One of the most important things to understand about growth is that it isn’t about just having a plan in place to support today’s actions — it’s about making decisions today that would affect your ability to perform tomorrow, five years from now, and beyond. Every one of the core qualities that businesses in all industries are chasing — from increased efficiency to the ability to make better decisions to talent wins, and that ever-important competitive edge — are all enabled by your ability to grow and evolve.
As a result, the answer to the question “When is it the right time to grow my business?” is and will always be now. There are five core types of tools in particular that top businesses of the modern era have routinely used to fuel the type of growth you’re now trying to achieve yourself.1. The Power of Cloud Storage
To say that cloud storage is essential to the lifecycle of the modern business is something of an understatement. Not only do services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, and more keep everything in one place — thus eliminating confusion about where to look for materials — but they also guarantee an almost unprecedented level of mobility. Any document can be accessed by any device on earth with an internet connection and the right credentials.
Documents are also instantly updated; meaning, there are no longer communication delays and nobody is ever waiting to receive information. This goes a long way towards increasing productivity as well. There’s a reason why the global cloud market is expected to grow to $200 billion by as soon as 2018.2. Maximum Organization
Tools like Google Suite, Evernote, Microsoft Outlook, OneNote, and Slack can also be hugely beneficial in terms of the larger organization of your digital resources. Having a single centralised resource for everything that is highly secure and always available supports communication within a team, saves time by reducing or outright eliminating certain tedious administrative tasks, and in general, makes projects run much more smoothly than ever before.3. The Era of Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management solutions like SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM do a lot more than just allow you to keep track of customer interactions. While CRM options do help keep all your information on prospects in one place, they also take things one step further by allowing an incredible level of visibility over not just interactions with a prospect but a relationship as it’s being forged.
You can set your customer relationship management solution to automatically remind you about important events, for example, making sure that you’re always contacting the right person at the right time. This in turn doesn’t just make your relationship with customers easier to manage but more efficient by nature, leading to an increased win rate across the board.
In a world where 75% of all customers say they’re willing to spend more money with a company if they have a positive customer experience, it’s easy to see why CRM has such a high ROI of approximately $8.71 for every $1 spent.4. Email Marketing for the Modern Age
Speaking of contacting the right people at the right time, email marketing is still one of the most powerful (and valuable) ways to do precisely that. Services like MailChimp, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, and others provide a single turnkey solution for every piece of collateral that you create and distribute, no exceptions.
Not only is email marketing software a powerful tool for reaching out to both existing and potential customers, but it’s a great way to score the interactions you’re having between them. You can see who might be on the fence, who was a solid customer whom you need to re-engage, and more — allowing for a much deeper level of personalisation every time you reach out.
You can use past behaviour to quickly identify new opportunities to upsell to existing customers or to re-engage potential ones that you may have otherwise written off. All of this contributes to the type of long-term increased sales you need to sustain the growth that you’re after to begin with.
According to Campaign Monitor, email marketing comes with an incredible 3800% return on investment — you can expect to earn $38 for every $1 spent. Email marketing software is one of the best ways to help make that happen.5. Analytics Drives Insight, and Insight Drives the Future
In many ways, analytics is more than just a numbers game. Tools like Power BI, Google Analytics, and more are a way to reveal the story that was previously hidden beneath those numbers, providing the type of valuable insight you need in real time to make the highest quality decisions you can as quickly as possible.
Analytics solutions allow you to take the valuable data you’re already collecting and use it to discover what your most valuable lead sources are, for example. You can find out where your best sources are, where the majority of your customers come from, and more — all so that you know exactly where to hyper-focus your attention.
You can also use analytics to learn more about the way your business operates as it continues to grow. You can see staff capacity and hours in real time calculate ROI more precisely and reliably to find out what is worth your time and what isn’t, and so much more. You can even effortlessly uncover the bottlenecks that are holding up your operations and reducing efficiency, allowing you to evolve into the type of lean organisation you need to see the results you deserve.In the End
In many ways, these are more than just tools used to fuel growth. They’re the qualities that make up the foundation upon which every aspect of your business is built. If you don’t have a solid foundation for a house, no matter how expensive or beautiful that house ends up becoming, it’s eventually going to tumble to the ground. The same is true of your business.
Regardless of the industry you happen to be operating in, long-term and sustainable growth should always be one of your top priorities. These are the types of tools that can help get you there. An investment in them now is an investment in your own success.