Can your IT tools actually keep up with your level of ambition?

4 min read
Apr 29, 2024 2:42:23 PM
In collaboration with Emerce - Five new countries with at least ten customers in each country. Suppose the MT or investor puts that on the table as a requirement today. Can your marketing automation tool handle that? Is the CRM package set up for this? And do you have the ability to translate your website at lightning speed?

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These are questions that every ambitious entrepreneur should ask themselves regularly. Why? Because you're actually too late if you only think about it when the time actually comes. For example, if one day a request comes in from a customer somewhere on the other side of the world that gets the ball rolling. No entrepreneur wants to be stuck at that important moment with IT tooling that acts like a brake and blocks things. You want to accelerate, move on to the next gear.

Level of ambition as a measure of success

Kees de Jong is one of the founders of nlgroeit, a platform that matches successful entrepreneurs with their slightly less experienced colleagues. He regularly gives (online) lectures on the growth potential of Dutch companies. I won't soon forget one of his remarks during such a presentation: the success of an entrepreneur is closely related to his or her level of ambition. The further the stick, the greater the chance of better performance. More clients, bigger orders, higher sales. He also explained that here in the Netherlands ambition is sometimes lacking. Someone starts a business and focuses mainly on customers from their own region. There are very few entrepreneurs who have set their sights immediately abroad. Who realize that they have to set up their organization from the very first day with this perspective in mind.

Setting up your IT management

Now back to the question that started this story: can your company serve fifty new customers from ten different countries from tomorrow? Is your IT tooling equipped to handle that, or will things quickly get bogged down? In practice, for many companies it comes down to the latter. Unfortunately, we have to say. In the important early years, the ability to scale up quickly when the opportunity arises has not been well thought out. That's also about people and products, but in this example it's mostly about IT and tools. The director once chose a CRM package, whose limitations are now coming to light. Marketers and account managers thus work with their own tools that barely communicate with each other. And the content management system turns out to be a crime to work with when suddenly ten new websites are needed, each with its own language.

Can we scale up?

What do we conclude from this? That ambition often pays off, although of course that shouldn't be called news. What matters most is that, as an entrepreneur, you have to dare to look beyond the services you provide and the customers that are served. That reality may just look very different in two or three years. Put some scenarios on paper that will give you some guidance as an entrepreneur. Now ask yourself the question: are our systems equipped to handle this? Can we scale relatively easily or will this soon become the inhibiting factor in our organization? For this, you actually need an IT architect, a specialist who can look beyond everyday practice and has the ability to fast-forward a few years. Such an IT architect may well be someone from your own organization. The main thing is to set out a clear vision on this at an early stage.

Three important questions

Of course, the same principles do not apply to every company. Where one depends more on an efficient marketing tool, for another the content management system will be especially important. In any case, three aspects are universal when setting up your IT housekeeping and its tools.

  1. Do they provide you with the data you need?
  2. Can the different tools communicate with each other?
  3. Can you easily scale up this way?

The first aspect sounds logical, and we just talked about the third question. Question two is about the fact that you'd rather not have a compartmentalized environment where employees in the organization don't know from each other what they're doing. That an account manager is going to approach a customer without knowing that his colleague from marketing has had previous contact with it, for example. You can read more about that in this articleRapid growth: beware of the boomerang effect.

Platform offers solutions

More and more growing companies are choosing HubSpot's ecosystem, the popular SAAS platform for commerce processes, for these reasons. With it, every chunk of customer information always reaches the right employee, and you can see the effect of certain activities in an instant. A marketing campaign, for example. HubSpot is built in a very smart, intuitive way. For example, each element consists of a data component, content component, messaging component, automation component and reporting component. That makes it very easy for users to work with. And, perhaps the most important benefit in light of this story, scaling up becomes a piece of cake. After all, with this platform your company is always in pole position for further growth. Even if fifty new customers from ten different countries suddenly show up tomorrow.

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