Simplification: the key to successful SME growth

Thursday, 29 September 2016

When businesses start out, things are simple. However, as companies grow, operations can become more complex, resulting in the company becoming less effective, less profitable and less nimble...

When businesses start out, things are simple. However, as companies grow, operations can become more complex, resulting in the company becoming less effective, less profitable and less nimble.

We’ve all seen companies with unnecessarily complicated ways of working. When these companies start to flounder, it’s easy to guess why. However, it is not always easy to simplify and the best intentions can sometimes remain just that, intentions.

Technology can help a company’s growth by simplifying operations, however when not used in the right way it can also be a source of complexity! Therefore, choosing the right technology platform is key. Here are a few tips to consider to ensure that the technology you choosing will continue to support your business and not hinder growth!

Complete technology solution:A single solution that helps to manage multiple aspects of your business such as an e-commerce website, CRM, marketing, sales, order management, inventory, and customer service can lighten the load and make it simpler for you to get a complete picture of your business. This is a more efficient and cost effective way to run your business.

Using analysis to simplify: Consider a software solution with inbuilt analytics so you can get a robust analysis of the different parts of the business. This will significantly cut down on the time you spend reviewing data to understanding how your business is doing.

Automating processes: Many processes can be automated to reduce your workload so you can focus on what is important. When shipping a product to a customer, for example, you can automate almost everything, from printing shipping labels, calculating shipping rates and delivery times, to sending track package notifications. This can also be integrated into business software solutions so you have even less to worry about.

Help customers to help themselves: Not every customer question has to be answered by a member of your team. Simple solutions, such as a FAQs section on the website, can be enormously helpful. Taken a step further, when the customer has a query or needs support, the right technology can help them create their own service tickets and track them. This gives customers an enhanced customer experience and your business a more effective way to track what your customers are saying about you.

Getting the right support: Small business owners are experts in what they do, but can’t be expected to be experts in every single area of owning a company – that’s why most small businesses source outside lawyers and accountants to help them make these decisions. Equally, when it comes to technology, make sure that you have the right ongoing support for your business, so should you need it, you can very quickly find the right solutions.

Simplifying a business is an ongoing challenge. There are a constantly changing set of variables involved in running a business but having a simplifying mindset can help make running a business more manageable and will hopefully get you closer to achieving your goals.

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