Moving from manual processes to scalable alternatives can relieve a lot of pressure from your business. But making the move can still be a slow and painstaking process. When business is growing and you’re focused on maintaining your momentum, you don’t want to get sidetracked because your technology and tools can’t keep pace.
So what can you do to make an informed decision? “Going for Growth: How to Scale Up Faster”, a new ebook from Upwork and Evernote, looks at current trends, top tools, best practices, and potential opportunities. Here’s a six-step process you can use to collect the information you need.
1. Ask your core team about their biggest pain points
By asking your core team the right questions, you can get valuable perspectives on pain points, inefficiencies, and how they think the business’s needs will change as it expands. Find out what problems need to be solved, then prioritize; you may not find one solution that can address everything, but you’ll have a better sense of what to look for.
2. Ask the right questions of the right people and listen to what they have to say
It isn’t enough to ask for input if you don’t turn to the people who understand the challenges best. Do your research with the people who live the day-to-day details of your business. They’ll be in the best position evaluate how a new tool might impact their daily work – and whether it will actually help.
3. Evaluate how a potential tools will grow with you
Lots of factors can hold a business back or propel it forward – and tools and technology are no different. When choosing a new tool or technology, it’s important to consider the short- and long-term impacts: How well does it integrate with your existing systems? Is it user-friendly? Does the solution itself show that it evolves to meet new standards and expectations?
4. Build a business case for the short and long-term
As you consider the benefits of a new tool be sure to consider the costs – not just initial setup and implementation but ongoing costs for hardware, software, and training as your needs increase.
5. Know what’s available for tech support
Whether it’s getting started or troubleshooting down the road, chances are you’ll need to turn to tech support at some point. And you want to feel confident they can step up. Does the vendor offer implementation, training, security, and upgrades? And if you decide to turn to third-party expertise are there specialists available?
6. Review after implementation
Even with careful research and planning, it’s hard to predict what will happen until you actually have a new solution in place. So go back and review how things are going on a regular basis. Are you seeing the results you anticipated? If not, why? What lessons can be used going forward?
There’s a constant churn of new tools and technology that impact the way we work. Scaling your business doesn’t take the latest and greatest, it relies on finding the solution that most closely fits your high-priority needs.