Scaling requires both humans and technology to be successful.
Planning to scale your business without focusing on technology’s role? Good luck. Without the right tech, you may as well replace your CRM with stone tablets.
Growth never happens by accident, even if you’re already in a great position. You may have a product your customers love, a big market ready to accept you, and a staff up to the challenge. However, none of that matters if you can’t deliver the same results when your customer base explodes.
Maybe you’re not as ready to scale as you think. What happens if the surge in demand for your product fizzles out? What happens if your vendors can’t keep up or you don’t have the financial stability to push through tough times? If you scale too quickly or too slowly, your dreams of market dominance may never come to fruition.
The smartest companies scale marketing automation by creating long-term plans and carefully implementing the right tools to achieve them. You can’t hire more humans to work through every problem — not if you expect to make a profit, anyhow. Scaling a business means leveraging tech to do more with less.
If you are truly ready to scale and want to learn how, follow these tips to pick the tech tools that are right for you:
1. Re-evaluate your user friendliness.
Don’t abandon the needs of the niche that got you started. Do, however, lean on technology to make your offering more appealing to a larger group of people, expanding your customer base. It doesn’t matter whether you provide housecleaning services, sell bookcases, or teach tech CEOs to do yoga. In every industry, the companies that provide the most user-friendly products or services win the most business.
You can focus on the power of your solution all you want, but it won’t matter if no one can figure out how to turn on your product or locate your brick-and-mortar location to use your services. Take a lesson from Pariveda Solutions and the Houston Food Bank. Using the power of Amazon Web Services, Pariveda created an app that helps families in need find nearby food banks quickly and easily. This tech investment helped the Houston Food Bank expand its reach — aka scale — without hiring an army of outreach specialists.
Never assume your product or service offers a good user experience just because your existing audience likes it. Perform usability testing to discover potential issues and correct them before you make heavy investments in expansion. Something that may seem intuitive to you may be alien to the users you plan to target.
2. Kick-start employee onboarding.
Employee onboarding takes a long time. The longer employees spend in training, the more they cost the business. That may not hurt much when you have a team of five, but scale your company to 30, and suddenly, you have an onboarding and training cost crisis on your hands.
Use technology to streamline your new hire onboarding process. Your existing team members are highly valuable, which means they don’t need to waste their days helping rookies fill out forms. Invest in tools that help employees add themselves to email lists and learn the ropes of self-serve benefits systems. Talmundo, for example, digitizes all of your onboarding paperwork and provides a roadmap of the onboarding process, while the all-in-one software platform Zenefits allows new hires to self-onboard — doing everything from accepting offer letters to completing tax and benefits enrollment forms — before they even walk through your door.
Tools like these allow newbies to figure out the easy stuff on their own and spend more time learning role-specific tasks. What’s more, the latest HR tech comes packaged with shiny AI capabilities. Smarter tools not only help businesses train new workers quickly, but they can also help you recruit employees who will catch on faster. Select the tools that make sense for your company’s size, industry, and goals to slash training time and give your growing team a running start.
3. Jump into the marketing fast lane.
Adding your emails to a scheduling tool doesn’t qualify as marketing automation. To scale successfully, invest in marketing tools that help you track, analyze, and execute better campaigns.
Rival IQ, for instance, analyzes social media accounts within your industry to show you how you stack up against the competition. If other brands are gaining followers because of their awesome videos, this tool lets you know. Meanwhile, SEMRush’s Keyword Magic tool helps you make the most of your all-important content whether you want to evaluate the effectiveness of your current SEO strategies or delve into new territory.
These are just two of the hundreds of useful martech products currently available. Lead scoring, email marketing, social media management, analytics — if it’s a marketing function, someone out there has the tech to make it easier. Use those resources to help your company grow at the speed you want in the direction you choose.
Still think you’re ready to scale on your own? Technology these days can handle almost any task that humans can. Leave the easy stuff to the robots so you and your team can spend your valuable time on the strategy and tactics that will help you achieve your scaling goals.