When we talk about expanding business we mean revenue, income streams, service inclusions, the markets we operate within, and capability. What we don’t mean is inflated headcount or increased overheads.

Sure, there are some global companies who require a large headquarters, and who can afford to get naming rights on the city’s most prestigious real estate. But these are the organisations who’ve made it. They’ve already been and conquered. They’re also in most cases the companies that have grown out of the ‘dark ages’ of tech.
As technology evolves, many of the big players are too, with companies like Dell recently announcing they’re downsizing their office space and increasing the number of employees who work from home. And where big corporates have maintained their physical offices, they’re shifting towards a more fluid environment complete with hot desks, co-working spaces, and hybrid working from home arrangements.

Transient workforces are the future. And while this might seem fraught with danger to those who are used to a more traditional way of working, it’s really a matter of understanding the opportunities within the market, and devising ways of working smarter to grow your business without increasing your overheads, leaving you with more money to invest in the tools that are actually going to enable you to expand.

All you need is a phone
Technically this is true, assuming you have a smart phone. But this in itself would be quite limiting. A more realistic suggestion would be that all you need to operate a business is a laptop, a mobile phone, and an internet connection. If you really want to get sophisticated get a website made, or just build one yourself with sites like Webs, Wix, SquareSpace or any of the other website builders online.

Get rid of your office space
Not everyone needs a large office and a five-year lease. Let’s face it, at a grassroots level you can work out of a café. But if you want something more professional, co-working spaces like Spacecubed, the York Butter Factory, and The Commons offer businesses the opportunity to utilise space, resources, and common areas to meet, network and hold meetings on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These are great collaborative hubs where you can meet with your co-workers to hold meetings, or once or twice a week to keep one-on-one contact up and running without the need to invest in ongoing overheads. It’s also a great way to meet other like-minded progressive thinking people like yourself.

Get tech savvy
This is the big one. The right systems are going to see your business soar and should be your main investment. Streamlined, automated, integrated programs mean fewer manual processes and increased productivity, all without the need for more human capital. Less people means less overheads. And with cloud technology you have an enormous number of resources to choose from. Globally, enterprise systems are increasingly popping up, each smarter and more affordable than the next. The traditional key players like SAP and Oracle are no longer the one source of truth for business. When it comes to tech, be open, do your homework, explore, and think outside the box.

At the end of the day…
Be innovative, know where to invest your money, and think lean.