Organisational structure is important for any growing company to provide guidance and clarity on how business should run. That is why it is good for small-business owners to begin to think about a formal structure early in their business.
You might think your business is too small to set up formal systems and processes. But business strategists say providing structure for your business from the outset will make you more effective as you grow.
Lead business consultant focused on Small and Medium Enterprises and CEO of Ekaville Enterprises, Mrs. Ekatte Umoh, in her book Aspire: Starting a Successful Business elaborated on the need for small businesses to have a structure.
“Put a structure/system on ground for your business. Put your team together and then make them happy. This way your business will grow and run even when you are not around,” she said.
Build it and success will follow
The CEO of Bratim, a business school, Tejan Ibrahim, says it is not uncommon for small businesses to lack organisational structure but as they grow, their business must be structured.
“As you grow, you will need to have a structure in the business. You have boards, to keep you in shape going forward. You must have a structure if you want your business to grow big. I have heads for different units. If I am not here for one month, I am sure that the business will run. I have been out for three/six months and the business keeps going. Though there may be challenges but things will run well. Now, technology can help monitor some things,” he said.
How to get started
Most small businesses find it best to create a “functional” organisational chart by identifying the key roles or positions important to their business. This structure will allow you to fill positions as you grow and will ensure that tasks don’t get neglected. These could be operations, production, marketing, sales, HR, customer service and so on. Start by writing them all down.
Next, write descriptions for each role or position and assign individuals. Ask yourself who will be responsible for what? Who will be accountable for achieving a certain goal? Who reports to whom? You may not have enough people to fill each box on your chart, but what’s important is that you include the box and define the role. This will make it easier when you are able to hire additional employees.
Importance of structure
Mr Paul Alaje, a senior economist with SPM Professionals says majorly, lack of structure and system is why some businesses fail whether large businesses or small business. “In any business without structure, things will be done anyhow. System and structure will take out corruption; it will take out people who are not competent in the system. Having a structure will allow for auditing account. Having a structure will help you have policies that will help guide the running of your business.
Alaje said just like the human body has the digestive system, excretive system, respiratory system and more so every business must have a system/structure such that the sales system is working perfectly, the account system is working perfectly, the HR system is working efficiently. Adding that small businesses that are doing well today survived because they followed this procedure.