As your company grows over the years, it can be tempting to fixate on the shiny milestones: more employees, more competitive offerings, and, ideally, more revenue!
But there’s a crucial part of growth that isn’t always immediately considered, and it can have a significant impact on your processes, your employees’ experience, and your bottom line.
It’s your tools.
Tools help your employees get work done and keep your operations running. Whether you’re considering growing your company or are in a full-blown growth spurt, this guide highlights the benefits of scalable tools and what to look for when choosing tools to grow with you.
Why You Should Consider Your Tools As You Grow
When you take the time to consider how your current tools can support your company through future growth, you’re actually being incredibly strategic about your technology choices.
Here’s a great example: as a startup, you can’t do it all (as much as you might want to). To move fast, weigh what tools your company can build and what tools you’ll buy. It’s a common practice: leveraging internal resources to build tools that are unique to your company’s needs while leaning on ready-made products that excel in the service they provide. Think human resource management, finance, and sales.
But the needs of a startup differ from the needs of an established enterprise. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of your company’s current and future needs, as well as be intentional about how you can address current and future gaps. Don’t just consider what your company needs now—consider whether this tool can help you get to where you’re going.
When you have a growth plan in mind, your internal resources can build out those customized tools to work toward that desired end state. You should adopt a similar approach to the tools you purchase. Don’t just consider what your company needs now—consider whether this tool can help you get to where you’re going.
The absolute last thing you want is to implement a new tool mid-growth. Not only can it be expensive, but employees may resist adopting a new tool. Implementing a new tool also requires training, and if it ends up that there’s a steep learning curve, then that training starts to eat away at your forward momentum for growth and improvement.
What To Consider When Selecting Tools To Support Growth
It’s only natural that as your company grows and changes, so will the way your teams accomplish their work. The trick is making sure your tools support your teams every step of the way.
Here are some important aspects to consider when choosing tools that will stick with you.
Keeps Your Teams (And Work) Connected
Regardless of the size of your company, staying connected is important. While startups might fit everyone around the table or in a common area, your business might span multiple offices, remote work environments, and even time zones.
Prioritizing employee connections benefits overall productivity as well as employee satisfaction. This is especially important as the number of employees increases with growth. Keeping in touch might seem daunting without the right tools to enable the flow of communication.
On the flip side, it’s important to give employees control over how and when they communicate. It goes a long way toward combating communication burnout and protecting individual productivity. A survey by Wundamail reports that 42% of remote employees feel “more productive” when they have uninterrupted blocks of time to knock out their own work.
“As you scale, you need visibility, accountability, and organization. Trello has provided that for us.”
That’s the beauty of collaboration tools like Trello Enterprise. With Trello, teams can set up dedicated workspaces where they can connect with one another, share information, and work toward deliverables—in real-time or on their own time. It’s a process that works, no matter your company’s current size.
Just ask Brian Burton, co-founder of Instinct Dog Behavior & Training. His teams started using Trello to coordinate tasks and keep other teams up-to-date on important information, like where a dog is with its training, grooming, and care.
“As you scale, you need visibility, accountability, and organization,” says Burton. “Trello has provided that for us.”
Over the last decade, Instinct Dog Training has grown into a multi-million dollar franchise caring for dogs (and their humans) coast to coast.
Offers Flexibility To Meet Various Needs
Tech solutions need to change as your company scales. Just think about the startup that uses spreadsheets to handle their accounting books. It works when the scale is small, but as that company grows their accounting needs become larger and more complex. Spreadsheets no longer cut it.
A recent report by Blissfully found that the number of SaaS applications used by a small enterprise (51-100 employees) clocked in at 79 apps, whereas medium-to-larger enterprises (201-500+ employees) totaled 120 apps. This increase can, in part, be contributed to tools adopted to meet the specific needs of a team, as mentioned above.
But this increase can also include tools that have overlapping or redundant functionality. A major culprit is tools that help different teams manage their work. Here, rather than adopting a half-dozen similar tools, opt for ones that offer a flexibility that meets the needs of various teams and the added ability to adapt and grow as your company does.
Trello Enterprise offers teams a highly customizable way to manage their work. Teams can create workflows to plan the stages of a marketing campaign, track a software sprint, or move prospective customers through the sales process. Companies can also use Trello in multiple ways—as a knowledge hub, communication board, or directory.
This flexibility matters to companies, both large and small. Tanya Accone, senior advisor on innovation at UNICEF, leads a team that relies on it.
“We are able to mold and shape Trello to the way our organization thinks and behaves, rather than trying to fit our team and our needs, which are changing everyday, into a set structure,” she says.
Helps Teams Make Sense Of Work
Tools should help your employees accomplish their work, and it’s an added bonus when they’re able to do so in a way that makes sense.
As your company grows and onboards new employees, it’s important that your tools are easy for them to pick up. Doing so enables them to hit the ground running even sooner. When tools offer a logical structure or flow, they can speed up digital adoption.
“We’ve increased our orders per hour by 30% in the last six weeks. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we did this after we streamlined our business with Trello.”
The truth is, your tools should make work smarter, not harder. Yet, employees continue to lose time navigating multiple tools in their quest for information to do their jobs. Similarly, upwards of 40% of employees have been found to waste roughly 25% of their week performing the same tasks. Respondents (78%) believe automations could free them up to focus on work that excites them, is rewarding, and that matters.
Trello Enterprise offers integrations with 150+ top work tools, helping your teams level up their workflow game.
“We’ve increased our orders per hour by 30% in the last six weeks. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we did this after we streamlined our business with Trello,” says Lawrence Hanley, founder and CEO of Desk Plants.
Trello also gives your teams access to unlimited automations with Butler. From automatically creating repeating cards to filing away tasks marked “complete,” Trello tackles repetitive tasks so your teams don’t have to.
Delivers On Security Every Step Of The Way
Whatever the size of your business, staying secure is a top-of-mind priority. But securing your operation against every new and evolving threat can add up, and fast. Maybe that’s why small and large enterprises alike turn to cloud service providers to help keep parts of their operation secure.
RapidScale reports that 94% of business leaders saw an improvement in security after making the switch to cloud-based tools. That’s why, no matter what stage they’re at, most companies dedicate IT professionals to keeping your customer experience—and your data—secure.
Take Trello. No matter which plan your company subscribes to, you can rest assured your data is secure. Trello encrypts your data in transit and at rest, with hourly backups and intrusion detection in place ’round the clock. You can also set workspaces and boards to private (team-specific), company (internal), or external.
As your company grows, Trello’s security offering evolves to help support the unique challenges of large-scale operations. With Trello Enterprise, your admins can use the Enterprise Admin Dashboard to manage user access and permissions across the tool. You can also enable SAML single sign-on (SSO) and two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure only approved users can log into workspaces. The dashboard also gives your IT admins the ability to approve which file-sharing methods your teams use and also which integrations they enable in their workspaces.
Grow With Confidence
Growth is equal parts exciting and terrifying—let your tools be the former. Grow your company and your workforce with confidence, knowing that the technology you use is with you for the journey ahead.
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