Launching a successful business in the tech industry comes with a host of seemingly insurmountable challenges, but if there is anything that tech entrepreneurs can be sure of, it’s that hard work is rewarded with a promise of quick national and international expansion.
This should come as no surprise, as the modern world thrives on companies with innovative tech services and products, but when the time actually comes to scale up your business, things can get rather complicated, rather quickly.
Rapid expansion without a comprehensive growth strategy in place can be disastrous for a tech company, especially if you don’t take the necessary steps to scale up all of your processes and departments, ranging from sales and marketing, through data security and storage, all the way to HR and talent acquisition. After all, this is a company-wide project, so there can be no room for mistakes. With that in mind, here are the five tips that will allow you to successfully scale your tech startup.
Is now the right time to scale?
First and foremost, you have to ask yourself if you should even be thinking about scaling up at this point, or if it would be a more financially-sensible solution to maintain the current level of productivity until the right moment comes to take your business to the next level. Now, this is not a simple question, nor does it necessarily have to have a straightforward answer. For the majority of businesses out there, there will be some distinct pros and cons.
It’s your job to weigh the pros against the cons by analyzing your current standing in the industry, gathering intel, and producing detailed reports. What you might find is that the cost of expansion at this moment is higher than you would like, and that current projections indicate that you would have to struggle before you broke even in the long term. On the other hand, if your analysis concludes that you have the means to scale up, then you can move on to the next step.
Analyze your products, marketing, and customers
The next step towards successful expansion is to identify those core drivers that keep your company afloat, and optimize accordingly. These drives are: branding, products or services, customers, and marketing. It’s important to ensure that all of these drivers are functioning and producing the desired results if you are to safely scale up, increase workflow, market to new audiences, and expand your business without suffering from financial pitfalls.
For example, your current brand identity might sit just right with your local audience and customer base, but what happens if that identity doesn’t perform on a global scale? Likewise, what happens if your current product offering simply doesn’t have what it takes to compete with global brands? Follow this mindset to run a thorough analysis of these drivers, their strengths and weaknesses, and then optimize them for your new target demographic.
Expand your data centers and improve security
As a business grows, so do its needs for more data storage and better cybersecurity evolve as a result. Failing to add storage as you grow and take on more customers and clients, or failing to strengthen your cybersecurity measures are surefire ways to put your company at risk, jeopardize productivity and reliability, and drive your brand’s reputation straight into the ground. Naturally, you can’t allow this to happen.
Instead, it’s important to find a cloud services provider that offers industry-leading and innovative cybersecurity solutions such as next-gen firewalls for cloud access security, end-point protection, network and gateway security, and more. Likewise, it’s important that your business runs on a private cloud infrastructure, in order to ensure top-level data security at all times, all the while making it easy to scale your data center as you grow with minimal downtime.
Automate everything you can
What’s great about modern technology is that it allows business leaders to automate various menial processes and thus save precious financial and other resources, and reallocate them accordingly. This is especially important for your tech company, because if any process is labor-intensive, chances are that you won’t be able to scale up safely or without significant financial loses. With that in mind, be sure to automate everything you can in order to minimize payroll expenses, and direct skill and expertise towards crucial company processes instead.
Manage spending and allocate resources
On a final note, it’s important that you don’t go overboard with your spending at this crucial time. Overinvesting is easy and it can happen without you even realizing that you’re actually wasting financial resources, so it’s important to create a strong financial strategy, and stick to it.
Most importantly, you shouldn’t overinvest in talent acquisition, marketing and sales, and building. Instead, you need to hire people for specific roles pertaining to business expansion, you should invest in the marketing and sales channels with the highest ROI potential (forget the rest), and you should only improve and innovate your products if you need to – don’t try to force new product and features into the market if the demand is lacking.
Scaling a tech startup is a cumbersome, and often daunting task, simply because there are so many proverbial balls in the air – and not a single one is allowed to fall. That said, it is doable, especially if you take a step back, integrate these steps into your strategy, and create a solid battle plan that will take your brand forward in a safe and efficient way.