Duncan Gooding, director of Major Accounts and Carriers at TalkTalk Business offers advice to companies scaling up in the tech industry.
Making the move from a startup working in a home office or co-working space to one that has a growing number of employees and its own office is both incredibly exciting and very daunting.
It shows that your humble startup is really starting to grow and that your ambitions are finally being realised.
It also, however, raises many new logistical questions. After all, as a small but growing business owner, you’re an entrepreneur, not a telecoms specialist.
Yet you’re expected to sort out the rental of the office, the furniture it contains, utilities such as water and electricity, insurance, and perhaps most importantly today, internet connection.
Luckily, developments in technology make growing your business easier than ever. As long as you’re clear what your growth plan is, there is a cost effective way to scaleup your communications which lets you get on with what you really care about on a day to day basis.
Slowly but steady
If your business is expecting a steady rate of growth which will involve hiring new employees, it makes sense to plan early for an internet connection and phone lines which can support the number of people you’re expecting.
There’s nothing worse than being in a position to hire new people, but then slow down their productivity with constricted bandwidth and a lack of outbound telephone lines.
Increasingly, businesses expecting rapid growth are opting for next generation SIP telephone lines, which carry voice calls over your internet connection.
New lines can be set up incredibly quickly – often taking just a few minutes – and they do not need any new infrastructure if you suddenly find yourself setting up another five desk phones at short notice. It can also be much more cost effective, as you won’t have to physically install new expensive and disruptive phone lines.
We understand that many SMEs do not experience slow and steady growth; it comes in fits and starts.
Many businesses need to be able to scale down as well as up, particularly those in highly seasonal industries.
For example, if your business provides solutions for people during the ski season, you’ll need plenty of phone lines ready for customer service calls during the winter months, but there’s little point in having (and paying for) phone lines that lie unused during the summer.
The more flexible your business can be around seasonal fluctuations and key events, the more you can ensure you offer the best service at the lowest cost.
Finally, your business might find itself growing internationally, as you find yourself catering to more customers or clients overseas.
There are countless stories of businesses that have found success with an audience outside of their own country or a who have landed that first lucrative contract with a business on the other side of the world.
With next generation voice solutions, businesses can easily use phone numbers from hundreds of countries across the world that direct back to their UK office, so that their overseas customer or clients can call a phone number which they recognise and trust.
For any business which finds itself expanding abroad, this is a much cheaper alternative to establishing and maintaining remote offices.