You’ve done it! You’ve taken the leap, done the work and started a successful small business. It might’ve seemed like a Herculean task at the outset, but you made it happen. The next step is important, finding the right software to scale your business.
Unfortunately, founding a successful small business is only the first step in a long (but rewarding) journey. With any luck, your business will continue to grow. This is great news, but business growth comes with added complexity, time investment and responsibility. Sooner rather than later, you won’t be able to manage all the day-to-day tasks on your own or with a small team anymore.
According to CBInsights, 23% of surveyed small businesses failed because they didn’t have the right team running things and 17% because they lacked a strong business model. In order to avoid these kinds of pitfalls, do the necessary work to scale your business before you get too big for your britches and keep that growth going in an efficient, cost-effective way.
Scaling your business offers tons of benefits ranging from increased longevity to consistency to maintaining a competitive edge. However, many businesses simply don’t know where to start when it comes to the scaling process. A variety of different business elements need to be scaled: communication, finances, general processes, social media, human resources and more.
Luckily, there’s a wide variety of powerful software out there to help you get started scaling your business. We’ve put together some of our top picks below, so keep reading and get inspired for your scaling process!
Asana is a catch-all work management tool that’s designed to help professional teams work together efficiently. It’s particularly popular for remote teams, but is also widely used in-house.
Asana does a little bit of everything: it has robust project management, scheduling, reporting, administration, communication and mobile functionalities. We love the visual element that Asana adds to project planning and management. It makes ideas much easier to understand at a glance while highlighting specific areas of interest or concern.
Due to its flexible capabilities and customization possibilities, Asana is used in a wide variety of industries. Whether you’re looking for a solution to help your team get organized or want to implement more comprehensive processes to manage a growing team, Asana is an incredibly helpful tool.
Asana has a free version available, and after that their plans are priced on a sliding scale according to team size and desired features.
In recent years, the business communication tool Slack has become indispensable to companies big and small. Their users range from start-ups and small businesses to large corporations like Vodafone, the Royal Bank of Canada, Lyft and the BBC. Slack’s flexible features and growth capabilities make it your best friend if you want to scale your business effectively.
What does Slack do, exactly? It brings all your professional communications into one place. It has messaging, file sharing and audio and video call functionalities, which can all be organized into different channels with flexible privacy settings. It's a powerful internal communication software to scale your business.
Growing businesses also love Slack because it’s easy to integrate with over 2,200 web apps and has an intuitive workflow builder. We love Slack because it keeps messages well-organized and out of our overcrowded email inboxes.
Perhaps its best feature for small businesses? Slack has a free plan that’s perfect if you’re just getting started. After that, their paid plans are reasonably priced for businesses of all sizes.
Attest is a marketer’s dream. It’s a global survey platform that connects businesses with consumers to help them gather simple, intuitive and accessible data and insights. They strive to “take the guesswork out of growth.”
As your business grows, you’ll need to conduct increasing amounts of customer research and establish ongoing processes that make it a consistent, ongoing part of your business model. Put simply, having an ideal customer profile or two kicking around will not be enough to understand what really makes your customers tick and motivate them to invest in and stay loyal to your business long-term.
Attest can help you do just that. Got pricing survey questions, for example? In just a few clicks and an afternoon, you can customize your questions, select a diverse, global audience and analyze your results. They’re passionate about providing your company with highly accurate consumer data and a complete market view.
If you only want to use Attest’s survey function, you can do so for free. After that, Attest’s growth plans are priced based on a sliding scale.
One of the most challenging parts of scaling a business is the finances. This is because many entrepreneurs quickly feel overwhelmed when they have to start dealing with payroll, accounting and invoicing on a large scale.
If you find yourself relating to this, Wave is a great option for you. They’re an online financial software that’s dubbed themselves as the “accounting software for non-accounting types.” They’re passionate about empowering small businesses to manage their own finances.
Wave was designed specifically with entrepreneurs in mind and aims to provide users with a powerful, intuitive financial management system. It has accounting, invoicing, payment and receipt functionalities as well as a detailed help center and responsive customer support.
Using Wave is also free: no set-up fees, no hidden charges and no monthly payments. The only thing to keep in mind is that they charge processing fees if you use them for your business payments.
Hootsuite is one of the leading social media management tools out there. We’re sure we don’t need to reinforce the importance of social media marketing nowadays, but in the scaling of your business you’ll do well to remember that 54% of people on social media use it to research products.
That means that a robust social media presence is absolutely key to consistent business growth. The more your business grows, the more your social media presence matters. You won’t be able to get away with using just one social media platform; you’ll need to have a presence on all the platforms that are relevant to your industry.
Hootsuite enables you to connect with the 35 most popular social networks and manage all your accounts on one single platform. It has analytical, advertising, publishing, engagement, monitoring and integration functionalities and allows your social media team to work collaboratively, no matter the size.
Try it out by using their 30 day trial at any time.
Piktochart is a great tool to use for scaling visual elements of your business. It’s perfect software to scale your business if you need many high-quality visuals produced quickly before you have an extensive graphic design team or experience.
This all-in-one visual communication solution helps you create beautiful visuals, ranging from presentations to social media graphics to infographics. Piktochart also sets itself apart as a presentation software due to its unique design elements and professionally designed templates.
Try out Piktochart’s free version and see what you come up with! If you work in the education or non-profit industry, you’re also entitled to special pricing.
Although they’re sometimes overlooked when it comes to scaling a business, don’t forget about human resources. As your business grows, a great, well-organized HR team will make sure that everything runs smoothly and prove key to your long-term success. Enter WebHR, a well-known, cloud-based human resources management solution.
WebHR’s claim to fame is helping employers manage employee’s entire life cycles: from hire to retire. It has just about any human resources related functionality you could imagine and integrates with countless popular apps. It’s also currently used by 25,000 companies of all sizes in almost 200 countries. Not bad.
If you need a comprehensive human resources solution for your growing business, WebHR is a great tool.
The backbone of all businesses is customers. There’s a reason why they say ‘customer is king’ because honestly without customers, what good is the business anyway.
According to a study, only 1 out of every 26 customers is likely to bring up their complaints. The rest 25 will simply take their business elsewhere.
Now imagine, if you start taking feedback from your customers directly — the likelihood of them sharing their feedback, complaints and otherwise will increase. Which in turn gives you more opportunities to work on customer feedback, reach out to miffed customers and prevent customer churn.
Zonka Feedback is a comprehensive, SaaS Customer Feedback Software that helps you do exactly that. Some key features that you can use while setting up your account include:
The best part — Zonka Feedback takes literally minutes to set up.
All in all, scaling your business will take a great deal of work. You’ll need to spend some late nights and early mornings testing out and fine-tuning your new processes in order to see what works and what doesn’t. However, the good news is that once you have solid, sustainable processes in place, your growing business will operate much more efficiently and be more successful in the long run. To do this, it's important to use the right software to scale your business.
The tools listed above are some of the leading software out there when it comes to scaling small businesses, so use modern innovation to your advance and give one of them a try. You won’t regret it.