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The Scale-Up Readiness Checklist

Clear Path

10 reasons you need to rewire your business for scale-up success


In this, my very first blog post for Rewired. I want to share why it’s so important, that you kill that urge to buy that next piece of technology. Well at least for now, and only once you have read this post.

I would like to share with you why your technology strategy is interconnected with your business in every way. Why it’s really about putting you and your business first, firstly.

 

Don’t create a chicken and egg problem.

 

Getting your technology strategy right, is less about technology. It’s way more about getting you and your business organised. Everything else can follow from that.

Do you believe that?

Think of it this way. Technology wouldn’t exist without people. To train a dog, it’s better to train the dog owner first, right?

At rewired, technology is the dog. Well until artificial intelligence challenges this, most likely in the 2030’s. For now we need to get your business in the right shape.

Once you have customers and money coming in. Then there are 3 ingredients that make up any business. That is, the very best people, tools and processes.

Not only that. You also want the best people, tools, processes at the right time. Why would your business need a server farm the size of Amazon, until well, your business was the size of Amazon. Duh!

 

Tech Design

What does this have to do with my tech strategy?

 

If you want a great tech strategy, don’t assume that technology can solve all your problems. Understand your challenges first. Then apply technology in the right places, at the right time. It’s all about business outcomes first, technology is your tool, to get you there.

Move away from the one-size-fits all technology, rather focus on the right tools for the job. Many niche tools, are better than that all-in-one wannabe. Chances are it will be way cheaper too. Don’t get corrupted by that next shinny piece of software.

First, discover what you need, and test it in the wild. Once your processes are robust and repeatable. Then this is your chance to consider bringing on the right technology tools, avoiding costly mistakes.

Scale-up, by making your tech decisions at the latest responsible moment. When you know exactly what you need.

Those 3 ingredients again are the very best people, tools and processes, at the right time.

People

Without the knowledge that people have, there is no business. You have to know how to select the right people at the right time, as you scale-up. Your business must have the right people and you must allow them to lead on the right outcomes.

Example:  Don’t ask your research analyst to be your project manager, seriously!!

Tools

Tools are there to help you to get the job done. Technology tools are exactly that, tools. Take a penknife. Great at a lot of things, but when you try the screwdriver and it just doesn’t quite work….It’s trying to cover all possibilities. Get the right screwdriver, and you done, in no time!

Example:  Don’t buy an all in one printer, scanner, fax machine (going old school) , when it breaks you can’t print, fax or scan.

Processes

Processes are the real knowledge of your business, the thing that makes you unique. Your DNA. It’s the glue that brings your people and the tools together. This is how you really delight your customers.

Are you serious about scaling-up your business?


Do you feel like you are stalling? Or, can you see the next tsunami of growth hitting you, but you are not ready. Worse still, that scale-up tsunami has already hit you, and you are drowning.

So, what can you really do? How can you really rewire your business for scale-up success?

We all think that growth is just great success. But with success, comes the truly scary and stressful reality that you are not in control. You want to get back in the driver’s seat. You want to be ready to scale-up.

Its time to consider what you can do about this. Its time to consider if you are ready to scale-up, and if you are serious?

Rewired is a rapid technology strategy process. It starts with your people, draws out your DNA and then plugs technology only where it is needed. It’s about having an unbiased non-techie technology partner that gets you and understands your business. Helping you scale-up rapidly to get more customers and be more successful.

 

The Scale-Up Readiness Checklist

 

  1. Find where you have too much work in progress, and crack that open. Look to distribute the load. Don’t overload your people, it will stall your business 
  2. Remove those key man dependencies. Jack of all trades won’t help you scale. Outsource tasks to other people, existing and new. Use technology tools to automate common processes 
  3. Go small, first. Don’t scale with software that can’t scale. Rather start with something very flexible, systemise things and be ready to pivot at each point as you scale 
  4. Don’t be seduced my fancy software, make sure the technology does just that one thing you want well. To prevent having all your eggs in one basket, make sure your software can talk to each other 
  5. Get your people focused on the core process you want to execute on your technology. Use the tools you have, and make sure your people are trained. Make new technology choices wisely. 
  6. Test your process, data and design first. Use a spreadsheet or something basic. In this way, you will know your design needs first and this will allow you to select the right software 
  7. Has your technology served you well, but you feel its not ready to scale? This is ok, just review and update your tech strategy and make the right decisions. 
  8. Don’t let it all fall over, it’s just not necessary, focus on a recovery plan. 
  9. Outsource, don’t try to build your own technology, unless your business is technology. 
  10. Consider getting support from a non-biased party, this will help your teams open up and provide a fresh perspective. You will find out where your roadblocks to success are lurking.

Are you ready to rewire your business in 2018? Are you serious about scaling-up but feel stuck or are just not ready for what’s coming?

Torben is a flexible CTO that works with business owners to avoid the pitfalls of bad technology decisions. You can book a free strategy session with him here.

Please share your scale-up story below in the comments, I look forward to answering your questions.

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