When your business is growing, everything feels great. Winning new customers, opening offices, adding headcount; it’s how it’s meant to be. You've executed a strategy, and it's paying off.
Success can bring challenges – and they tend to be the good kind. When revenues are flowing, and you and your team are having fun, life is good.
Eventually, though, every business arrives at a plateau. Even before the pandemic, it was normal to cycle between periods of growth and periods of calm.
Sometimes the reasons are external – seasonal downturns, recession, new competition, or Black Swan events like COVID-19.
But more often, growth plateaus because the processes and systems that got the business to that point aren’t fit for the next leg of the journey.
Any indication that the company engine is starting to stall brings uncertainty and anxiety. The key to overcoming it is to take a good look under the hood and see if the engine is operating at peak efficiency.
- Are you keeping pace with customer expectations?
- Are competitors innovating or moving faster?
- Do you need to find new ways to ensure that your increasingly-complex organization is staying agile and responsive?
It’s impossible to prescribe one winning formula that works for everyone – every business is different. There are, however, common areas of focus that can help you map the route to the next hilltop.
Here at SignRequest, we're facing the same challenges as a lot of companies. These are areas our customers tell us matter most.
01 Focus on areas where lost time is costing you opportunities
In a time when every hour counts, any friction in your current processes could mean you and your team are missing opportunities. Delays in communications or finalizing new deals means delay in realizing new revenues.
Do a simple internal audit and ask your colleagues where they spend most of their time. How much of it is taken up by manual tasks? Are people often waiting on other people for information? Are there ways to make people more accountable? There may be simple solutions that can help.
Given how important they are to solidifying sales, contracts are one area to look at. Integrating a digital contracts tool can speed up the preparation, negotiation and final sign-off.
Make sure you can focus on scaling your business rather than wasting time shuffling paper. At SignRequest, in most teams, we work in two-week sprints, with a weekly deep-dive check-in to see where we are at and how we can support each other.
02 Focus on upping the value your business tools deliver
Every business invests in technology to one extent or another, but the value that software and cloud services deliver can change over time. Sometimes new solutions overtake the old ones, or your needs change as the business grows.
In either case, it's worth looking again at what you spend on information technology. Monthly tech spend can be considerable, and teams need the best digital tools to work efficiently and keep customers happy. Make sure they're giving you everything you need, at a price that's in line with what it brings to the business.
For more on this, see our blog ‘Smart tools to keep your business growing’.
Conduct another simple audit of products and services. Look at the features you're paying for and ask if each one is essential.
Do people use them all? Do customers value them? If you can discard un-needed features, you might be able to secure better pricing – or a solution that’s focused on doing the basics brilliantly.
Comparison sites like G2 and Capterra can help you find tools that suit your business needs today.
03 Focus on better communication and collaboration
More of us are working remotely or from home – and that was the trend long before the Coronavirus landed. Zoom meetings have become so popular they’ve become a new source of memes. Slack is replacing email and instant messaging. Its time every business considered how to make collaboration better, and virtual.
Digital onboarding is one area to look at. Contracts and agreements of all kinds can be drawn up, shared, and signed digitally. That makes it entirely feasible to hire people remotely or sign new customers up to your service using strictly online processes.
Once new staff or customers are onboard, face-to-face interactions are likely to be limited, so embracing video, chatbots, and collaboration platforms like Slack and Asana (our favourite here at SignRequest) are vital to keeping everyone happy and engaged.
Channel discussions in Slack, for example, are instantaneous and live forever, while emails get lost or trapped in spam filters.
You can also use integrations to do things such as auto-notify the team whenever a new deal is signed, or automatically switch on time slots when notifications are paused -- so you can work in peace.
04 Focus on your offer
Now is the perfect time to look again at your core offer, consider current market conditions, and see if a bit of fine-tuning could make your USP even more attractive.
Start with a company brainstorm around the current go-to-market strategy. Where are you meeting the most resistance? Is the sale cycle longer or shorter than expected? Are there areas where you need to innovate and get better; or faster?
At SignRequest, we focus on key product features first to make sure they are always best-in-class. When we can optimize them, we do. Rather than try and be brilliant at everything, we listen to customer feedback and focus on the features and benefits that matter most to them.
That approach gets results. Our customer FlightRefund added SignRequest to its platform and doubled its conversion rate by 100 per cent -- after an implementation that took just 90 minutes.
It’s always time to grow
We live in disrupted times, but with smart tools and willingness to adapt, growth is always on the table. As a business, you need to set aside time to re-focus on getting better, optimizing processes and tools to stay in-tune with current conditions.
At SignRequest, we help businesses grow by offering brilliant tools that save time and turn deals into revenues faster. Our prices are competitive, and we’re easy to use.