Grow or fail. It’s a reality for any company, and no more so than small businesses facing the challenge of quickly getting off the ground.
Continued expansion relies on providing excellent products or services meeting a real need, great marketing and sales, and superior development. All enabled by a strong strategy, effective teams, excellent processes and solid technology.
Here are some important lessons learned from these five small businesses that scaled quickly.
Anana, which sells omnichannel customer experience software, was seeking to build on its position at the forefront of contact-centre services for high street retailers. It needed to improve its omnichannel customer engagement system, so it could get these services to new customers more quickly.
By moving the services into the cloud and implementing modular technology with Dell, the Bristol-based company has been able to scale quickly. It can now implement customer services such as web and social media chat within a few hours, while scaling its systems 30% more cost effectively. “More speed means greater agility, and the capacity to improve customer experiences,” explains Gareth Evans, head of infrastructure.
A typical challenge for small businesses is how to keep pace with competitive change. Visual effects firm Cinesite, whose movie credits include The Revenant and Harry Potter, needed cutting-edge tools for its artists. Andy Kinnear, a compositor at Cinesite, explains:
By improving its remote storage and computing capabilities, the London-based company has created better capacity for large video files offsite and enabled many artists to work four times more quickly. In addition to Dell technology and support, the vendor arranged financing so Cinesite could spread the cost of the technology it needed . This has been essential in enabling planned growth and investment in feature animation and visual effects - and in artistic, technical and production talent - while avoiding eating into profits.
IMS Evolve monitors devices on the Internet of Things to improve businesses’ daily operations and the company needed to improve how it analyses data for customers. A key goal was harnessing the mass of untapped information collected by fridges at its supermarket and supply chain clients.
The Milton Keynes-based company relies on taking data from a range of devices and quickly producing valuable analysis. It has added real time, automated decision-making capabilities that contextualise guidance, based on powerful Dell Edge Gateway kit. This opens the door to large customers worldwide, who can now respond more rapidly to changes in stock and demand, and can automatically set the temperature of fridges for the foods in refrigeration.
Staffing and payroll services firm TempWorks, based in Minnesota in the US, has taken steps to facilitate its expansion and increase competitiveness. The company was experiencing growth levels that were stretching its IT infrastructure, so it re-engineered its data centre to boost overall flexibility.
The company worked with Dell to implement a new data centre and associated security, tapping financing to spread the cost. It has simplified workflows, while boosting storage and processing power. Senior network administrator Derek Nicholls explains that by cutting annual licensing fees by half a million dollars through use of virtual machines, the savings “are more than paying for our leases”. With the associated support services, the company is also able to ensure the continuous availability that customers expect.
Creating a future-ready workforce is essential to the growth of any small business. For German firm COLDPLASMATECH, which has created sophisticated plasma patches to heal chronic skin wounds, mobility is a key aspect. The company has introduced mobile technology to maximise its employees’ ability to do their work in remote environments, improve collaboration, and boost customer service.
By mirroring consumer technology, the company has been able to boost employee motivation. As well as collaboration software, it uses Dell Latitude convertible business laptops, which combine high processing power with the on-site ease of a tablet. “Flexibility is key for startups, and personnel need to stay productive from anywhere,” says chief executive Carsten Mahrenholz.
Having the right technology, maintenance, guidance and financing in place is essential to small businesses’ innovation, growth and success. Dell helps with end-to-end technology, support and credit. Find out more at Dell Small Business Central.
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