In partnership with Zoho

By Rieva Lesonsky

Are you ready to grow your business in 2019? Here are four steps to make it happen.

Step 1: Plan for the future. What is the forecast for your industry, your customers and your competitors? Do some market research and tap into your customer data to create predictions for the next five or 10 years. Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing your business. Then create business goals for the next 12 months, five years and 10 years (dream big!).

Step 2: Get real. What will you need to achieve your business goals? Do you have the financial resources, human resources, equipment and technology required to accomplish your vision? If not, what will it take to get them? Assess your company’s current processes, systems and technology to see what changes need to be made. For example, if you have one location and plan to add more offices throughout the state, will your current systems, software and processes you use work with those far-flung locations? Get input from your entire team, from the front lines to the back office. They can help you identify problems you may not know about or suggest ideas for doing things better.

Step 3: Look for opportunities to automate. By automating processes and streamlining workflows, integrated software can accelerate your business growth while also reducing your team’s workload. According to a report by McKinsey, 60% of all jobs can be at least partially automated. With less time spent on repetitive tasks, you and your employees will have more time to focus on the big-picture ideas that take your business to the next level.

Step 4: Choose the right technology. Small business apps can simplify your life—or add unnecessary complications. If you build your business on App No. 1, then try to add another, what happens if App No. 2 doesn’t play nice with App No. 1? Choosing integrated software solutions like Zoho One eliminates this risk and simplifies workflow.

Zoho One is an integrated suite of more than 40 online applications, including complimentary mobile and native versions, along with many extensions and extras. It’s got everything you need to run your entire business better—from sales and marketing to finance and project management. (See the full list of Zoho One features.)

When employees have to learn how to use multiple apps or toggle back and forth from one app to another, it adds complexity and wastes time. When you use Zoho One, just turn on an app to improve a process. Then connect multiple apps to help different teams work together more efficiently.

Remote work is a growing trend, and in today’s competitive hiring environment, you need to offer flexible work options to attract and keep employees. Zoho One is designed to help everyone—from in-office staff to virtual and remote workers—stay connected and collaborate with ease for maximum productivity.

When choosing software to support business growth, it’s key that the software solution is scalable. All Zoho One’s applications offer enterprise features, so no matter how big your business gets, Zoho One can grow with you.

You’ll also want to consider the track record your chosen software solution has. Hitching your business growth plans to a brand-new app can put your company at risk if the app doesn’t succeed or goes out of business. Look for software companies with a solid history of performance and positive reviews. Zoho has been around for more than two decades. That’s exactly what I did—Zoho’s project management app is one of the first tools my small business ever used when we launched. I was impressed at how intuitive, yet comprehensive, it was.

Learn more about Zoho One

An all-in-one small business platform that incorporates everything from team collaboration to marketing automation and accounting can be your secret weapon for growing your business. Want to learn more about Zoho One? Through March 8, 2019, Zoho is offering free seminars nationwide where you can see how the Zoho One suite of products can help your business grow.

You’ll learn the basics of using Zoho One apps to enhance your productivity; build customer relationships; and help you effectively collaborate with staff, partners, and investors. Find the Zoho One seminar near you.

Grow business stock photo by Syda Productions/Shutterstock