If your business is growing, you are definitely in a good place and doing something right. However, you have some difficult decisions ahead. As most companies scale, their ability to service customers at the same performance level becomes a function of proper administration. In all cases, good administration means mindful delegation – letting go of some of the direct responsibility in exchange for more specialized service. You also help your employees to specialize, which is a must if you are are looking to raise productivity in the office to match consumer demand.
There comes a time in the life of every business that outside expert advice should become a priority. When does a business turn this corner? What are the signs? Let’s take a look.
Key Consumer Metrics
Why are people doing business with your company? You are either first, best or different at some core aspect of your business. Quantifying the why here is essential to gaining loyal customers. You may have outstanding customer service, an extremely good turnaround time or an industry leading success rate once people apply your product to a problem.
At some point, one or more of these key metrics may begin to suffer or stagnate because of your rising scale. For instance – as great as your phone reps are, they simply cannot handle the new volume of calls coming in. At this point, outsourcing the relevant aspects of your business to a specialist may be a wise course of action. You should continue to quantify the results of their actions to ensure that your key metrics are moving in the right direction, especially those customer facing metrics that bring immediate repercussions if ignored.
Spotting New Opportunities
In the first stage of business, everyone has grandiose ideas that usually have to wait on the capital. Now that you have the capital, you may be able to start putting some of your bigger ideas into motion. However, you may lack the manpower or the expertise in some area to fully implement that initiative.
Your expansion does not have to wait on everything to be just right in house. Teaming up with dedicated specialists to fill in the blanks will speed up your efforts and improve them in the short term as well. Opportunities move incredibly fast in the digital age, and you need to jump on them when they are ripe. If you have the capital to outsource specialization for a company bottleneck, now is the time to move.
Who To Hire
You may have a bit of capital to play with, but no one likes to waste money. You will likely have to make some decisions of priority. Is marketing more important, or does R&D deserve the first push? Each company will need to decide this based on its individual needs, but the answer will usually become obvious as the company attempts to scale.
If the answer does not become obvious, then the first expert to hire may be a consultant who can identify the pressure points that require assistance to relieve. Have a plan moving forward before any money is spent needlessly bolstering one company division over another.
Scaling a business does not mean that you have money for all of the changes that you want to make. What you can do without is perhaps a more important distinction to make than how you prefer to expand. A company has a better chance of directing its funds more responsibly with a shorter list of options.
There is no reason that you cannot test different priorities before spending the big money on a major outsourcing initiative. Let consultants compete for your business. Let them help you find the answer as to the most productive alternative – this is a decision that more information will definitely help. You should also test the capabilities of the partner companies who are vying for your business. Their effectiveness is another metric that you will have to consider in the long run.
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The decision to outsource is a huge one, but invariably, all companies must expand with the help of specialists. Consider the tips above and expand with a plan and the best partners you can, using your company’s internal compass as a guide to direct your funding.