In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of strategy when scaling your small to medium-sized business. We also touched upon how important it is to provide a platform that enables an effective growth strategy, while paving the way for a positive transition. Besides the key steps involved in creating a strategy, it is also important to note that leveraging your technology is just as crucial. This may not be as difficult as you anticipate it to be. Surprisingly, high-growth SMEs may have a distinct competitive advantage over larger enterprises in the speed at which technology changes and the capabilities of the SME to process that change. Building a competitive advantage from scratch is certainly not an easy feat to undertake, but it is also not as impossible as you may think.
It is apparent that information technology is an important factor to address while scaling your operational platform. But, what exactly are the key factors in using technology to leverage your competitive advantage? For starters, an IT platform that is inexpensive, flexible, and dynamic will always be your first goal. Next, most SMEs generally have better access to IT capabilities than in the past. This could be partially contributed to the fact that SMEs have been able to better adapt to changing technology, unlike large companies who frequently get bogged down by old systems. Last, it is important to make sure that whatever IT platform you get your hands on is available at an affordable cost. With such advanced technologies available, like cloud computing, we see constant improvements in IT capabilities. This proves that there is no need to tie up capital in multiple servers, but rather accessing information and computer power remotely.
So, what can you do with new cloud technology and your newly scaled business? Luckily, cloud provides a flexible platform for growth. Besides the financial benefits it provides, cloud enables greater overall accessibility of management information. With this technology, you can easily solve issues from anywhere and actually deploy resources in real-time. It is just as easy as it sounds and management information systems are becoming more widely accessible to SMEs in general. Additionally, firms are now able to have fully loaded ERPs and CRMs on devices like smart phones and tablets, even utilizing a cash register feature!
If you are an SME in a high-growth phase, scaling your business while leveraging technology is crucial to your long-term success. As a result, your budgeting and planning capabilities will also reap the benefits of your new ERP system, while bringing your organization new opportunities and positioning you for future growth. This further proves that sophisticated management information systems are within reach of SMEs like yours. Stay tuned for next week’s post where we go into detail on some critical factors to take into account while scaling headcount.