“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”
– James Cash Penney
Is there a wall between your business and exponential growth?
You might need several tools to knock it down. Because there isn’t one secret ingredient: it takes multiple strategies aligned with your overall business goal to future-proof progress.
At a recent Platform ExO masterclass, we joined successful business leaders to discuss how marketing, finance, people and technology are essential factors for sustainable growth.
Keep reading to discover their key points with particular focus on our Managing Director’s technology takeaways.
Marketing Isn’t Just for Customers
To attract and retain the best talent, you need a marketing strategy that makes your employer brand stand out.
Mike Pye, Director of the marketing consultancy Mike Pye + Co, spoke from experience. He explained why businesses should only focus on new business when it comes to marketing, special attention should be made to attracting exceptional talent and it should be a key element of your strategy.
Mike discussed how businesses could utilise marketing as a recruitment strategy to help give them a competitive advantage in the war to attracting the best people. He made reference to the techniques employed by both giant corporations and smaller North West Businesses to great effect including content marketing, social media, automation, paid strategies and the power of live events to build a pipeline of top talent.
The Financial Foundations Needed to Grow Your Business
Helen Fleet, a freelance financial director, talked about the importance of having a rock-solid financial plan to future-proof your business’ evolution.
The trick is identifying the main strains on cashflow during each growth phase. So you can ensure you have enough funding and operational resources in place to finance growth.
Doing so helps you plan and combat cashflow issues so you aren’t held back by months in the red. A carefully considered financial plan also gives you clarity on what drives profit in your business so you can make smart investments and focus on the products or services that will enable you to grow at speed.
How to Build Elite Teams
Martin Murphy is a former special forces soldier, international adviser and coach to leaders and high-performance teams. Developing elite teams was the core topic of his session and is also the basis of his new book ‘From Mercenaries to Missionaries‘.
His key lesson during the event was understanding how commitment, courage and humility are attributes you need to nurture to become a leader of high-performance teams.
Martin also discussed the three core skills of high-performance teams, the strategies needed to find the right people and how to empower your team to collaborate powerfully so they are “engaged in the unrelenting pursuit of excellence.”
If creating high-performance teams ties into your plan for growth (as it should!), you should definitely check out Martin’s book.
Why Technology is Fundamental to Achieving Fast Growth
During Barry Lowe’s session (our Managing Director), he emphasised how a technology plan is imperative for sustainable growth.
Based on his eons of experience working with fast-growth businesses, he identified the biggest reasons why companies are held back by specific technological problems:
- Not having a proper technology plan
- Not understanding what the long-term plan is for the businesses and how tech is a part of that
- Firefighting with outdated technology
- Poor processes
- Not keeping up with technological trends
- Not investing in adequate back-up solutions
He then used real-life examples to show how businesses can overcome these problems to improve their processes and drive progress.
Investing in the Right Technology
When GB Taekwondo approached San-iT, they had spent huge amount on technology with little strategy as to how it should all work together to help the organisation achieve it’s aims, (winning Olympic Gold).
San-iT stepped in and helped the organisation build an IT plan which included technology that would bring real value to the business. For example, software such as Microsoft Power BI was implemented so GB Taekwondo could gather data on opponents and display it easily to give its athletes a competitive edge. They also benefited from improved collaboration, file sharing and security to boot.
Seamless Employee Onboarding
A lot of businesses looking to grow rapidly struggle to meet the demands of an expanding workforce. For example, a financial mis-selling San-iT client wanted to go from two employees to over 100 in a very short space of time. But they lacked a technology plan that would enable them to bring new staff up to speed swiftly.
San-iT worked closely with the company to implement a cloud-based scalable solution that would enable seamless employee on-boarding. And to help the client keep costs down, we recommended using technology leasing models (HaaS and SaaS) so they could pay a monthly fee for serviced technology rather than spending massive amounts on buying hardware outright.
Both actions allowed the company to increase its workforce to 35 people over two months. Also, because the new staff were trained in the business rapidly, they were able to hit the ground running immediately making revenue for the business.
8 Essential Steps to Aligning Tech to Growth
Barry also shared our intuitive process to give businesses the knowledge and structure needed to create a technology plan that’s in line with their growth goals and on budget. This ensures they invest in the right technology at the right time to overcome growing pains.
This process is called the 8 Essential Steps to Aligning Tech to Growth and it’s something we go through with every client to ensure we advise them on the right technology for their business and objectives. Feel free to use it for your own business to nail your technology plan:
Don’t Neglect Back-Up and Security
The Platform ExO masterclass concluded with Barry’s final piece of wisdom for high-growth business owners.
He warned how businesses can disappear overnight from security breaches or a loss of data. In fact, 60% of small businesses that lose data shut down within six months. Which is why investing in back-up and recovery software or services isn’t optional, it’s a necessity. You can find out more on the San-iT website.
What’s your take on the essential strategies for exponential growth? Let’s continue the discussion on Twitter! In the meantime, check out our blog for heaps more insight into how technology can help you supercharge progress.