If you want to scale your IT business, look at your marketing first!
Why marketing is the key to scalability
‘Yeah right!’ I hear most of you thinking as you are reading the title of this blog article.
I understand that, as most IT businesses are built on specialized technical skills and some very good sales people. Following this train of thought, it would be better to hire more IT professionals and more sales people to grow your business.
You might be right, but bear with me and let’s take a closer look at what scaling is really about.
The start of any IT business
When starting your IT business, the main focus is on finding the right fit in the market, or the so-called product-market fit. The business needs to prove that it has worth for the market, that it could make money and even more importantly, that it provides services that really help a certain set of customers. When this first goal is achieved, it’s time to look further and scale your business: it’s time for the so-called go-to-market fit.
The go-to-market fit
For an IT business to scale-up, it is essential to have built a successful and scalable set of services with a sharp focus on a certain customer, while also handling the operations in a scalable and productive way. The big challenge here is to invest money and resources at the right moment, on the right part of your business. Getting this step right is a very hard thing to do, probably even harder than finding the right product-market-fit.
The question here is, does your IT business really have the potential to scale?
5 questions to ask yourself before scaling your IT business
One of the most helpful ways I found to determine if your IT business is ready for the big step of scaling up is to ask yourself these 5 questions summarized in this Forbes article:
Do we have the right team and organization in place? You may go through a variety of iterations, involving people in different roles, firings, departures and restructuring. That’s what those first few years are for.
Are the right customers coming to us through the right channels? Customer no. 1 could be very different from customer no. 10,000. You’ll never forget your first, but that doesn’t mean who you’re trying to woo won’t evolve.
Do we have sufficient and effective revenue growth? Just like the above, dollar one may be very different from dollar one million, but each one counts just as much. You have to keep growing and building.
Can we predict our revenue growth and profit? Anyone can say, “We’re going to make a lot of money!” Being accurate about just how much money makes the difference in truly understanding year-over-year growth.
Are we able to control our costs, and can we see a path toward profitability? If you have a grasp on your costs and budgets and what you need versus what you want, you can begin to understand how to best be profitable even in uncertain times.
Why is marketing important for scalability?
Now that you’ve taken a look at these questions, you might have already noticed that marketing actually has a great influence on positive answers for questions 2 to 5. As a matter of fact, online marketing allows you to make more accurate predictions of growth, profit, costs, while also giving you the ability to test target markets and channels for scalability.
How to make accurate predictions through marketing
Hopefully, you now understand why marketing is important for the scalability of your IT business. What you now need to master is how to make marketing predictive. From my experience, online or digital marketing is very valuable for this purpose, as it produces measurable data you can work with. In order for your marketing to produce data, you need to look at it as an assembly line or, as I like to call it, a ‘marketing machine’. If you want to know more about this topic, in this whitepaper you can read all about building a B2B marketing machine for your IT business.
Fast marketing scalability
Throughout the years, I always got a lot of questions from IT businesses about how to quickly scale their marketing. Honestly, with marketing scalability there’s no such thing as cutting corners. It’s a matter of dedication and constant testing and measuring.
Sjors Teeuwen has 15 years of online marketing strategy experience and has helped over 70 IT businesses become successful online. As the founder of Leadgate Europe he is very keen to help you make the next steps in your online marketing journey.
Let's meet and see what is possible for your IT business!