Scaling a tech business is like walking a burning tightrope. The faster you go, the more you risk falling off. But go too slowly and the rope will burn through
Depending on their level of business maturity, the challenge for tech companies is slightly different – but the principles remain same: grow or die. To be the next billion-dollar technology brand, CEOs need to figure out how to scale and normalise faster than their rivals – without compromising the DNA of their rivals
Protecting the core
The good news is that cloud and on-demand enterprise services are making expansion cheaper and less complex that ever before. Scaling tech companies can use systematising tools like Jira to track issues and manage dispersed software builds. Meanwhile, collaboration tools like Yammer, Skype and Base camp allow for close teamwork between decentralised teams.
But tech companies cannot grow effectively if they do not also look after their core structure, processes and functions. Investing in a strong core is not only about maintaining operational reliability it can also open the door to future growth. Once you have reached a baseline level of stability in your business operations you are in a stronger position to rapidly scale, or to support the next quantum leap to secure additional funding.
Looking beyond initial markets
After the initial taste of success, tech companies are invariably hungry for more. But frequently there is only so much room to grow in the local market. Moving into new areas quickly becomes an imperative. Tech companies have several approaches open to them. They can sell direct to overseas customer from their home market, work with established intermediaries or partners with local knowledge or relocate the business altogether.
Innovating the product mix
Tehcnology and innovation are inextricably linked. If tech companies are not prepared to rethink and enhance their existing offering, they are unlikely to reach the next stage of growth. They can continue to add new features to ensure their product remains competitive. Or they can focus on providing better performance by making incremental improvements to the product's existing features.
The talent bottleneck
For many growing tech businesses, the biggest obstacle is the shortage of talent. This shortage is not just driven by the tech sector – all sectors are looking for digital skills. To overcome the challenges tech companies can explore a number of options; opening shop in talent-rich areas; moving to talent-friendly parts of the city; buying teams off the shelf; providing innovative employee offerings; and tapping into the freelance economy.