Whether you are building a business with a view on cashing in (or out!) via an IPO, seeking to attract private investment, or both, there are several factors you need to consider to be successful.
One of the most critical foundations of your business plan is how scalable your business is. What does this mean, and how can you achieve it?
What is scalability?
Investopedia gives a fantastic definition of scalability:
“Scalability, whether it be in a financial context or within a context of business strategy, describes a company's ability to grow without being hampered by its structure or available resources when faced with increased production.”
Think about this definition in the context of your business.
Have you ever said no to taking on a client because you did not have the capacity to do so? What resources would you have needed to have available to have been able to take on that client and grow your business?
The answer is often tech - specifically tech with the capability of automating some or all of your business processes.
5 ways you can scale your business with automation in 2021
Having the capability to scale your business means you can achieve several outcomes at once. You can significantly accelerate business growth while improving service and having happier, more engaged teams working for you.
Here are five processes you can use tech to scale starting today.
1. Scaling financial processes
Financial processes tick every box for whether you should automate something:
- Essential task
- Low-value return
In terms of scaling your business, you can automate everything from your internal payroll processes to client invoicing and even vendor payments. If you automate your finances, you will never need to think about capacity again. Furthermore, you will be able to redeploy some of your finance hours into insight and strategic analysis. In turn, this will help you scale your business to an even greater extent!
2. Scaling customer service to improve service delivery and satisfaction
There are many ways you can scale customer service and remove limits on how many people you can serve at once:
- By using helpdesk software and linked FAQs to help customers solve problems themselves.
- Using chatbot software to automate responses to common queries and reduce the number of people who need to contact you.
- By using self-service tools like account admin areas, your customers can do everything without contacting you.
One of the best examples of scaling customer service in the last decade is the implementation of mobile banking apps. Everything people needed to phone someone or go to the bank to do, they can now do from their smartphones. While this helped giant banks become more profitable, it also created the environment for new banks to enter the market and enjoy sustainable growth.
3. Scaling your lead generation and nurturing process
Anyone who worked in a business development role around 15 years ago can probably tell you how difficult it was to manage their contacts with an Excel database.
Unbelievably, there are still some businesses today for whom this is the norm and that are not using CRM software!
Sourcing leads, nurturing them, and ensuring you only arrange meetings with people you know are interested in your business is challenging and intense. But that is precisely why you should automate it! Not only will it allow you to have more leads in your pipeline, but you can also segment them better and develop a relationship before you ever meet or speak to them in person.
More leads means more opportunities to close and generate revenue, which brings us nicely onto our next point.
4. Scaling your sales processes
It is wise to automate as much of your sales process as you possibly can. If you are selling a digital service like software, your sales process can be wholly online and self-service. Depending on the apps you are using, you can plug these into the others in your tech stack and link your sales process to contract generation, invoice creation, and any onboarding or new customer nurturing process you follow.
The days of needing to close sales in person or over the phone are in the past, and customers are more than happy this way! Automate your sales process so you can scale your business while having as little human intervention as possible!
5. Scaling your legal operations
Whether you are a legal practice, have an in-house legal team, or outsource your legal needs, these tasks can be time-consuming and expensive!
There are various ways in which you can scale your legal operations, including all the following that you can do with Contractbook:
- Contract automation, by integrating contract management software with your CRM platform and the other tools you have used to make a sale. You can also automate updates and link your contracts to your finance apps to help automate invoices.
- Using standardized “plug and play” legal templates that allow you to populate the relevant variables quickly. Depending on what integrations you are using, this might be automated, too, as you can pull the data to populate your contract from your other apps!
- Version control is vital for ensuring your legal documents are in good standing. Using software enables you to easily track version history and store each version without having someone do it.
In addition to these features, you can also use AI document review tools to help identify contract issues and make changes at the click of a button.
Imagine what you can do with the time and money you will save here and how effective your legal team will be if they do not need to focus on such trivial tasks!
How scalable is your business?
You can link the scalability of your business directly to how many processes you can automate.
If you are unable to automate much of your business, this will limit the extent to which you are able to grow, and you will struggle to accelerate growth and profitability to any great extent.
Take the time to consider how scalable your business currently is. Are there any processes you can already automate? Are there any processes you could change that would allow you to automate them?