Business growth: How the systems you use can ease the pain
As a business owner, there’s one thing that I see as core to our success: Growth. We all strive for growth in the business, not just in our numbers, but also in our ability to deliver for our staff and our clients.
Achieving growth can be a challenge; anyone in business knows that well. While growth is good, it’s not great for your long-term viability if it’s not planned and sustainable.
For me, the biggest roadblock to growth you face is a lack of information. Business information is crucial to making an informed decision, so what role does the technology and systems you use play in delivering long-term success?
Three areas to focus on
Being a technology company, we have a huge amount of in-house experience in understanding how technology can help you better manage and use your business information. Where that’s helped me most is in my business planning approach.
Every year during our planning phase, we start by looking at the business in three parts: Cash, people, and systems.
Firstly, cash might sound obvious, but it’s more than just revenue, profit, or even simple cash flow. We look more at the projects and targets we’re looking to deliver, and work backwards to ensure we can appropriately budget for them. If we need to tweak or realign this, then we know upfront and can be proactive about it.
Secondly, we look at our people. Do we have the right skill mix to deliver the growth we want? Do we need to add new roles/experience to the team, or is it something we can upskill our people to deliver? The people part is crucial to our success.
Thirdly, we look at what we call ‘systems’; That is, the tools and workflows we use within the business to help our team get the job done. It’s here that I think technology has made the difference in our business. In the digital age, how you manage business information is absolutely vital. Making it work for you, your management, and your overall team, is the key to strong growth and the ability to deliver.
The business tools you use enable you to share information, speeding up responses to your clients and partners. They give you the data to make informed decisions. They drive the streamlining of processes and an understanding of how your business is truly performing. Your systems also enable your team to work wherever they are, whenever they need, enabling true remote working.
How it’s helped our business
From a practical standpoint, the best example I can give you is our own setup at Inland Digital.
Internally, we’ve invested heavily on workflow software to manage our core sales and delivery processes. Together, this forms the backbone of our business and touches every department. It’s absolutely critical to our ability to deliver for our clients.
A number of years ago, when we started the process, it would be fair to say that we weren’t as automated in this area as we would have liked to be. That meant we had manual processes that made it difficult to streamline our own operations.
What we invested in was a solution that gives us visibility across the entire workflow of a client order, from the time it is submitted, to delivery and installation of the product or service. It enables us to see any bottleneck instantly, giving our team the ability to resolve any potential challenge before it arises. If something does go amiss, we can see the issue in real time and fix it immediately. Most importantly, we can access the workflow anywhere, at any time. So, if I’m travelling or working remotely, I can still see the process in action and ensure my tasks are being completed as required.
The key is that it has revolutionised the way we deliver to our clients and enabled us to have sustainable growth. Interested in seeing what we’ve done in more detail? DM me and let’s start the conversation!