Ready to turbocharge your business? The Salesforce economy already makes massive growth possible—and you can boost that even more with a little help from the experts. Santiago Solanas, CMO of Sage, has many best practices for growing a business. Solanas has worked with entrepreneurs for over 25 years at IBM, Microsoft, two tech startups, and now Sage. He’s seen what works—and what doesn’t. Over the years, he’s identified four key accelerators that turbocharge a business’s growth. We sat down with Santiago Solanas to learn the steps to rev the engine of a business to grow it. From there, the new ebook, Expert Insights: Grow Your Business in the Salesforce Economy, was born, and here are some key takeaways.
Capital is the first accelerator for any growing business. Solanas says, “Lack of capital can kill a business faster than anything else,” so you have to watch—and understand—every number. And if you aren’t sure what those numbers are telling you, “Get someone on your team who understands the numbers,” Solanas says. You need someone who can spot a cash flow issue from far off, so you can dodge it.
Solanas also suggests keeping an eye on your accounts receivables as a way to ensure your numbers are in the best shape possible. “It’s easy to get caught up in running your business, and the next thing you know, your receivables have run away from you.” Keep your cash flow healthy so it doesn’t slow your growth.
Be honest: do you have the skills of a CEO? Most people, even smart entrepreneurial people, do not. You might have an incredible vision for your company—but do you know how to execute it? This is the second way to accelerate business growth: hire the right people. That starts with you. “It’s hard for any business owner to realize they aren’t the right person to take the business to the next level,” Solanas says. “But that can be a hugely impactful realization to have, and it’s something we should all think about.”
The right people don’t just have to be at the top to accelerate your business growth, either. Consider who you’re hiring for positions throughout the company. If you are simply bringing friends or family on board, make sure they have the skills and expertise to take you where you want to go. If they don’t, focus on hiring the right people so you’re ready to tackle any challenges that emerge as your company grows.
Great companies don’t happen in a vacuum. They survive and thrive thanks to smart, strategic partnerships—the third way to accelerate your growth. Partnerships are made up of meaningful relationships—often mentors—that support you. “Companies that have advisors and mentors are twice as likely to succeed as those that don’t. Twice as likely!” Solanas says, so be smart and start building those relationships today.
As you reach out, consider the skills and experience of the partners you bring on board. “Many times, the partners you have at the beginning, who believe in your passion and vision, aren’t the right ones to carry you through scale-up,” Solanas says. Thank those enthusiastic cheerleaders for doing their part, but keep looking for the right partners who will boost your growth in the future.
Technology is the fourth way to accelerate your growth—after all, even if last decade’s email system or accounting software are familiar, they’re probably costing you a lot in wasted time. They also probably won’t handle what they need to as you grow. “Don’t adopt technology just to meet today’s business needs. Think of the significant growth you want three months from now; six months from now; next year.” If you don’t think about it now, Solanas warns, “Chances are you will need to change your technology in the middle of accelerated growth, and we all know how hard that can be.”
If you follow these four tips, stemming from the new e-book, Expert Insights: Grow Your Business in the Salesforce Economy, you’ll be well on your way to sustainable growth for your business. Other growth hacks might help you pump the gas at first, but capital, people, partners and technology are the keys to steady acceleration. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.