Growing a business is costly.
It takes cash to increase inventory/capacity/supplies.
But even more than that, it takes time.
Regardless of whether your growth is coming from doing business with more customers than ever before, or just providing more product/service to your existing customers, it still means you are in uncharted territory.
During periods of high growth, mistakes happen. Things fall through the cracks. Communication gets rushed. At some point you just have to hope that instinct and habit a.
Don’t get me wrong, growing pains are good pains to have, and far better than the alternative. Still, pain is pain. And at some point you need some relief. You just can’t stay in the growth phase forever.
That’s why I think of business growth as a cycle with 3 distinct phases: Grow, Normalize, and Optimize. And they have to come in that order.
Over the past 4 years, ResaleAI has grown from a guy with a laptop and an idea in the spare bedroom, to a team of 7 in an increasingly cramped office providing services to hundreds of stores across 49 states and most of Canada. (damn you Hawaii!)
Over that 4 year period, we also rapidly grew the scope of what ResaleAI does. What started out as a few tools to help owners and managers keep things organized quickly grew to include some of the stores’ most mission critical customer interactions.
And there have been some bumpy parts.
All of that growth was costly. Both in cash, and especially in terms of time. There were several months where we were both working around the clock and racing the clock to try and keep up.
From August through December, we were in a period of Normalization. We worked hard to fix the broken parts. We made drastic improvements to our infrastructure. Our fully redundant, high availability, multi-tenant database cluster is nothing short of magical. We also took a hard look at our customer support processes and found ways we could do better. Over time, we even developed internal systems for automated-testing and alerting. Basically, a ton of stuff that everyone benefits from, but no one really sees.
We also made some adjustments to our team. Madeline and Sarah brought with them years of real-world, in-store experience. We know how frustrating it is to have technical problems while customers are standing at the counter on a busy Saturday.
Now, it’s time to optimize!
In the next few weeks, we will begin beta testing the Next version of ResaleAI. It is a new interface designed from the ground up for speed and ease-of-use. It is a cutting edge platform that will allow us to return to frequent releases with small tweaks and improvements to help you and your team optimize every little messy corner of the business.
2019 is the Year of Optimization at ResaleAI and that means we are going to be laser focused on helping you and your team be faster, friendlier, and fat-wallet-ier.
The great thing about the Grow, Normalize, Optimize cycle is that when done right, optimization just leads to more growth.