This is a guest post by Gary Gould! Gary Gould is the Co-Founder of Compare Cloudware, one of the leading cloudware comparisons websites. Gary wants to help small business owners and start-ups to enter the world of cloud computing that will help them grow, including cloud-based financial tools, project management, and CRM.

Running a business is hard work. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re managing a multi-million-pound enterprise, you need to be willing to put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making a success of your company. But what if your own worn-in habits are actually hindering your progress?
5 Old-school Habits That Are Slowing Your Business Down

We’re not saying you’re totally wrong in your approach – your good business sense has got you this far, after all! – but what if you could cut costs, increase efficiency and speed up your company’s growth just by making small changes to the way you manage your company?

Here, we take a look at five common management habits that could be slowing your business down, and how introducing new systems and different ways of thinking could change your business for the better.

1. You Stick To The 9 To 5

We hate to break it to you, but no-one works routine eight hour days anymore. Very rarely can a business owner, or any skilled member of staff for that matter, simply switch off and head home as soon as the clock strikes 5. The modern market demands that companies are switched-on around the clock, and as the person in charge, it’s up to you to make sure your team is on call and able to work as and when they need to.

So, why don’t you offer your team the chance to work flexible hours? It’s a win-win for both parties – you’ll be giving your company the competitive edge by ensuring staff is available outside of the traditional working day, and your workers will benefit from the great work/life balance that comes with being able to choose their own shifts.

2. You Tell Yourself That ‘No-One Can Do It Like You Can’

Every boss has trouble delegating important tasks to another member of their team. Your business is your baby, and the thought of somebody else taking over your key client account or heading out into the field to close that all-important contract is frankly frightening. The fact remains, though, that you can’t do everything yourself. At some point, you’ll need to employ other people to take charge of different areas of your business. Being able to let go and place trust in others is a difficult but crucial part of running a successful company.

3. You Refuse To Hand Over The Books

How much of your working week is spent sending out invoices, paying bills and mulling over your figures? Handing over financial responsibility to someone else is a big deal, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want to free up your time to focus on the things that are going to help your business grow. This is particularly true if you have limited knowledge of accounting; it’s always best to bring in the professionals when it comes to such an important area of your company.

4. You Don’t Actively Seek Out New Sales Opportunities Because You’re Too Busy Handling Existing Clients

One common mistake that business owners make is that they don’t actively look for new business when things are going well for them. Yes, sales or deals might be coming through the door right now, but you should be future-proofing your company by setting aside the time to seek out new opportunities.

Regardless of what else is happening within your company, set aside a set amount of time for business development every week. Push yourself to push your brand on new potential clients, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself nurturing relationships that could help you expand your business in the months and years ahead.

5. You’re Reluctant To Embrace New Technology

Often, business owners believe that they don’t have the time, the means or even the patience to learn a new piece of software or map out a whole new IT infrastructure. But if your current systems aren’t working for you, it’s time to introduce some new ones.

Cloud platforms are a great place to start, as they’re typically low-cost and easy to deploy. Many of today’s cloud-based systems can be used to address some of the concerns we’ve outlined above. For example, if you’re worried that introducing flexible working will mean you have less of a hold on how, when and where your staff is working, there are plenty of systems that can help you stay in control of your workforce. For example, web conferencing software offers the tools to keep your team in touch 24/7.

Project management platforms promote efficiency and allow you to keep track of what’s happening in your business, and if you still want to keep in the loop when it comes to your finances, cloud accounting software makes it easy for your accounts staff to deal with the day-to-day bookkeeping, while you can log in and review customised forecasts and reports at the click of a button.

With an open mind and a little support from some of the today’s finest business management tools, there’s no reason why you can’t kick those old-school management habits and set your company on the path to faster growth and even greater success!