When it comes to small businesses often the structure is forgotten because entrepreneurs think that the business is small and there is not a need for structure. Even with three employees small businesses also need a structure, especially because every business has functions. You cannot find business without functions because there will always be something like sales, customer support, accounting, manufacturing, marketing…
Regarding these issues, the difference between large and small businesses is that the big businesses have more human resources while in the small businesses because of fewer resources, there is the existence of overlapping of functions. Thus, in the small businesses you can find the same person responsible for finance, sales and supply.
The organizational structure serves not only for determining positions among people in the business, but also has effects on communication and effectiveness of various business functions. Because of that it is useful you as an entrepreneur to make a chart of your structure. With such a chart, it is much easier to find “bottlenecks” that may occur as an obstacle to business development.
Over time, there are changing circumstances in which such an organizational structure survives. Business is an alive organizational system, which is subject to constant restructuring, something as cutting costs, increasing productivity, increasing efficiency and effectiveness… Any change affects the structure. Maybe some small changes don’t have drastically affects, but more such small changes with small intensity for a longer period of time can have a big impact on the functionality of the structure.
Because of above mentioned your structure must be a part of the change process. In certain period of time, you will need to make the following steps:
- Make a list of all changes in the analyzed period of time that you have made in your business. What impact these changes have on each function in business?
- On the organizational chart insert all the changes and their impact and possible changes in the relations between functions because of that changes.
- On the same chart add the names of people responsible for each of the functions. If there are overlaps (which for a small business is not uncommon) state that overlapping.
- Prepare possible questions for discussion with any person responsible for each function that needs to highlight their problems.
- Organize a meeting with all that persons. For each person take the 30 minutes special meeting face to face to discuss possible questions from the previous step. Insist on proposals for solutions to problems to be proposed from their side, not yours. If you can not receive possible solutions on that meeting, be patient, give them a time, but restrict them to be able to finish sooner. Ideally, allow them 2-3 business days for thinking and giving suggestions.
- Collect all the suggestions and propose your own suggestions about the problems that will be consistent with your business vision and overall business goals. Organize a joint meeting to discuss about all proposals. This meeting must produce common solutions acceptable for each team member and will bring the new breath of your small business.
- After you gather all the ideas and discussions make a chart of the new organizational structure with responsibilities of each person as well as links between them. Call them again on the meeting and present him the new proposal – the new structure. At the same meeting determine responsible persons for implementation of this structure.
- Track and improve. You must follow the implementation and everywhere where there was a possibility of improvement do not hesitate to improve. This is a cycle of continuous improvement.