Scaling your business often comes down to supplying the necessary infrastructure to go from having hundreds or thousands of customers to having hundreds of thousands or even millions. Startups fortunate enough to scale have a brief honeymoon high before the real work begins. Fortunately, as your business increases so do your resources you can use to refine your outreach.
With that in mind, here are some areas where software can help an intelligent business grow efficiently.
Every business needs leads to sell to, but you also need to understand your market and your competition. Consider an example of a marketing automation company. There are a variety of services set up to search for keywords and PPC opportunities, but without knowledge about marketing automation market size and demographics, or how your competition is framing their offering, you’re running on guesswork.
Software that analyzes your target market provides useful information. You might learn how users surf for your website, where they find you, what ads you’re running against the competition.
The best intelligence software allows you to visualize lots of data for a big picture view of your competition and their tactics.
Customer service software typically allows a business to monitor progress made solving customer disputes, track interactions with the company and help everyone on staff improve their level of service. Ticketing systems are some of the more useful ones that nearly every company can deploy.
Ticketing systems allow a business to assign each customer complaint a ticket, so support staff can quickly close the problem out. Managers benefit from tracking metrics like time spent on the phone, or number of questions pointing to the same issue, which allows for big picture adjustments.
Cybersecurity is a major concern for businesses of any size, and smaller businesses will often use cloud-based services to try and protect from hacking. Scaling businesses sometimes outgrow these tools, or need to pay costs to manage expanding server infrastructure. This is especially true for software companies that offer a monthly service to users.
Cybersecurity tends to go beyond anti-virus software and looks more at serve uptime and traffic monitoring. This kind of software is designed to detect traffic spikes that might indicate an attack or send out an alert when downtime triggers.
Scaling companies also invest in more IT resources, a must have as more employees come on board and require access to sensitive customer or business data.
HR is an important part of company growth, so software in this category tends to help businesses manage their human capital better and acquire new talent.
Software suites based on job hunting help recruiters post to relevant job websites and provide tools to quickly separate qualified applicants. Other tools help managers monitor response times and coordinate with other department heads to find more qualified applicants faster.
HR also fulfills the important role of managing existing employee time clocks. Good software provides tools to clock in and out remotely, manage hours, review schedules and set or request vacation hours.
Software can expand nearly any function of a business but is highly dependent on needs. Some businesses may move stock, so supply chain management software would be invaluable. Such suites give insight into products being moved and allow better contact between suppliers for faster invoicing.
Software can also manage a remote workforce. Even Google Drive, a very basic application by business standards, has the ability to collaborate with peers.
Scaling is all about doing the job more efficiently while providing the same level of service. Focus on acquiring software that makes collaboration easier, while documenting and helping to eliminate potential roadblocks.