A recipe for managing your business growth

A recipe for managing your business growth

When a company is getting started, the focus is on survival. It’s an exciting, heady and often nerve-wracking time. But in fact, it may not be the most treacherous time for a business. Once past the start-up phase, your attention goes to managing your growth—and that can be fraught with peril. Seventy percent of startups survive two years. But at five years, the survival rate is down to 50 percent. And in 10 years some two-thirds disappear. While many factors affect the success or failure of a business, hasty short-term decisions made in the heat of the start-up moment are often a factor: they can come back to haunt you, making it difficult and expensive to manage your growth and deliver the right level of customer service.

Buddy Valastro, the star of TLC’s “Cake Boss” series, has seen tremendous growth in his family-owned bakery. Ultimately, he realized he could only bring so many customers through the door. To grow, he needed to expand online and on the phone. Buddy hosted a webinar with Avaya (see it now at http://bit.ly/rfk5O5) talking about the challenges facing small growing businesses and how communications can help. Some of the key points that came out of that webinar are:

Customer experience is key: Buddy is completely confident of his ability to deliver superior baked goods. What concerns him is the experience new customers will have when they call:  he knows that leaving people on hold too long or not responding to e-mails doesn’t cut it; fast personal response does.

Keep it simple:  Simplify your communications by getting them all working together. This makes communications less expensive to manage and—more importantly—allows you to take advantage of applications to better serve your customers. Buddy likes solutions that let him keep track of his delivery trucks.

Mobility: Don’t get dazzled by the mobile phone of the moment.  It’s not the device that matters—it’s enabling your people to be accessible and responsive to customers on a device that’s convenient. Make sure your communications system will give you “presence” information so you know who is available and how you should reach out to them. This helps make people with the right expertise available to help customers—a hot button for Valastro.

Scalability: Don’t save money on a communications solution that can’t grow. In basing his communications on Avaya IP Office, Valastro is avoiding having to do a forklift down the road. Start out with a solution designed to grow in terms of the employees, bandwidth, locations and more.

Keep it personal, but trust the technology: Given his volume of business, Buddy realized he needed a way to provide automated responses that can ask people how their experience was, and of course, how they enjoyed their cake. Technology like this speeds things up and saves on costs.  Learn more about how Buddy Valastro is benefiting from Avaya communications at http://bit.ly/rfk5O5

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About Vic Levinson
Telecommunications and IT professional with over 20 years experience in Business Telecommunications. Specializing in voice over IP (VoIP) for business: hosted VoIP, business VoIP phone systems, SIP providers, carriers, T1's - the works. Founded Prime Telecommunications in 1993 and providing business communications solutions. Cloud Applications- everything from hosted network security, hosted Disaster Recovery, hosted printer management, data centers and colocation solutions for businesses.

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