Your business is successful, you have sorted your pricing and your customers love the products and/or services you deliver. The market, both domestically and abroad is primed for exploitation and growth, so what will stop you making the most of opportunity? What can possibly go wrong?
Many businesses, in particular tech businesses, will one day face a fork in the road. Although they have operated very well at a small scale, they find that once the offering is right and take-up is strong, they are simply not equipped for success.
One obvious concern is the ability of the founders to both hire good managers and then actually hand over expansion to them. Although this can be a major impediment it is not dealt with here. In this blog post we are concerned with the data, processes and systems that you will need to ensure success doesn’t ruin you.
In our opinion, the 5 key areas you need to get this right are:
- Order management; many writers focus a lot on a good and well maintained CRM system. Now, we can agree that active client contact and pipeline management is important, but what will really hurt growth is the inability to manage the order book accurately and quickly. That’s getting quotes out fast and turning them round into clearly documented orders that can be delivered and invoiced. Get this wrong and no matter how good your CRM is it simply won’t convert into money
- Time management; success can easily breed failure (sounds odd, but it’s true). You must keep tight control on your employee’s time and ensure that anything that is billable actually gets billed. As you grow the business, the new people coming in will need more structure from day one than the start-up employees did. Make sure your time controls are fully integrated with the order flow to eliminate re-keying. If not, you will make mistakes and that will cost you money
- Incident management; you’ll have been using something, probably a free version of some SAAS offering. Now is the time to make sure your service desk is not in a silo but fully operating in the end-to-end customer and commercial context
- Contract management; assuming what you sell has a term associated with it (i.e is not simply transactional), a good contract database is essential. It must ensure you bill on time and accurately, plus catch indexation and incremental orders smoothly. It sounds easy, but once the contracts start to run to the 100’s, it’s not
- Invoice management; you have to get rid of the spreadsheets and deliver a system solution to capture each and every billing event. So often tech businesses give services away simply because they are not organised to auto-bill. As important as this is credit control, fully integrated with the order book, not separated on disparate systems
For every one, the watchword is “integrated”. Kill the silos before they slow you down.
Get this system strategy right and the growth will come easy, pretend it doesn’t matter and the growth could ruin you. HarmonyPSA is a professional services automation solution designed to deliver the most complete end to end business operating environment on the market today and takes all these processes in its stride.
If you see growth coming, contact us and we will help you ride the wave, not drown in it.
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter or LinkedIn