Creating a structure for your small business
Business Structuring works in all kinds of businesses and even in a small business.
This is probably the most important step to take when it comes to business growth and expansion.
Creating a structure that works is all about management of the scope of work and expectations.
Structure in the business will give you as a business owner the liberty to think freely about the future of your business without worrying so much about the present.
Every team member should know and understand their functions in the organization and ultimately their contributions to the vision of the organization.
In truth, you as the business owner are 100% responsible for the entire business, its success and failure.
So, it can be difficult delegating work to employees and trusting them to carry out the work as well as you will manage to. It is important to trust people you have empowered.
Give them the knowledge, tools, expectations and guide them to flourish in their responsibilities. Creating structure will help with sustainability in the business.
For me, it was important to outline the different departments or functionalities in the business, assign employees to these departments/functions, set up processes, activity plans and reports to have an overall view on work and business at large.
Although there’s no one size fit all structure for all businesses especially a small business. The best approach is to outline a structure based on functionality or specialty.
It is important to lay a foundation that can manage the business and adjusting from time to time to fit every stage of the business.
Create a structure that manages the functions and objectives of the business. Set clear precise job descriptions.
Empower your employees with knowledge and processes and create accountability by setting goals and reports.
List out the key functions of the business and how they lead up to achieving the business’s objectives.
Sourcing, production, operations, accounting, logistics etc. in a simple manufacturing business are examples of the functions to be managed by a structure.
Job descriptions are usually overlooked by small business owners. According to Myles Munroe, when purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.
You have to set clear precise job descriptions for yourself as a business owner and your employees. Everyone must be clear about their purpose in the organization and expectations.
Employees may have one or multiple job roles. The important thing for multiple job roles is for the job description to be related or interwoven.
Example of a related shared job role is an employee packaging products for dispatch also performing quality control on products.
Endeavor to not give one employee most of the reigns within the business.
This will help in the case, when an employee is unable to come into work for any reason, you do not want to have all functions down at the same time and nobody capable to step in to help.
Make sure your employees realize their significance to you, the team and to the whole business.
At Smoothie Express, we see all employees are partners and we refer to them as partners, for example, production partners, customer service partners etc.
Empower your employees with processes. Set up clear, concise steps to achieving the work scope and company’s goals.
Setting up processes is simply setting up a guide on how you want the business to be run.
It is a series of steps/activities/tasks put in place to ensure delivery of a business’s objectives and vision.
Like we have learned before on processes, it creates an environment for consistency in delivering products and services, helps with time management, effective management of employees, helps curb waste and more.
Set goals and reports to analyze performance. A business owner is also the general overseer of all functions in a small business.
There should be daily, weekly, monthly reports from the different departments that gives a clear picture of the activities of the business and also the performance.
The reports should measure the performance of functions in the business in relation to its objectives.
For example, if your business’s objective is to reach xx revenue in a few months, you should see reports on the sales, specific products or services delivered, bestselling and worst selling product lines, marketing reach and customer conversion analysis, etc. daily, weekly and monthly.
These are direct reports that will give any business owner insights on revenue even if it’s the function of other employees to create the sales revenue. Having an overall view will help you make decisions as a business owner that will benefit the business’s objectives.
These are some structural tools that will help lay a foundation in which you can effectively manage your business.
Although creating a structure in your business isn’t a smooth and easy path, it can help make managing a small business less onerous job.