If you have plans to grow your business and expand it into other regions, including to other countries, you will be turning your firm into a multidimensional business. But what does that mean?
The definition of what a multidimensional business is can vary but at its core is the distribution of responsibility for turnover, profit and market share across different dimensions in your organisation, such as geographic markets or business units.
As growth takes hold and internal complexity increases, so does the need for you to deal with coordination and flexibility among all parts of the structure.
There are challenges that stand in the way of developing a multidimensional business but there are also benefits too. Let’s start by looking at the latter.
What are the benefits of a multidimensional business
One advantage of a multidimensional business comes from its very definition, as mentioned above: responsibility for business success is now shared across different parts of the company. This is in contrast with the previous status where the responsibility was shared along one single axis or vertical structure.
This allows for better adaptation of your business model to different markets along with a better understanding of the changing behaviour and specific expectations of customers in different regions.
Also, by sharing responsibilities as well as resources, your business units will have more space to concentrate on generating business externally. It makes business sense to optimise your synergies at an internal level so more energy can be dedicated to your customers.
Furthermore, looking at market opportunities from different dimensions generates constructive discussions in which people try to achieve the best result for the business as a whole.
What are the challenges of a multidimensional business?
The expansion of your business will need a step change in attitude that includes more than just an enlarged organisational structure. However, one factor stands to attention: information.
The flow and scope of information and data is key to a multidimensional business. It needs to reach all business units and employees, and is a key step to success. Unlike in the past, communication is no longer slow or expensive. Many technological advances achieved over the past decade have eliminated many obstacles.
Due to the introduction of new management information systems, you can now obtain reliable information across multiple cross sections simultaneously and, therefore, also define and pursue organisational objectives along multiple dimensions.
Three things to successfully develop your multidimensional business
1. Remember that people are key
While structure and process represent a large part of any business growth, choosing the right individuals to manage new and often complex roles remains one of the hardest challenges. If you invest in choosing the right leaders, you will have a direct influence both in structure and process.
And as your business expands, make sure you hire the right people with the necessary skill sets for it to succeed. If your new employees will be based abroad, they will require the right cultural knowledge and language skills. One important factor is they will need to understand and reflect your firm’s values. You want your business to be represented in the right way, in each location that it operates.
2. Use a single platform for better decision making
Rather than having lots of different systems in place, as your business grows, having just one will provide a lot of clarity across your teams.
If you have team members working in different locations as part of your business expansion, having access to real-time data and analytics will aid faster decision making. Using a cloud-based accounting platform will allow your teams to stay on top of the numbers and react when they need to.
3. Collaborate across your teams to keep your business moving
That’s right, collaboration will play an important role for your multidimensional business. You will find resources are often shared across service centres, so projects will involve collaboration across different units.
As a consequence of the new set up, direct control diminishes while accountability to obtain the best results remains a key feature. This means that people will need to be able to influence others (who are not reporting directly) and be open to support others, and work together to get the best results for your business.
What are your stories of your business expanding? Share your stories in the comments below.