If your business does not take off despite your best efforts and heavy investment, you might have to face the reality that everything must go. But if your business does take off as it did in your wildest dreams, you will have to face a very different reality: Everything must grow.
Rapid growth is a happy problem to have. But make no mistake about it: rapid growth is a problem. When not handled well, businesses can suffer and die due to the heavy demands of growth. It is clear that your growing business needs more IT. The challenge is knowing exactly what IT to add. Here are a few things a growing company needs to add to their IT shopping cart:
An IT Consultant
When you are to the point that you know you need something, but you don’t know what it is, that is when you need to call a consultant. Purchasing the wrong thing is worse than purchasing nothing at all. The thing you purchase may end up holding you back. Once you realize that, you will have already blown the budget.
Firewall Technical IT support services offer “the tech support needed to deploy, maintain, and improve networks, servers, desktop computers, and mobile devices.” You may not know when you need a server. When you are ready for a server, should it be hardware or a virtual server?
Information is moving a lot slower than it used to. Is it a computer deficiency, or a network issue? You’re ready to go mobile. Which smartphones and tablets will be the best fit for your company? And which will be little more than a distraction? Perhaps you can handle these decisions on your own. But there is a good chance that the first IT purchase you need to make is the services of a consultant.
A Website That Scales
When brainstorming about what IT you need for your startup, one of the first things that comes up is a website. Whether brick and mortar or virtual, it is not enough for you to have a storefront. You need a full service website that can do more than take credit cards. Here are some other things your site needs to have:
- Information about your company and principals
- A blog that keeps customers up to date and informed
- A customer service method of getting their questions answered online
Your site also has to be able to scale with your growth needs. You don’t want the site to go down whenever there is a sale on a popular item. That kind of site loses you more money than it makes. You also want the site to scale to the needs of the users.
Make sure it is mobile responsive so that it looks good and works correctly regardless of the screen the user happens to have. Your site also needs to be accessible to people with disabilities. Make sure that the fonts are not too small. And don’t do the things that tend to interfere with screen readers and built-in accessibility of systems like iOS.
There’s an app for that, whatever that happens to be. Your customers will be looking for that app. And if you don’t provide it, your fiercest competitor will. As it used to be said of a website, if your business does not have an app, it doesn’t exist. The App Store is the new Yellow Pages. Even if your app does nothing but point to your website, it needs to exist.
Of course, you can do better than that. Websites are not designed for a 5-star experience. Apps are. So for starters, your app can do everything that your website can do, only with more convenience. It can also provide you with a direct link to customer service, and mapping directions to the nearest store.
Growing is tough work. It can be awkward and even painful at times. But growing pains for your businesses can be minimized by bringing in a consultant to help you grow wisely, adding a website that scales with your growing needs, and providing a rich app experience for those customers who don’t do business any other way.