Designing Your Business for Scalability with Technology
Updated: Jun 2, 2021
When a business is scaling fast, it’s tempting for the founder and team to create band-aid solutions because they don’t have the time to think about the “back-office” function - their focus is building and growing.
Until one day, these band-aid solutions here and there create more problems and take longer to fix.
The faster you grow, the more critical it is to improve your overall efficiency to free up capacity for yourself and your team.
Software technology has evolved massively in the past decade, with cloud-based apps now fundamental to many of your business’s internal and external processes.
When building your app stack, you’ll need to ensure that each component is the best fit for your business and that, where possible, they integrate.
Below is a process for helping you to do this effectively:
1. Document all your current apps, systems, processes, and technology available as of today.
Identify the issues you’re facing or potential areas for improvement in your business by talking to all stakeholders within the business. Ask whether these issues can be resolved with more training or updating the current system, process, or technology? Make sure you prioritize the issues you don’t currently have a solution for.
2. Decide on the main aims of your software systems.
Look at the specific purposes of the business and tie each app into the various operations within your business model. A service-based company, for example, focuses on staffing solutions vs. a product-based business focuses on inventory and supply chain solutions;
3. Make sure your apps integrate with your accounting system.
This means data and financial information can flow seamlessly between your apps and accounting software, helping you keep all your management information up to date and allowing a faster decision-making process.
4. Look for opportunities to automate manual processes.
If there’s a low-level manual process in your business, try to find a way for your apps to automate this. For example, a credit control app, like Chaser, will send out automatic payment reminders to your customers if their invoice becomes overdue. And a bookkeeping app, like Receipt Bank, will snap photos of your receipts and automatically digitize and code the contents.
5. Research the app market in depth.
Look at online reviews, talk to your industry network and find out which apps your peers trust and would recommend. Where possible, try out free trials and demos, so you have had some hands-on experience with the apps on your shortlist. The more user time you have, the easier your purchasing decisions will be.
6. Look for an excellent user interface (UI).
If you and your team will be using an app every day, it needs to be easy to use, with a small learning curve. Choose apps that have a great UI and offer a quality user experience. The sooner you can get up and running with your solution, the more value this app will add to the business.
7. Partner with apps that offer excellent customer support.
The functionality and ease of using your app are obviously important considerations when you’re looking to buy. But don’t underestimate the importance of solid, helpful, and personalized customer support. Look for apps with phone support, good customer service ratings, and a happy and satisfied user base – check app forums to get the lowdown on this.
8. Implement your app stack.
Complete your final testing, update your process documentation, train your team, and update job descriptions. You can then migrate your data and go live.
9. Review your app stack regularly.
It might be helpful to undertake a complete annual review to ensure your app stack still meets your needs and all technology is up to date.
Our job as your financial partner isn’t just to deal with your numbers. We can also help you review your operations, formulate the most efficient systems and choose the apps that can deliver the most effective and productive business performance. If you need help with the process to build your app stack, connect with us.