Making the jump from humble start-up to successful business is always going to be challenging.
Promising entrepreneurs are often focused on the here and now rather than what could and should happen in the future. It’s all about having the right marketing for the moment and getting that product or service out there in front of their potential customers.
But what happens when you find your business taking off and your success suddenly exceeds expectations? How do you manage that sudden growth spurt? Do you have the resources?
Developing a plan to scale up your business quickly ensures you aren’t left hanging in the wind when that crucial challenge arrives.
The good news is that today’s technology is largely geared to helping businesses tackle the issue of growth. Put the appropriate building blocks in place and you should find that things are a lot easier than they used to be.
Why the Cloud is the Best Place to Hang Out
Head back just a decade and scalability was a big issue for companies that were fortunate to find themselves succeeding in the marketplace. It brought all sorts of problems for resourcing infrastructure, taking on new staff and meeting customer demand, while nervous bosses did all they could to raise the finance for expansion.
Cloud services have become the norm over the last five years and for good reason. They give businesses the flexibility they need to expand without spending top dollar on IT infrastructure. If you want to deliver scalability it’s the only workable solution on the planet at the moment.
The vital point is that the cloud has delivered us the ‘platform economy’ which allows us to pick and choose the tech that is really going to help us drive our business forward. The cloud basically forms the foundation from which all else good and great about business support operates, including third-party suppliers.
Choose Third Party Suppliers That Understand Scalability
Outsourcing is now the name of the game for a large proportion of companies around the globe and it’s easy to see why. Even major corporations are moving away from onsite services to more flexible third-party suppliers.
The cloud enables us to use technology platforms like Office 365, getting staff to collaborate and work more productively in the workplace and on the move. It lets us pick and choose internet security and maintain it 24/7 without having to employ a whole host of extra IT staff. It allows us to do our books, pay our clients and customers, send out orders and produce reports on how well we’re doing.
Outsourcing through third party suppliers has become the norm for several reasons. The biggest one, of course, is cost. You can pay a third-party service for just the things you need without all that extra baggage. You can start small and focused because most offer the option to scale up quickly and efficiently when you needed. In turn, third-party services are keen not to hold companies into extensive contracts and competition within the marketplace is helping to bring those costs down further.
The other big benefit, of course, is that flexibility. This technology means you can access almost anything you want without adding to your physical infrastructure. And that means you have scalability automatically written into your business model.
Automation Gives Your Room to Expand
Automation has had a bad rap over the last five or six years but it’s now beginning to come into its own. The simple reason is that AI is literally improving every day. You can now get chat bots that mimic real people. The next time you engage with a helpline on social media, the chances are you’re going to be talking to a program that uses artificial intelligence and not someone sat in an office.
The major problem with growing your business fast is that you start to need more staff to take care of things and you need those people quickly. If you can hand some of those more mundane tasks over to artificial intelligence, however, that doesn’t need to be the case. In truth, automation is still in its infancy but even today there are programs and algorithms that process and deal with relatively complex tasks.
Investing in Data: How Better Analytics Can Power Your Forward
Big data is the current buzzword when it comes to marketing but most people don’t fully understand what it means.
As you scale your business the need for full-proof analytics becomes even more vital if you want to stay ahead of the competition. AI comes to the rescue again by helping analyse the huge amounts of data available. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to locate and reach out to the customers who are really going to buy your service or product.
The key to big data is that, if you know how to leverage it properly, it can better inform your decision making which means you can continue to upscale your business and not lose momentum.
That Internet Connection is Still Your Best Friend
With all the talk about big data, process automation and the cloud, we often forget that our online activity is only ever as good as our connection. For those who remember the old dial up internet connection back in the early noughties when it took an age to connect to the web, you’ll understand how frustrating a poor service can be.
The last thing you need when you are looking to scale up your business is significant downtime. That’s why opting for an internet leased line is vital if you want to stay ahead of the game and up with the competition.
Leased line differs from a standard broadband connection because it’s a dedicated connection between your business office or premises and the local exchange. That means you get a set bandwidth that is not subject to vagaries such as how many other people are using the line at the same time. That means also that your upload and download speeds remain constant.
Leased lines are offered at much higher speeds than standard broadband connections. In fact, you can buy them from 10 Mbps right up to 10,000 Mbps. They use fibre optic cable, which means they are generally more reliable than the old copper cables.
Leased lines also tend to come with better support. You may be paying a higher price but you get plenty of extras for that premium and you don’t have to worry that your connection is suddenly going to fade at an important moment.
Planning for growth and having the processes in place to be able to upscale has been better facilitated in recent years because of numerous advances in technology. If you’re a child of the millennium, you’ll already be in tune with these developments. If you’re a little older, however, reaching out and exploring what the latest tech has to offer is vital if you want your business to have every chance of success.
Put the right technological building blocks in place and you improve your ability to be agile and forward thinking in an increasingly competitive and demanding market place.