My Business Is Small — So Why Worry About Running Simple?

Ursula Ringham

I hear this question a lot from executives at small and even mid-size companies. Most are focused on growing as fast as possible — as they should be, especially as competition intensifies. However, many growing businesses eventually hit a Four business people at desk, looking at computer screenwall of operational constraints that limit their ability to deliver goods and services or to branch out into new markets. They simply can’t grow anymore because their businesses are running on a patchwork of processes, organizational structures, and IT systems that are too complex and can’t scale and adapt.

In a recent case study, Sharon Romem, vice president of business development at Weight Watchers Israel said, “When we expanded [our business], we increased the number of weekly meetings from 150 to 450. To help manage this growth, we needed to replace the numerous management applications we were using with a single application that allowed for efficient and coordinated communication and collaboration across multiple departments.”

Does this sound familiar? Too many businesses are relying on multiple systems that don’t work effectively together, and they only think about simplification when they have already started to grow. But if you start to think about running simple while your business is still small, you can avoid the cost and frustration of being bogged down with a fragmented legacy system in the future.

Chart a better path to sustainable growth by running simple

From an IT perspective, running simple means moving away from using stand-alone apps and patching infrastructure here and there to meet your immediate needs. Over time, a patchwork of short-term solutions becomes overly complex, rigid, and ultimately ineffective. Instead, you should focus now on building a flexible, scalable operational platform that can deliver on your corporate growth strategy.

This platform should make your day-to-day business operations as easy as possible. For example, when Weight Watchers Israel implemented SAP Business One as a unifying platform for all its departments, the business was able to grow without being held back by logistical or administrative issues. In the case study noted above, Romem also said, “Today I can get the information I need instantly, whereas I previously had to ask the financial department for it and wait.” Simplifying the business IT platform using one unifying platform allowed the organization to grow without running into the wall of operational constraints.

That’s the power of running simple. When your business has the right platform in place, you can pursue growth while remaining resilient and adapting to market changes swiftly. Therefore, as your business grows and you need to outsource non-core operations, support new business models, and even go global, you can do all this with ease.

According to a Knowlege@Wharton paper, the benefits of business simplification are huge. They include better customer experiences and retention, higher profits, lower costs, greater employee engagement and retention, increased operational efficiency, and much more. Businesses that run simple can also react faster to market changes and customer needs, lighten employee workloads, and accelerate time-to-innovation and time-to-market.

SAP solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make it easy for businesses to run simple. Easy to install and use, these solutions are tailored to your specific business needs, so they’ll work for you now and as you grow. Discover what SAP can do for you growing business or find out more about the benefits of business simplification by reading the Knowledge@Wharton paper.

Want more insight on running simple? See The Time For Simplification Is Now: Why It’s Important And How You Can Get Started Today.

About Ursula Ringham

Ursula Ringham isthe Director of Digital Marketing at SAP. She manages social media and digital marketing strategy for the small and midsize business community. She was recently recognized as one of 15 Women Who Rock Social Media at Top Tech Companies. Prior to SAP, Ursula worked at Adobe and Apple in their Developer Relations organizations. She managed strategic accounts, developer programs, edited a technical journal, managed content for an entire website, and wrote and taught course curriculum. In her spare time, Ursula writes thriller novels about the insidious side of Silicon Valley.