Scaling a small business for the global stage


As a fast-growing scale-up you take every opportunity to put your business on a global stage, and never did I expect a worldwide pandemic to be a key driver behind this. The bitter-sweet snowball effect of COVID-19 has driven forced innovation across businesses big and small, with many approaching technology creatively, finding agile solutions to their cumbersome challenges.

As a result of COVID-19 challenges to fan engagement at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Komo was appointed to deliver an audience fan engagement hub. This COVID-proof strategy was the key to delivering an unparalleled digital experience the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) relied on to fulfil its commitments to brand partners.

Here are five things I learnt throughout the process:

1. Don’t lose sight of the long game

Building strong partnerships with global brands holds much more value than quick wins and upfront revenue. Forming great relationships create a plethora of opportunities and puts you on the front line for other well-regarded ventures and opportunities. For Komo, not only did this open us up for future Olympic games, becoming an official partner of the AOC allowed us to use the coveted Olympic Rings, leveraging credibility and building brand trust. As something that only officially accredited partners can use, this opened the door to many new leads.

2. Education is everything

Komo was built on case studies and testimonials, which is why the delivery of our concept is of uttermost importance. We make it a priority to build trust with our clients by showing rather than telling. At a client’s incision, we create detailed concept proofs and take the time to educate both them and their partners on how to set up for success. This shows established brands like the AOC that we are a serious contender and a great asset for their business. Their success is our success!

3. Over-communicate

Like any project, the ability to reap the fruit of our labour is heavily dependent on achieving a positive stakeholder experience. Keeping key decision-makers informed with regular updates is crucial, ensuring they remain engaged and supported. Communication is a big factor in ensuring this and the overall success of the partnership. Catching any small “unhappy” moments as they happen ensures you can rectify them quickly.

4. Be brave, but timing is everything

No matter how many glowing reviews we receive, there’s always someone wanting a free, discounted, or reduced subscription period trial. As a growing business, sometimes you let this slide, however eventually you must say “enough is enough”. This is all about timing and when you’re ready. It is also worth noting that contract value isn’t always monetary, it does come in the form of testimonials, case studies, use of partner brand IP and other non-tangible benefits that your future customers will see. Be brave, know your worth and negotiate it accordingly.

5. Be prepared to go above and beyond expectations

As you begin to scale enterprise SaaS, it’s important to always over service your customers. They are paying top dollar for industry-leading tech, and you never want them to have any doubt that they have made the right decision to subscribe. Customer success plays an integral part in this process. Your product may not always be scaling as fast as your customers’ needs are, and you may need to take on some manual “heavy lifting” to ensure you’re still delivering the enterprise level customer experience they are paying for. If it’s not a technology driven automated process, they will require and appreciate the extra support and this will get you through until the tech catches up. You simply can’t afford to have your customers wait months for that extra tool or feature and you certainly cannot afford to wait to take on the customer. You need to get in, get your hands dirty and go above and beyond until your tech can deliver. This also ensures that you’re always working in the product and walking in your customers shoes, which is the best way to uncover product bugs and improvements, a win win!