Are your systems a barrier to growth for business?

Prasanta Mishra – Country Manager (APAC) tells us his experience of where clients find their systems are letting them down.

Do you see many businesses where systems are a real barrier to growth – what are the biggest pain points?

  1. 1. Not having the right systems in place - businesses usually have one of two problems with their systems; either they don’t have the appropriate systems in place at all, or they don’t have systems in place that allow the business to scale rapidly. Systems can cover almost every aspect of your business, from how salespeople sell your products and/or services, to how orders from your customers are processed and handled.
  2. Not having the right people in place – this can be especially difficult for businesses that are starting out and trying to ‘bootstrap’ their way to growth, but having the right people in place is essential. In the early stages of a business, and often for too long, the business is run by a very small team of 2 or 3 people who are trying to fill a dozen different roles. This causes two problems. First, it inevitably means that they spend too much time on low value, low return tasks. Second, it also means that some of these different tasks are not completed to a high standard because one person can’t specialise in several different areas. Hiring the right people early can help to solve this problem, and the likely scenario is that as you grow, you can hire more experts, whereas in the early stages you may well require people with slightly broader skillsets.
  3. Lack of Strategy – it can be very easy for young businesses to focus ruthlessly on the acquisition of new customers. Years ago Arthur H. Motley said, “Nothing happens until someone sells something”, and whilst this is true, it’s very important to have a broader strategy in place. There are many benefits to having a clear strategy for your business, including highly satisfied customers, a stronger proposition in the marketplace, and more engaged staff.
  4. Not marketing – it can be easy to become complacent with your marketing once you think things seem to be getting ‘busy’ and/or you seem to have a reasonable stream of new customers coming to you. However, this can be a dangerous strategy, particularly if you are reliant on one or two channels for customers. There are even cases of more established businesses working very much on a ‘feast or famine’ basis, meaning they do lots of marketing when they are quiet, then get very busy and neglect their marketing until they get quiet again!
  5. Not closely monitoring the numbers – whilst you can be extremely granular in monitoring the numbers in your business, many business owners do not even regularly monitor their profit and loss accounts, their profit margins, or even basic costs (and changes to costs). This can be an extremely big problem. Whilst a good accountant will help you keep on top of your numbers, it is very important as a business owner that you also take responsibility and have a strong and regular handle on your own numbers too.

For more information and advice on system development please get in touch with ardent on 0044 (0) 1582 870 180