Technology is a powerful tool for any kind of organization, allowing you to increase efficiency and broaden operations. However, in order to take full advantage of its potential, it’s essential to balance your goals and needs with the realities of how you conduct business. This means knowing which kind of technology to invest in and learning how it can maximize your returns on that specific investment.
Many people don’t realize that they are already using technology strategically. An example of this practice is hiring a virtual assistant or housekeeper to be more productive. You may also be using industry-specific tools such as QuickBooks and Photoshop, or automate key business processes like newsletters and payroll to grow and secure your company.
When it comes to technology and entrepreneurship, LA Creative founder John Weiss is one of the biggest names, especially with more than a decade’s worth of experience. He’s known for creating products with a human-centered approach to digital infrastructure.
He’s recently spoken at Navigate 2019, Continuum’s annual user conference, to help business owners and entrepreneurs maximize Continuum’s Help Desk for their establishments. In January 2020, he’ll also be a keynote speaker at Frankly MSP Live, a 3-day seminar geared towards helping managed service providers, and he’ll be focusing on solutions for scalability.
Given that, here are his top tips for building a scalable business, as well as his views on best practices on Help Desk, to help you use technology in the best way possible so you can improve your business.
The Three Pillars
Small business outsourcing works because it is an effective cost-cutting tool. New projects can be started quickly and productivity is increased since it allows you to focus more on core business tasks. Creating a scalable business is also made easier considering how outsourcing solves any capacity issues.
In terms of branding, outsourcing offers access to a pool of talented brand managers who have an outsider’s viewpoint. Hiring them makes you less likely to get caught up in an inside-looking-out vision—which is not a good marketing strategy.
Outsourcing also provides other benefits such as IT and engineering support, executive and operational coaching, and low-voltage wiring and infrastructure installations.
Specialized toolsets are vital to organizations that require industry-specific features to match their operational goals. Software companies that develop this kind of software utilize unique productivity tools, have a clear understanding of vertical-market requirements in the industry, and have years of software development experience.
Software systems have reached a level of availability and universal usage that every company needs automation in order to stay competitive. The most important aspect of business automation is it makes your organization more efficient. Automation can be applied to almost all areas of business such as customer service, sales, finance, marketing, etc.
L.A. Creative’s 4S Business Ecosystem
The 4S Digital Business Ecosystem focuses on the integration of virtual teams and tools. It serves as a map of your digital infrastructure. Applications are grouped according to their use—you can also create sub-groups if necessary.
These applications may be placed on the ecosystem twice if they are featured majorly in both categories. Through the ecosystem, you can determine how digital apps are integrated and how information flows to your business.
Tips for Understanding your Business and Building this Yourself
Step #1 Create a Business Mind-Map
This map should focus on roles instead of people. Come up with minimal primary categories, with shapes indicating categories that are outsourced.
Step #2 Make an Org Accountability Chart
Using the mind map as a draft, this should include people who are part of the operations. Instead of shapes, colors denote the outsourced.
Step #3 Build an Org Master Task List with Priorities
With the accountability chart as draft, build a list of tasks so you can work out which needs to be prioritized.
Step #4 Map Your Digital Infrastructure
Group apps in your business based on how they are used.
Step #5 Streamline
Evaluate your task list and tools map. Figure out what you can change to make business processes faster and more efficient. Are you paying for tools that are not prioritized on your task list? If yes, then it might be wise to cancel those tools.
Ensuring scalability through technology means something different to every kind of business and network. However, when you know your organization well, you’ll know how it will respond to change. Strategically leveraging technology for your business helps you be better equipped not only to meet today’s challenges in the industry but also prepare for long-term growth.