Every business owner has a vision in mind when they start their business. Usually you get started because you’ve identified a gap in the market. Perhaps it’s because you’re passionate about something and want potential clients to benefit from your offering.
Soon enough however, you realise that there are a number of facets within business, and you’re certainly not an expert at all of them!
Yet, all need a certain level of time and expertise to be undertaken efficiently. These are your business operations and they way you structure them can make or break your success.
When small business owners are in their early stages of business, they sometimes lack any sort of strategy or structure. While in the beginning it may seem like you have a grasp of everything, soon enough you may get overwhelmed and invite burnout.
what does having a business structure look like?
Structure looks like identifying all your business needs, whether that’s marketing related tasks, or finance, or client related tasks. Clearly listing down the to-dos under all these business pillars allows you to get a sense of what is needed to be done and when or how often.
Once you have a sense of what is needed and when, you can start to plan to look for people to support you with these tasks, because lets face it – you can’t do it all alone!
But here’s where another problem comes in. Some business owners are able to get past the belief that they can do everything on their own. However they end up hiring someone to help them but offload a great number of tasks onto the new hire. The reality is, sometimes the person can’t do all those tasks.
Structure in this case means taking time to understand the new hire’s strengths. It also means training them on how you want things done in your business.
how to go about improving your business structure
The best way to understand and improve your business structure is by educating yourself. Research helps you understand the different business functions. Business owners are advised to gather as much knowledge relating to different business functions before they begin doing the tasks. This way you get to know what each function entails, what’s most suitable for your business under a specific function, and whether you are well equipped to carry out the task.
Take marketing for instance. There are hundreds of ways and mediums to market your business, but that doesn’t mean all will apply to your business. Depending on where your clients are, you may opt for social media ads as opposed to radio or print advertising, or vice verca.
2: be strategically active
To clearly plan out your business structure, you need to be proactive and have an open mindset. After you have carried out research and identified what may be best for your business, you need to have a plan of action.
This could be guided by your short and long term business goals. You could list the business functions you will eventually need to offload. This may be because you want to focus on client acquisition and finances, or because they aren’t your areas of comfort or interest.
Rather than stick to doing everything yourself, work towards bringing someone on board to help you get some of these tasks done. Remember though, when you make your first hire, you’re going to be responsible for an employee management system. Prepare in advance.
3: know what does / doesn’t apply to your business
It’s so easy to get lost doing things because other businesses are doing them. In actuality, every business is unique and therefore has a unique set of needs.
Your business may not need a full time legal or tax person but may need a full time graphics professional. It all depends on the work you’re doing.
The key areas that apply to all small businesses are: marketing and sales, client acquisition and relationship management, finances, and team management. Team management also refers to external contractors you may be working with.
4: create systems around certain tasks
One business hack for small business owners is to replicate some business tasks. There are several recurring tasks in business and this gives you an opportunity to replicate or try and systematize them in some way.
For example, if you are always sending out proposal emails to your clients, make a standard template. That way you just have to go in and customize it for that particular client. This saves you time because you’re not starting from scratch every single time.
over to you
With these tips you’re guaranteed to have a seamless business structure, which in turn improves your business operations.
What area of business have you tirelessly worked towards structuring? Have you tried any of these and to what degree? Let us know in the comments!