Investing in fit-for-purpose IT systems, software, and services can make or break a growing business.
Access to the right technology lends a significant competitive advantage, making your operations more agile in responding to changing business needs, boosting satisfaction among your employees, and leading to better productivity.
Here are seven technology tips to help manage the increasingly complex administrative and operational requirements that come with growing a business.
In this article:
- Use customer relations management software
- Gather feedback
- Use a business communication platform
- Invest in project management software
- Move to SaaS and data in the cloud
- Look after your business data
- Make growth easy with an integrated business management system
Use customer relations management software
The bigger your business grows, the more prospects and customers you will need to track. At some point, this will get difficult without a dedicated customer relations management system (CRM).
With a good CRM in place, your marketing and sales teams can build workflows to find prospects and convert them into customers.
Tracking service delivery, customer retention and other marketing and sales metrics also becomes easier.
Your company will get a better understanding of the customer base, enabling you to build a more targeted and effective marketing strategy to win over more and better clients.
Are you planning to grow your business? Did you gather feedback? If you don’t know and understand your customers and staff, how will you keep them on your side as you expand?
With good survey software in your toolkit, you can easily collect feedback and ideas, analyse data, produce easy-to-understand reports, and make sound business decisions based on insights from the people that matter: your customers and staff.
Use a business communication platform
As your business grows, so will your workforce. At some stage, you will need to operate across multiple offices, cities, or even time zones.
How will your team stay connected and work efficiently together when that happens?
A good business communication platform can replace the phone, email, fax, conference calls, and more. This will let your employees talk, meet, message, and collaborate in real time, regardless of where they are.
Most, if not all, modern communication and collaboration platforms are device agnostic, meaning they work on any type of device, from smartphones and tablets to computers, across all the major operating systems.
These systems are normally cloud-based – making them easy to implement – with security taken care of by your provider.
Popular platforms include Microsoft Teams and Slack. If you’re looking for a communications platform seamlessly integrated into a comprehensive business management system, check out ContinuSys C-Work.
Invest in project management software
How easy it was when your business was just a start-up and the team was working on just a handful of projects… Tracking progress, expenditure, risks, and milestones was as easy as asking the project manager, who was quite possibly sitting right next to you.
In a growing business, it’s not that easy. With project teams in multiple offices working on more projects than you can count, you may already have set program management teams and even hired portfolio delivery managers to keep everything on track.
If that sounds familiar, and your business is still running projects using Kanban boards and spreadsheets, consider investing in project management software.
A good project management platform helps your team plan, budget, and schedule projects, track progress against milestones, and keep expenditures under control. It also enables better risk management and provides whole-of-company project, program, and portfolio reporting capabilities.
Move to SaaS and data in the cloud
Companies of all sizes are increasingly moving away from the complex, in-house server and network infrastructure in favour of cloud services. The reasons are simple: cost and scalability!
Physical IT infrastructure needs to be supported by a dedicated team, and growing your business means expensive hardware and network upgrades.
Meanwhile, cloud service providers handle this as part of the subscription fee, and scaling up is as easy as buying additional licenses.
Transitioning to cloud-based software and services will minimise fixed costs and eliminate issues due to IT infrastructure not keeping pace with business needs. In turn, this will help your company stay agile and grow to its full potential.
Look after your business data
Data is one of the most valuable business assets. Companies cannot run properly without continuous access to their intellectual property, trade secrets, customer insights, and sales information.
Growing businesses need to implement versioning, retention, and backup policies to ensure their data is safe.
Doing so facilitates better compliance with legal requirements for keeping and disposing of business records, and lets employees roll back their work in case of corrupt files or unintended changes. It also provides an important layer of protection in case of ransomware attacks.
Reputable cloud solutions include all of these features and more, as do SaaS integrated business management systems.
This brings us to our final and most important small business technology tips for growing your businesses.
Make growth easy with an integrated business management system
As your business expands and operations become more complex, the handful of software tools that may have worked for you initially will struggle.
Administrative functions, like billing, accounting, time tracking, payroll, project management, and data backup, will become more demanding.
You may also find your software and systems do not talk to each other, leaving different parts of the company working in silos. As a result, efficiency takes a toll, and decision-making suffers.
One of the best things you can do for your growing company is to invest in an integrated business management system, such as ContinuSys IBMS.
Our collection of integrated applications will help your business improve its efficiency and profitability.
With all company data stored in a common database, every part of the business can work from a single source of truth, making it easier to plan for growth and make sound commercial decisions based on trusted data.
The team at ContinuSys is ready to help you realise these benefits and grow your company. Our integrated suite of web and mobile apps empowers everyone within the company to always work at their best. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.