Common Scalability Mistakes Small Businesses Make with IT
5 Steps To Scaling
You should ensure you understand the following five basic steps to scaling a business before exploring best practices and common mistakes to avoid:
- Take a close look at your business and see how it is currently poised for growth. Consider the steps to boost sales and how growing sales could be accommodated by increasing staffing, infrastructure, systems, and technology. Check your profit and loss entries to see how growth would affect the numbers. Growth in sales means growth in expenses, but you’ll need to confirm where and how much.
- Find a way to finance your business’ growth plan, which may include new technology, additional staff, new equipment, and more space to operate. Financing also includes reporting systems to monitor and measure performance. Determine how much funding you need and how to secure the funds from sources, including loans, lines of credit, grants, and cash reserves.
- Explore your company’s ability to accommodate increases in sales and review the entire process from end to end. This includes generating sales leads and systems to manage leads, sales staffing, order management, and billing.
- Invest in technology that makes it easier and more cost-efficient to scale a business. Wise technological investments can help your business gain economies of scale. Manual work can be minimized with automation. Integrating systems improves issues with management and communication silos that get worse as a company grows.
- Increase your staff or outsource depending on your business’ needs. Consider staffing needs for customer service, manufacturing, inventory management, delivery, and upper management. Check the industry benchmarks for staffing and look at recruiting and hiring systems and human resource management systems for payroll and benefits.
Scaling presents difficult decisions, especially regarding whether a business function should be done internally, outsourced, or by a partner. Third parties will come prepared with staffing and systems to handle business operations more efficiently. Handling operations, especially tech-heavy ones, can be inefficient with money and staffing. A solid partner can help your business scale to accommodate better, faster, and cheaper growth.
Trying To Scale Too Soon
If your company is preparing for growth, you need to ensure scalability provisions are set before trying to grow. Businesses should be sustainable and profitable before you start a plan for rapid growth. Growing systems and staffing requires money, but simply raising prices isn’t an easy way to add to the bottom line. Businesses need to increase the value of their services and products.
It’s essential to leverage first, then scale. Leveraging entails increasing the value of your product so you can increase fees and revenue. Scaling will help decrease the cost of delivering those services by adding efficiencies.
Not Solving a Big Enough Problem
Scaling to solve a smaller problem is not cost-efficient, and you’ll find it almost impossible to deliver results that pay for themselves. For example, solving an issue with limited benefits for only one type of client or one that carries a hefty price tag requires a lot of thought and analysis to see whether its benefits outweigh the risks.
Spot Migration will help you analyze whether certain types of scaling are worth the risk. The general rule is to provide tangible results with high visibility and low risk to bring in business and client dollars.
Lacking Documentation for Processes and Technology
Updated documentation for your company’s processes and technologies is vital to ensure reliable and consistent results and keep things moving if staffing changes. Onboarding and ongoing training are critical to maintaining continuity. Having vital knowledge that resides with one person or a small number of employees is risky. Being single-threaded can cause significant problems if someone is out of the office or moves on to another company.
There are several significant issues that could arise due to poorly documented business processes, including the following:
- Wasted time spent trying to find information and data and operating a system with insufficient documentation.
- Bad decisions based on a lack of information lead to lost revenue or other issues.
- Internal company stress and other organizational issues from vague or insufficient communication.
- Issues with customer service and human resources.
- Inaccurate or unavailable information on employees or clients.
- Inaccurate or inappropriate billing.
Spot Migration can analyze your company’s needs and help you implement a comprehensive onboarding, ongoing training, and process documentation setup that will ensure the successful growth of your business and staff. Properly trained personnel will have higher morale, build customer engagement, and be confident and trusting.
Disconnected Systems and Redundancies
Disconnected systems operate like silos by wasting money and sometimes collecting the same data, but they are unable to share or communicate with each other. Business operations may slow down if systems don’t properly communicate or include redundant, delayed, or inaccurate data. Silos within systems limit real-time viewing of data required for making key decisions. A single integrated system is your best bet to collect and distribute data efficiently to everyone who needs it.
Spot Migration’s experts can analyze your systems and find ways to fix disconnection issues. We’ve got the experience and access to integrated systems that will provide what you need for your data-driven business decisions.
Security Is Lacking
Being vulnerable to a cyberattack can lead to devastating consequences, especially if a business seeks to grow and doesn’t consider developing security protocols simultaneously. Scaling a business needs to include checks for vulnerabilities that could be lurking and place vital data in danger.
It’s far more efficient and safer to be proactive in addressing security shortfalls before something bad happens and you need to mitigate any possible damage. Spot Mitigation can set up security measures and ensure that patches are deployed promptly to prevent vulnerabilities.
Outdated Legacy Systems
Old legacy systems, especially ones that have no internal or external support for updates, hinder your company’s ability to grow and can hurt the bottom line during regular operations. Outdated systems are more susceptible to hackers, hurt productivity, and aggravate employees trying to do their jobs.
Spot Migration can help replace legacy systems, saving you money and frustration when you want to maintain your systems and networks with outdated components, security risks, and a high chance of failure. Call us at 312-561-9703 or complete our secure online form to see what we can do for you.
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