Growing Pains: How Leveraging Search Can Help Scale Your Startup

Joe Pena on July 30, 2019
While starting a business is one of the most challenging endeavors a person can take on, scaling a business from one customer to hundreds can be even more daunting. According to TechStars, 70% of startups struggle with scaling their product and team. From financial challenges to regulatory issues, there are dozens of reasons why startups fail to achieve meaningful growth. While founders need to be focused on these growing pains, ensuring their team and processes scale alongside their business is equally important.

As a business grows its customer base, the internal complexity of the organization grows as well. More hiring means building out Human Resources, more code means specialized developers, and a larger reach means more marketing work. According to a report by Okta, the average employee uses over 15 different apps to get their work done. This reflects a new era of enterprise IT, where self-serve applications from a variety of vendors are prevalent.

Without interoperability and integration between these apps, companies are left with siloed data and inefficient workflows. According to Coveo, 36% of an employee’s day is spent consolidating information. This means spending hours combing over data and tapping coworkers for context. The question at hand: how can high-growth businesses solve this inefficiency so their teams can focus on being productive and conquer the growing pains they face?

Search: the overlooked solution

Search is ubiquitous. In fact, searches on Google continue to grow 10% year-over-year. While search has become a natural flow in our personal lives, it has yet to become a meaningful workflow in businesses. In fact, when compared to our normal search-based behavior, company workflows look surprisingly archaic. Navigating across multiple tabs, apps, and, even in the best case, searching within one app context. In most cases, this outdated workflow is based on the fact that businesses don’t invest in adequate search infrastructure. This is true even though a Findwise report found that 86% of respondents said that it is very important or important to improve the ability to find information in their organizations.

The value of search

There are multiple reasons to invest in search as a high-growth company, namely:

Capitalizing on Information Investment

Most employees spend their days creating information - everything from technical design documents, spreadsheets, to reporting on an interview. The process of creating this information may be of the order of an hour or so a day, or 12% of the working year. When the information cannot be found and reused by other employees, this effort has been wasted twice over when considering the time required to duplicate the lost information.

Knowledge and Expertise Discovery

Besides information, we should also consider knowledge. Knowledge can’t be written down since it is context-specific and changes daily On average, companies have an employee turnover rate of about 10% a year. In a company of 5,000 employees, this means that two people join the organization every working day. How can we be sure that these employees will be able to track down the people with the expertise and experience they need to make an effective contribution? Search can play a role in finding them.

Onboard New Employees Faster

New employees want to make a positive impact on the company as soon as possible. They do not have the time to invest in learning how to navigate the company ecosystem (intranet) and do not always know the names of people who will point them in the right direction. If only they had the ability to pull up relevant information across the whole company ecosystem.

Supporting Mobile Employees

Many employees work outside of the office – whether they’re dealing with customers, suppliers or prospects. These time-sensitive tasks require critical information to be available in seconds. Mobile users can leverage unified search on their smartphone or tablet’s browser to find information instantly and have a productive meeting.

Reducing Workplace Stress

There never seems to be enough time to complete tasks at work; even more so at a high-growth organization. Embedding search into a task’s workflow can ensure that as the task is undertaken, the most recent and relevant information is presented to the employee so they can get the task out of the way expediently.

Takeaways

Scaling a business is no easy task, but we can make it easier on the employees of a business by improving their day-to-day workflow using search. We can empower employees to use more of their time being productive and driving a business’s goals instead of searching and organizing information across multiple apps. Information is becoming more important and more difficult to find, yet there is an inadequate level of investment in improving information quality and the resources to enhance search effectiveness. Mitigate those growing pains by leveraging search, and see how productive and happy your employees will be.