The way business is done today is quite different from the way it was done even just a few decades ago. Ultimately, there are few business practices that have stuck around long-term since technology and the consumer seem to be ever-changing. Although some practices may stay relevant for a while or change only slightly, it’s not common to see one that is still successfully used in business after a decade or even just a few years. Despite the necessity for change, many businesses will still use outdated practices in every area from sales and marketing to management and company culture.
Although companies that don’t update their practices may still see some of the results they expect to see, using outdated practices can hold a company back and, in some cases, even lead to its end. Outdated practices don’t just affect the business operations, either—they can affect employees and whether or not they want to stay at a company, and they can affect customers and whether or not the product or service is worth the frustration. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your business isn’t using outdated practices any longer. Some of the most common outdated practices still being used today are listed below, are you using any?
Fostering a Culture of Competition
Competition can be both good and bad, but if you’re fostering a competitive culture and pushing competition, you’re doing your business a disservice. Competition isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, and it can even be healthy to have competition to encourage people to up their game and do better. However, when you’re pushing the competition to the point that nobody wants to work together because people are trying to take credit for others’ work or don’t want to share credit, you’re creating a hostile environment that just can’t be sustained. Instead of encouraging employees to go up against each other, you should be encouraging them to combine their skills and strengths and work together.
Using Full URLs in Your Social Media Posts
It may seem like using a full URL in a social media post shouldn’t make a big difference, but as inconsequential as it may seem, it can have a bigger impact than you might think. Before link shorteners, it was fine to include full links, but as soon as tools that could condense links into neat and tidy URLs came about, there was no turning back—yet to this day, not all businesses use them. The fact of the matter is that online readers have roughly an eight-second attention span which means that you can’t be wasting time with long links—even if your link is at the bottom, the long string of numbers and letters can be distracting and cause your audience to move on before they even know what you’re saying. Using a link shortener is important if you want to get your message across in the limited amount of time you have.
Keyword stuffing is considered a black-hat SEO technique that search engines are cracking down on and penalizing, yet some businesses still try to get away with it. They will fit as many keywords as they possibly can into a paragraph or onto a page, hoping that it will boost their search engine ranks. Some businesses will try to do it in a way that makes sense while others will just throw keywords wherever they can put them even if it doesn’t fit the message of the text at all—either way, the practice is outdated and can do you more harm than good. If you’re not sure how to optimize your website for keywords, instead of stuffing your content full of them, it would be better to spend the money and hire a professional to help you get it right without penalty.
Measuring Productivity in Time Spent
Did you know that employees who perform better are the employees who take breaks? To this day, many businesses will measure their employees’ productivity based on the amount of time they spend at their desk each day, and although there is a time factor to productivity, ultimately, employee productivity should be measured by more than just time. In fact, measuring productivity based on results and KPIs rather than time is a much better indicator of who is getting things done than observing who is spending more time at the water cooler.
Using Social Media as Just Another Way to Advertise
37 percent of consumers make purchases based on the inspiration they see on social media networks, so there’s no arguing that social media can be a powerful advertising channel. If you’re just using your social media profiles for promoting and advertising your business though, you’re not keeping up with current practices. These days, consumers expect more than just ads from the businesses they follow—they expect customer service, education, engagement, and more. Social media is now used to build a brand and improve the customer experience rather than to just advertise and sell.
What other outdated practices do you feel your business is using?