With over four and a half million Australians employed in the businesses sector with less than 20 employees, it is fair to say that growing companies are the backbone of Australia’s economy and workforce. These businesses are typically able to provide a high level of customer service and they have the flexibility to make decisions quickly.
As businesses continue to grow, they should have an action plan that focuses on how to scale operations and automate core processes. And if they’re smart in doing so, they can very well end up providing best-in-class levels of customer service. Here are the five areas where growing businesses can focus their attention to ensure continued success.
Regular employee engagement
Business owners can be so focused on growth that everything else falls by the wayside. For instance, employees may be uncertain of career progression – wondering what opportunities are available to them. This may pose issues in terms of attracting and retaining talent.
It is key that business leaders recognise the importance of employee development and wellbeing. Setting up automated systems to support performance reviews, engagement surveys, weekly or monthly business-wide ‘stand-ups’ and even health checks can go a long way to foster loyalty and engagement. Creating a series of regular touchpoints with employees will alert business leaders to emerging issues before it’s too late.
Build a scalable supply chain
Any growing business that deals in physical goods will face the unenviable task of having to manage a supply chain effectively. This becomes increasingly complex as these businesses start to coordinate inventory and deliveries across multiple operators, locations and points-of-sale.
Using cloud-based processes empowers growing businesses to use a solution that fits the operational needs, with the flexibility to scale as the business expands.
As these cloud-based platforms allow integration with most major logistics providers, it enables businesses to provide a range of new services from order tracking to on-demand inventory level assessment for store managers.
Sell online with sophistication
While many growing businesses may already have an online presence, it might be challenging to support new services, multiple currencies, payment channels, and delivery options.
Once again, the cloud provides access to powerful e-commerce tools alongside traditional channels. Using cloud-based ERP and supply chain processes, it offers a seamless purchase and delivery experience, with a payment infrastructure that provides a multitude of options.
Don’t sweat the small stuff – outsource
It can be all too easy for business leaders to get ‘in the weeds,’ leaving less time to think about the business holistically. More and more businesses are outsourcing a range of tasks when it makes sense to do so, from IT support and customer service all the way to HR, finance, and marketing.
Luckily, growing businesses don’t need massive budgets and talent managers to outsource tasks that require specialist advice or which are taking time away from business-critical operations. Freelancers have become more accessible than ever before, with many services available that are specifically designed to help entrepreneurs, such as graphic designers, business accountants and marketers.
Use a data-driven approach
Customer data is one of the most valuable resources businesses can use to make smarter decisions. For example, business leaders can use historical data to help predict customer demand for the upcoming festive season and plan product ordering accordingly.
Cloud-based platforms allow business leaders to sort and filter data to deliver real-time insights. For example, historical data can help you discover seasonal purchasing trends, while deeper analysis can uncover cost-savings through supply chain optimisation. It is important to ensure that everyone has clear visibility into the entire operation so that they can respond appropriately and make informed best business decisions.
Knowing how to scale business operations as they continue to grow will return attractive benefits to owners and founders. Robust and efficient offerings such as cloud-based ERP, supply chain and, ecommerce support business leaders with the tools they need to grow the businesses and adapt to consumer demands.
Thankfully and regardless of size, businesses have never been in a better position to grow and scale with ease. Cloud-based businesses management tools are no longer a ‘nice to have’; it’s crucial to business survival.
Opinions are my own and not necessarily the views of Oracle NetSuite.