said they did all training in-house and 7% said that they outsourced it all.

Finally, all respondents from a business that sold its wares or services online (77%) were asked if they used search engine optimisation (SEO) tactics to attract new customers. 53% said that they hadn’t even considered utilising SEO and had no plans to, but 30% said that they currently used SEO tactics and 17% said they planning to capitalising on SEO activity in the future.

Andy Barr, MD and founder of commented:

“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’ve been prioritising have fallen by the wayside. We didn’t expect to see employee welfare and happiness at the top of the neglected list, as if you don’t look after your staff then your business will ultimately suffer.

“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 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.”

10 Yetis is a digital agency with a strong history in creating public relations campaigns that help brands stand out