It’s no surprise that more and more businesses are opting for Magento — one of the most flexible and scalable e-commerce platforms. Companies benefit from its extensive array of powerful tools for building a store.
Whether you’re looking to digitize your brick-and-mortar business or update your existing online store, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the intricacies of scaling a Magento development team.
First, let’s explore the signs that you’re ready to scale your team.
How to know when to scale a Magento development team
Is it time to scale your Magento development team? Be on the lookout for the following indicators.
You’ve established a market fit
It’s one thing to conceptualize an e-commerce store and another to test if it has strong market demand. Before going big, test the waters with a minimum viable product (MVP). If your MVP has proven successful, then you’re ready to set your eyes on a Magento 2 development team that can create a store that’s geared toward a larger market.
Your customer base is growing
Your business may have gone way beyond the MVP phase and is now dealing with a customer base that’s rapidly expanding. If your company is starting to decline orders, then it’s time to consider expanding your team. And you need to act fast. Failing to capitalize on the momentum could result in missed opportunities. You may even lose your customers to competitors.
At the very least, you should have a revenue model that allows you to predict the metrics that lead to a dollar amount. The ability to control your costs and forecast your earnings will give you the confidence to scale. A positive cash flow is also a strong indicator that you’re ready to grow your team, more so if you’re experiencing sustained profitability over a long period.
You have a stellar core team
Your business is only as strong as your core team. You should have at least three to five people with the skills, dedication, and proven performance to steer your business in the right direction. They should be as passionate and committed to the company goals as you are. And you must be able to count on them to be with you for the long haul.
You’re grappling with growing pains
It’s good to be busy. But if your developers are missing deadlines and your project manager is just about ready to snap, then it’s time to send in reinforcements. If you fail to address the problem, you could end up dealing with a bottleneck that’s harmful to your bottom line.
You’ve minimized the risk
Don’t rush into scaling before you’re ready. Although a degree of risk is inherent in any business dealings, you must always strive to avoid it. Minimize the risk by honing your business model and marketing strategies, covering the legal bases, sorting out the finances, and scrutinizing the system with your team.
You’re looking to add new product offerings
You know you’re ready to broaden your offerings if your initial product has proven to be a success. Don’t make the mistake of overburdening your current team, though. You could risk losing your valued employees. The quality of your products could also suffer. It’s best to put together a dedicated development team to work on the new products.
While it’s exciting to be in a position where you’re ready to grow your business, you should not ignore the challenges in team management on the horizon.
The challenges of scaling a Magento development team
Like any major endeavor, scaling your Magento development team is not without challenges. Being aware of possible issues will help you prepare for them.
Choosing between freelancers and a dedicated team
Make sure you make the right choice early on. Otherwise, you could end up dealing with a subpar website and having to start all over again. This is a costly mistake many startups make. Instead of taking your chances with a freelancer, it’s best to hire a dedicated team that’s trained and certified to provide Magento development services. The safest route is to work directly with a Magento agency.
Finding the right balance between price and quality
It can be tempting to choose developers who offer their services below market prices. But this could result in more expense in the long run. Don’t just go for the cheapest option. Aim for the right quality and price ratio. If you’re hiring from another country, it’s best to check the developers’ price against the local average.
Considering long-term development needs
The job of Magento e-commerce developers does not end after your store has gone live. You’ll still need them for security checks and performance improvements. When scaling your team, make sure you choose developers ready to provide continuous development and support services.
Every developer is going to claim to have the expertise to meet your needs. Don’t just take their word for it. Check their credentials by looking into their portfolio and searching for projects that are similar to yours. And don’t just rely on the case studies. Take the time to visit the active e-commerce websites and experience how they work firsthand.
Managing distributed teams
You may end up hiring remote developers. Working with developers from different locations and time zones can cause challenges in team management. You’ll have to prep your core team for changes that may not be convenient for them. Be ready to arrange schedules that work for everyone to make your video conferences as productive as any face-to-face meeting, and replace your office whiteboards with effective digital substitutes.
It can be difficult for developers to work through someone else’s code. Rid your shared codebases of clutter to ensure a smooth transition. You should also be keeping an eye out for inefficient communication channels that are causing feedback loops and overlooked bugs. Manual operations are another bottleneck to avoid. While it’s impossible to eliminate all manual processes, you should at least aim to minimize them.
Now that you know you’re ready to scale and you’re well aware of possible issues, it’s time to take action.
Actions to take when scaling a Magento development team
Scaling your development team requires preparation and adjustments to the way you do things. Here are some steps to take to make the process a success.
Revisit your business essentials
Everything you do must be centered on your core business essentials. Make sure you have a clear picture of who you are and where you’re headed. Revisiting your company’s mission and vision will help you build a solid foundation and carry out the scaling stage with purpose and confidence.
Devise a five-year roadmap
To effectively plan your software architecture and successfully scale your team, you need to elaborate on your company’s direction and synchronize the working processes of various departments. The roadmap does not have to be too detailed, but it must cover your goals, plans, and milestones. It should enable your employees to work toward the same goals and react to changes accordingly.
Take stock of initial requirements
Before growing your team, you have to analyze the scale of your e-commerce development project and gain a full understanding of the initial requirements. If you don’t sort this out initially, you’ll end up dealing with costly problems halfway through the development project.
Adjust your communication channels
Your communication channels should reflect the changes you’ve made in your organizational structure. If you plan to bring in remote workers, decide which digital tools will work best for your organization and make sure they’re ready by the time you onboard the new developers. You should also define and document your processes early on, so you can easily guide the newcomers and steer them in the right direction.
Automate your business processes
Manual operations are difficult and expensive to scale. Aim to automate as many of your business processes as possible. That way, you’ll be able to maximize your resources.
Coordinate the teams’ work
Avoid coordination problems by synchronizing the work of the teams. When scaling teams and allocating resources, take dependencies into consideration. Resources can be put to waste if one team can’t proceed with its task because another team has yet to finish its part.
Always discuss your plans with the project managers and reshuffle resources whenever necessary. Also, make sure your shared codebases won’t cause any headaches for the newcomers.
Hire the right people
The people you choose to hire can make or break your company.
You know you’re ready to scale your Magento development team if enough money is coming in, your customer base is expanding, you’re experiencing growing pains, and you’re excited to introduce new products. But don’t just jump right in. Scaling is a daunting endeavor that requires thorough preparation. Be aware of and ready for the challenges ahead of you and the necessary steps to make the process smooth sailing.
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