If you are just starting a small business, or launching a startup with some venture capital, you can only hope that you will grow really big. But if that happens, you’ll need to scale.
All businesses, no matter how small, or how large, should plan for scalability. But what is scalability and how can you reasonably plan for it?
What Is Scalability in Business?
Scalability is all about the ability of your business to grow smoothly and effortlessly. In order to be able to do that, you will need systems in place that will help manifest the desired growth. Without the proper structure and support ready to go, your team will be overwhelmed if more work comes in than they are ready to handle.
Usually, business growth comes at a somewhat steady pace. Depending on the industry, the growth of your business might take years. However, sometimes, brands experience what is called an overnight success. These massive successes can be almost a miracle, however they can also be a curse in a way.
Here is an example. A startup is launched with a new style of T-shirt. It could be months, or it could be a year or two, where things are pretty darn slow. Suddenly, a writer at a top fashion magazine takes a liking to the T-shirt. They not only write a feature article about the T-shirt, but they post volumes of photos of themselves in the T-shirt on their Instagram, where they are a major influencer.
This T-shirt company is now going from very low sales to possibly millions overnight. Without the right infrastructure in place, without the scalability, they could completely crash and burn.
Of course, we would all like that big problem of having too many orders coming in. Hopefully, the immediate backlog can be overcome quickly, and the business can get itself sure footed to rise to this challenge. But wouldn’t it be better to plan ahead and be ready for it instead of blindsided?
The Importance of Scalable Technology
Fortunately, today’s businesses have a leg up on businesses of yesteryear. Why? Because modern computing technology makes it much easier to scale quickly without a lot of upfront investment.
The term for scalability using technology is scalable IT. Scalable IT is all about instituting systems that can grow as your organization grows. These systems might include everything from automated workflows to increased capacity to handle orders to data storage in the cloud.
Most businesses have some sort of front facing website, which is a really good example of where scalability is pretty critical. Should that “miracle” article appear in the major fashion magazine, and the website is not set-up with the right infrastructure on the back end. the website could crash. People who want to order your product will think maybe you are out of business, leave, and never come back.
Cloud computing has really transformed the ability of businesses large and small to benefit from scalable technology. With the cloud, you can quickly spin up more resources to handle extra traffic or data needs.
In the case of the website: Back in the day, you would have had to add more servers physically to handle sudden new traffic. Today, you can use the cloud to spin up more processing power without having to manually set-up a server for the individual website.
Scalability Can Go Both Ways, and Managed IT Can Help
While we tend to think of scalability as always increasing, scalability also involves the ability to downsize when needed. This is where the cloud is extremely helpful once again. It is very quick and easy to add or subtract more cloud capacity as a business grows or needs to passively shrink temporarily.
Managed IT Solutions can help on the people end of things. A Managed IT Solutions provider is a third-party vendor that provides a qualified tech team to help manage your IT systems. Thus, if your business needs to grow quickly, you do not have to worry about hiring onsite IT staff to fill in the gaps.
A Managed IT Solutions provider can be there for you as you grow. Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about committing to a fulltime employee when you are not sure if you are going to need them in six months or a year. With Managed IT, you have a set budget for services that can grow or shrink as needed. Managed IT can also help ensure that you have the right cybersecurity systems in place, without having to worry about hiring more inhouse IT.
With the economic uncertainty going on right now this can be a huge blessing to businesses large or small.
Planning to Scale with Scalable Technology
To get a leg up on scalability, it is a good idea to create a plan. Take a good look at where your business is now and where you might see it in the next couple of years to 10 years out or more. What needs will you have in terms of infrastructure? What about onsite computers, printers, and other peripherals? What about people and human resources? And what about your IT needs?
On the technology end, a Managed Technology Solutions provider such as CDS Office Technologies can help. We can conduct a thorough network assessment to see what is going on with your systems and help you plan for growth. Our solutions also include Document Management Systems and Print Management Plus, which can help oversee and maintain your printer fleet. Our team is here to help you and we can grow with you.
CDS Office Technologies is a leading provider of Managed IT Solutions based in Illinois. We serve small businesses, large businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies throughout Illinois. For more information on how Managed IT Services can help with business scalable technology, please contact us today for a consultation.