Ten things we learned in 2017

By: Rachel Miller

Date: 20 December 2017

Ten things we learned in 2017As 2017 draws to a close, we're getting ready to take a short break. It has been a busy year. Across the six Donut websites we've published a wealth of blogs, news, guides, case studies and articles – all with one aim, to help small business owners, sole traders and entrepreneurs like you.

We'll bring you more small business news, views and advice in 2018. In the meantime, in case you missed anything, you can catch up on some of the things we have learned this year on our blog (below).

Have a great festive break and see you in 2018.

  1. "A service is done to you and an experience is done with you. A service worries about key performance indicators like answering the phone in three rings. An experience is about how the customer feels. How can you involve the customer and how do you want them to feel?"
    From Never mind the service, how's the experience? by Grant Leboff.
  2. "More than three billion hours of videos are watched every month on YouTube. Yet only a tiny number end up going viral. Top-notch production values don't guarantee an audience. It is not just a case of what is said, but how it is said."
    From How to make a viral YouTube video by Bjorn Schuller.
  3. "Did you know that two-thirds of business owners admit that they get inspiration for their marketing tactics from their competitors and that they regularly copy what they do? The question is - is copying actually working for these businesses?"
    From Admit it: are you a copycat marketer? by Mark Scully.
  4. "Remember the adage 'show, don't tell'." The best speakers and presenters have embraced a world without slides. Speaking without slides means the audience is looking at you and listening to what you say rather than reading from the screen in front of them."
    From Why jelly babies (and other props) can improve your presentations by Steve Bustin.
  5. "In the real world we pay close attention to how we appear but we tend to be somewhat lazier about how we look online. Go on, search for yourself. Are you happy with the links that appear when someone searches for you, or your business? If not, it's time to take action."
    From How to make a great first impression on social media by Luan Wise.
  6. "Most people hate networking. Which is a bit of a problem, since you need to meet new people. If you don't, your current contacts will have to sustain you from now until retirement. And that's just not going to happen."
    From Networking made easy: how to work a room by Andy Bounds.
  7. "Strong brand equity can get you widespread recognition; some brands even manage to become part of our everyday lexicon. Think about someone sipping coffee from a thermos, but dreaming of a Bacardi and coke, while using a biro to write a reminder on a post-it note to buy a new hoover."
    From Four ways to improve your brand equity by Shweta Jhajharia
  8. "Do you know how your customers would prefer to contact you? If not, you could be forcing them to call your competitors. Pretend to be a customer and contact your own company through different channels – was it a good experience for you?"
    From The fastest way to lose a customer by Dave Millett.
  9. "If you have worked hard on your SEO to create a steady increase in your organic traffic, you can sometimes find it starts to level off. Nine times out of ten, it has reached a natural plateau. What can be more alarming, however, is if it suffers a sudden drop. This is commonly experienced by companies that start to take SEO for granted."
    From What to do if your website traffic starts falling by Jon Wade.
  10. "Paid ads in Google search results are harder to spot than ever before; due to the continual tweaks and changes to the appearance of the adverts made by Google, almost 60% of us are unable to distinguish between the organic search results and the paid ads presented above and below them."
    From Why most people can't spot a paid ad on Google by Thomas Stocks.