— How to Scale Your Startup, Small or Medium-Sized Business
2020 was a year of radical change, but many businesses are now ready to return to some form of normal. In fact, 72 percent of small and medium-sized businesses are optimistic about their business outlook for 2021.
If you’re a growing business and you’re wondering how to scale this year despite the challenges of 2020, here are some insights on the process of development.
Start Your SWOT Analysis
The Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis is just one technique to help you determine where your business stands now. You can then identify where you want to go in the future.
Not only does this process encourage growth, but it also reinforces your operations in desperate times. The pandemic, for instance, was a time of operational re-evaluation for many companies. 41 percent of small and large businesses with 100-2,500 employees have made significant changes to business strategy due to COVID-19.
What does your business do well? What are the best parts of your products and services?
Your strengths are the best parts of your products and services that give you a unique competitive edge.
What does your business struggle to do well? What parts of your business are underperforming?
Consider these as target areas of improvement and investment.
What parts of our operations can expand? What new markets or technology can you adopt? These areas of potential inform key steps towards expansion and scaling.
What do your competitors do well? What market trends threaten the relevance of your products and services?
Threats come in many forms depending on various external factors such as your competitors, consumers, and technology or resources. They can challenge your current state of operations or future investments.
Understanding the key factors in the state of your business, helps you identify where and how the scaling process begins.
Embrace Digital Transformation
Technology is a critical factor in the changes to a business strategy. Significant changes like digital transformation helped many businesses confront challenges produced by the pandemic.
Digital transformation (DX) is the integration of digital technology to replace or reinforce work operations in various areas of the business. It can automate work processes, centralize information, and increase overall productivity. Such improvements are valuable in a pandemic, but they’re also instrumental in the scaling process.
Last year, increasing productivity was the top reason that small and medium-sized businesses started implementing more digital tools.
The operational shift improves day-to-day work processes for the better.
Technologies like the cloud can automate tasks such as inventory, marketing, and analytics tracking. Other digital technologies like AI offer self-service options to customers that help support staff manage requests and increase engagement.
This directly benefits smaller businesses that lack the staffing capacity to manage large volumes of customer demands.
If your business has limited resources, digital transformation can help you manage core parts of your business and offload tasks.
Invest in Product and Business Development
In Silicon Valley’s study on startup business culture in 2020, more than 60 percent of startups said that product development was the top skill they needed in their talent acquisition.
Research and development were also included in this 60 percent. These numbers even exceeded the need for proper talent in sales and technical departments. Ultimately, the demand for development resources highlights an important challenge for smaller companies.
Locating talent outlets in development is just one step closer to building the business.
However, companies can also get started by using development frameworks to help them reimagine the application of their products and services. For example, front-end innovation evaluates the scope of specific products and how that scope may be expanded. On the other hand, new product development (NPD) generates prospects for new offers that the company can introduce.
These frameworks are particularly important for startups that intend to disrupt the market. They can help smaller companies build a strong go-to-market launch that gives them a competitive edge.
If you’re focusing on business development as a growing company, you may need more working power behind your operations.
Here’s where you may consider outsourcing certain parts of your business.
Consider Outsourcing Your Operations
Many growing startups, small and medium-sized businesses want to expand certain areas of their business but don’t have the resources to do it.
Outsourcing enables businesses to access these resources and improve their work processes. In addition to increasing productivity, outsourcing can also help businesses identify more cost-savings opportunities.
When you outsource operations, you delegate tasks to a larger team that manages the day-to-day process. Businesses often outsource operations in IT, marketing, sales, and support. However, it’s also possible to outsource your business process and development operations.
As a smaller company, delegating your tasks can improve your ability to focus on and grow your business. This kind of flexibility is one of the reasons that 80 percent of small businesses plan to outsource for the year ahead. Most of these include small businesses with less than 10 employees.
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to get started on expanding your business and minimizing the workload.
One of our clients was able to achieve and exceed their growth goals, even as a growing startup company. We helped them launch a business development plan that increased their sales and their staffing capacity.
If you want to tap into your scaling potential in 2020, OKIN Process has the resources you need to do it. Whether you’re a startup, a small or medium-sized business, or an enterprise, we have solutions that fit the current scale of your operations and help you grow. Contact us today and we’ll help you consider your options for business development