Is the path to scaling your business made difficult to climb with all the responsibilities on your shoulders?
Many business owners find that scaling their organisation is difficult; it’s challenging enough to juggle the day to day operational, financial, regulatory, sales and countless other functions sat on your shoulders, let alone drive-forward a strategic plan for growth.
The job of a business owner/manager is a difficult, highly stressful one, which can mean very little time to do anything other than what needs to be done operationally there and then- leaving little scope for you being able to predict, plan and get ready for future obstacles and developments.
We have taken a moment in this article to help steer you on that next step – by bringing together some of the pillars vital for growth, highlight some of the barriers you may experience along the way and how many of those obstacles you face can be tackled through the right application of technology.
The foundations needed to scale a business.
Before you can approach building-out your business and applying more pressure that comes with more sales, more customers and potentially more staff – you need robust foundations on which that growth can rely.
Some of these steps important in this process include;
- Efficient working – To ensure your team is empowered, can work anywhere they need, at any time, without any barriers – you must ensure your working practices, systems and tools are robust and ready to support users at all levels, of any experience and competence. The incredibly costly delays you carry by experiencing any barriers in conducting day-to-day business will vastly hinder your growth.
- Structured & streamlined processes – To stop things slipping through the cracks – you must have resilient, dynamic and logical processes that are documented, systemised and are designed from the ground-up to tackle almost anything that your business might face – operationally, technically and commercially. Only with those processes being mapped out, understood and integrated into the fabric of your day-to-day business, can efficient and productive working be achieved.
- Effortless communication – In a dynamic working world, the way we communicate has changed and will likely continue to change. If the way you and your teamwork has not or will not adapt to new ways of communicating and collaborating, your evolution will be throttled. You must direct how, where and why different forms of communication must be used and ensure that you enforce regular structured forms of verbal (ideally with video) communication – to keep that ever so vital human interaction in place that makes doing business all that bit more pain-free.
- Visibility – Without visibility of what’s going on within your business, how can you ensure your growth will be sustainable? See that you achieve regularly scheduled access to the key performance indicators that demonstrate whether your operations and commercials are on-track, or not. It’s incredibly important to have rear-view mirrors in place, allowing you to maintain oversight on the routine, while you’re charging forward scaling the business in new directions.
- Predictability – With structured processes, an efficient team and visibility of what’s going on, you will be able to better forecast and plan for obstacles in the road as you scale. With that support of predictable insights, you will have comfort in the knowledge that your growth efforts will be sustainable.
You will of course have a vast array of actions to complete in order to achieve each of these individual pillars for growth. They also do not come without their barriers along the way.
Barriers on your journey.
- Time – Time is an issue in every aspect of our lives – there simply never seems to be enough of it. Finding time to implement all these new strategies and work processes can be a near impossibility – to ensure the changes are successful and sustainable, you may likely find it beneficial to change at a pace comfortable to your team, as opposed to implementing change at knee-jerk speed.
- Expertise – Again, in all aspects of our lives, sometimes we simply haven’t got the knowledge/expertise to complete a task alone. It is essential that you get the help you need to make these changes as efficiently, and as cost-effectively, as possible.
- Cost – Depending on the industry your organisation resides in, it could be expensive to implement some of the things needed to scale successfully, finding a cost-effective way of doing things is essential to success.
- Being at the coal face/pressure – As a business owner you are undoubtedly accustomed to pressure, but the pressure of scalability can bring brand new levels of it. Take the pressure in your stride and try not to let it get the better of you.
- Spotting the potential pitfalls – To get the best buy-in from your team, while also helping you identify and plan to overcome any gaps in your strategy, see that you involve members from across your business. They will feel incredibly valued that you have sought out their counsel in planning developments for the business and you may learn of challenges or potential solutions you had not otherwise considered.
A fundamental component, which is often overlooked until much later in any business improvement process, is technology. In the digital age we now find ourselves in, technology is the key driver that when properly aligned to the business, can be phenomenally powerful in resolving many operational challenges – while also helping to be a core part of forming the foundations needed to scale your business.
Technology is the driver.
It is time to appreciate how critically important having strategically aligned technology is to your business in order not only to scale, but to be dynamic and survive in a rapidly changing commercial world; we have explored and detailed how the foundations to scaling your business can be achieved with the support of the right technology, and how through that implementation process, the aforementioned barriers to growth can be tackled head-on.
- Efficient working – With the right technical tools, support of a work from anywhere concept, and strong level of education and understanding among your team for how to best utilise the tools at their disposal; efficient working can be achieved easily. Depending on the nature of your business, this could take many different forms, but first – you should look at the day-to-day responsibilities and task functions among your team. What do they do? How do they do it? How many applications do they use? Where is the data, files and folders they need to access? With the answers to those questions, problems and gaps for improvement will uncover themselves; and by implementing simpler, leaner IT applications, tools and services you can streamline the way your teamwork, and make their work a little more frictionless to achieve and even more enjoyable.
- Structured and streamlined processes – By systemising the way your teamwork and collaborate with one another, and clients alike, you can kill process deviation and human error in one fell swoop. Structure your operational and commercial functions on the train-track style process, while allowing for logical dynamic variations to the likely different outcomes you may experience along the way. Technology, whether a CRM system, file & document management tools, communication and collaboration products, can help you nip any gaps in your processes to prevent anything from falling through the gaps.
- Effortless communication – It should come without surprise that technology is the key platform from which we now all communicate, particularly in recent times. By identifying and putting in place the right tools, how and when they should be used and enforcing an order & schedule by which meetings should take place – you can overcome the challenges of either a lack of communication or indeed the opposite, of over-communication – time lost in a never-ending sea of Teams or Zoom meetings that fail to be overly productive or structured.
- Visibility – Take time to identify where your data is stored and how it is processed, across all forms, across all functions in your business. Map out the opportunities to order that data behind a system that can deliver the visibility you demand in regular, easy to access reporting; whatever forms of data you store and process, and whichever KPIs you need to obtain, the right IT applications and tools will bring together and present that information in a way you need.
- Predictability – As previously mentioned, achieving these foundations will near automatically provide you with more of a predictable picture of the future of your business. With the right technology having now been implemented at the heart of your business, you will have the time, freedom and comfort to know that you can plan and predict your scalable, sustainable future.
Implementing the strategically-aligned technology that you need
So many of our peers in the world of IT, focus on the technology – forcibly shoehorning a business and its processes into tech that might not be the best fit, and then walk away leaving the business to try best adapt their working lives around the tools that have not been tailored to them at all.
At Evolve, we have turned the world of IT Support and digital transformation on its head. Our team of experts take a consultative, board-level approach to implementing technology that best fits the business.
Our process starts by understanding the organisation – its people, responsibilities, challenges, goals and obligations. Only by getting under the skin of those core components, can the right IT tools, applications and infrastructure be identified, tailored to and implemented within the business.
If you are planning for your growth or are simply suffering from poorly aligned technology that is throttling the functions within your business, we can help. Please make contact with our team to schedule a free, no-obligation, discovery call in which we will explore the challenges you face at-hand and leave you with independent insight and considerations that will help map-out the path forward for you and your business.