As a high-growth SMB, you are unique. The rules that apply to the corporate giants do not apply to you. You have your own business issues, from improving your workforce productivity to increasing profitability to reducing operational costs.
But as you transition from start-up to established company, sustainable, stable growth will be your priority. This means that you need to continue to find and land new customers. You have probably exhausted your personal network of friends, acquaintances, and business contacts to sell to. You’re now looking to develop sustainable, flexible processes to boost sales, reduce operational costs, and (you guessed it) support growth.
To successfully do that, you need to establish a strong foundation that will power your business into the future. What do we mean by “foundation”? Well, “foundation” can mean many things; it can be the people you hire or the processes you establish or the markets you enter or the brand you establish or (yes) even the technologies you use.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Well, here are 5 things you can do right now that will set you on the right path:
1. Understand what your time costs. Do you find yourself being sucked into the miasma of everyday tasks? Are you spending all day in a conference room trying to figure out the layout of your newest tradeshow booth? Are you making decisions about what type of canapes are going to be served at a customer appreciation golf outing? If so, then you might need to take a moment to really understand what you time is worth. Should you be doing these rote tasks or should someone else? Outsourcing is not a dirty word, and it can happen inside the four walls of your company ― through delegation ― or outside the four walls ― by hiring an event planner or agency.
2. Understand the power of automated processes and workflows. Have you hired a full-time employee or brought on a temporary worker to file paper expense reports? Is your finance department drowning in paper? Are your salespeople quoting product orders via spreadsheets and email? If so, automation and workflows could become your two new best friends.
3. Understand the profitability of your current customers. The often-repeated statistics are true. Your current customers are your most profitable. They like your brand. They have had a good experience with your company. And customers (as in most people) are creatures of habit. If you treat them right and provide them with an excellent product or service, they will come back. The trick is to remain present. “Out of sight, out of mind” and “customer retention” are two phrases that do not work well together.
4. Ensure that newly hired people add value. As you grow, you have to hire people (to keep you out of those conference rooms trying to work through booth configurations). Your employees are your greatest (and most expensive) asset. Therefore, whenever you decide the time is right to bring additional employees on board, hiring the right ones is crucial. For a small to medium business, one person can have a huge impact. It is up to you whether or not that impact is good or bad.
5. Align your IT solution with your business goals… not the other way around. As you strive to grow and bypass your competition, you need technology that cannot only scale as you grow but is flexible enough to pivot with your company as it changes course (and it will change course; Netflix is a perfect example). The cloud can be the solution you are looking for, but not just any cloud. You need the “right cloud” ― one with the right level of integration, flexibility, collaboration, and at the right cost.
Intrigued? Want to know how to actually do these 5 things? Check out Oracle’s newest SMB ebook, From Survive to Thrive: 5 Actions You Can Take Right Now to Help Your SMB Grow.
In this informative ebook, you will be able to calculate what your time is worth, helping you understand what activities you should undertake, and what activities are better to outsource. In addition, you will learn the “5 Talent Acquisition Don’ts” and other key insights to help you grow and evolve your business.
So don’t wait, download our ebook today!