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1
How To Grow A Successful Small Business
2
What Your Customers Love About Benefits
3
7 Ways to Use Your Organisational Chart to Make Your Business Super-Efficient
4
Have a Great Holiday!
5
Why Do You Need A Business Plan?

How To Grow A Successful Small Business

Many people start their own business in order to be independent and to do their work their way, others are passionate creators who love what they do and want to do it for others, and yet others are legacy builders who want to bring something new to the world.

But whatever the reason for starting a business, building a successful business is dependent on established principles.

It is how you balance all of these principles, so that all of them exist in your business, and then what emphasis you place on some of them to get you what you want.

The cold hard truth is that you can’t grow a successful business by relying on your knowledge of how to do things, or your passion, or the value of what you bring to the world. All of these, on their own, will not build your successful business.

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What Your Customers Love About Benefits

I’m going to ask you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

It doesn’t matter what you are selling, whether it is a service or a physical product. Whether you are selling it from a shop or office, or online. I want you to forget what you know about what you are selling and look at it from your customer’s eyes.

What do they see?

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7 Ways to Use Your Organisational Chart to Make Your Business Super-Efficient

As you grow your small business from scratch, a business system that is often forgotten is the development of your organisational chart.

Your organisational chart is a picture of how people in your business is organised, what “departments” they belong to, the responsibilities for the different parts of your business, who they report to, and so on. You’ll know what one looks like when you see it, an upside-down “tree” with the boss at the top and each “branch” representing a different part of the business and who works in each.

I totally understand why it is forgotten, because at the very start when you started the business, it looked like you didn’t need it.

After all, perhaps you were the only employee?

But as you grew, you created new roles and as you grew further, some of these roles got confused. People started off by “helping” and doing a bit of everything, but in time this may have got confused. Things didn’t get done because people thought someone else was doing it; it wasn’t their direct responsibility.

If you grow your business without a formal organisational chart, it’s more than likely that you have come to a point where there are gaps in the work, or where each new employee finds it hard to understand how they fit in, or there is some daily confusion about what needs to be done and who is doing it.

Have you got to that position?

I have written elsewhere about how to design and populate your organisational chart as you grow your business, and this week I wanted to discuss the 7 ways you can use your organisational chart to make your business super-efficient!

#1 Avoids Cross-Over And Confusion

Your organisational chart should clearly organise your business into different parts that make up your business. These may be the Production people, the Marketing people, the Finance people, and so on.

This will clearly tell people who are responsible for what functions and avoids the inefficiency of cross-over where two sets of workers are doing the same thing.

At the same time, small tasks don’t fall in between the cracks because there is a clearly identified group of people who should take responsibility for those types of tasks.

A good organisational chart also shows what happens when responsibilities intersect.

For example, how do people in the sales team pass on customer feedback to the production team so that the product can be improved? Who do they do that through?

Your organisational chart should also show the management and supervision structure of each function. Who is “in charge”, who do people go to when they need instruction or to check on their work, and who do those people in charge go to in their turn? This clarity avoids the situation where people learn how to do things from the wrong people, or where new workers who need training don’t know who to go to and sit there continually doing the wrong thing.

As your business grows larger, it also helps in making communication more efficient. Each manager can receive new strategy and policy and pass it on to their teams without your having to hold large meetings. Each team can discuss issues and improvements and the manager can collect those ideas and pass them on to you without your having to attend every team meeting.

#2 Individuals Know What They Should Do And Why

As you design your organisational chart, you can write detailed position description statements for every position shown in the business.

This means that individually, each employee knows exactly what they are responsible for within their teams. Their position description statements should also give them their individual objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and show them how these relate to the objectives and responsibilities of their team. This allows them to understand that no matter how small a part they think they play, everyone has a role to play in pulling in the same direction.

Knowing this, they can play their parts effectively and help the business become more efficient because they don’t need to stop whatever they are doing to ask for micro-managed instructions.

#3 New People Fit Right In

An up to date and published organisational chart allows new people to fit in effortlessly.

Rather than taking the time to introduce them to how the business works and who to see if they need help, they can see at a glance how they fit into the business, what they are supposed to do, who they rely on to do their job, and who to report to or get training from.

This can cut the need for training in systems and procedures by a substantial amount of time.

#4 The Business Strategy Is Clear

If you design your organisational chart as if you were describing the business when it has attained your vision, then you are describing the structure as it should be.

This makes your business strategy clear to your employees – about how you are planning to grow, what type of work will get focus, what part of the business will take more responsibility.

They can see clearly who wears several hats at the moment, and understand that as more people are hired, how those positions will change in personnel, but not in function.

Designing the finished picture at the start also means that your business strategy is driving the business. There is a saying that either strategy dictates strategy or structure creates a structure. You want to make sure that your vision and strategy is already dictated by your organisational structure, rather than growing your structure as and when new people arrive and having them drive what strategy you adopt at that time.

#5 Create Motivation And Drive

An organisational structure that shows what the “finished product” will be like shows your employees what their career paths could be.

There is nothing worse than working in a business where your perception of the only way of getting on in the company is to await someone else to die or move on!

The promotion channels can be discussed at staff reviews, so people are clear how they can progress. It will help you and them identify your talent for the future, as well as what resources like training you need to implement to help them.

This will create an internal motivation mechanism because people will feel like they have a future in the organisation – and that creates drive and efficiency.

#6 Gaps In Resources Will Be Identified

An organisational chart, designed with your vision and strategy in mind, will expose those parts of your business with deficiencies.

You will see where you have the wrong people, and where you don’t have enough people. You will even see if you have gaps in business functions and responsibilities or where you may need to split teams into more logical groups.

You should be able to identify the skills you need into the future, affecting how you recruit, or how you implement training programs.

#7 People Will Need Less Supervision

And that means you don’t have to spend so much time making sure people are doing the right things and spend more time making sure your business is growing in the right way.

Once your organisational chart helps you improve the above 6 efficiencies, you will find that people are more equipped to think for themselves. They will know how to avoid confusion about who does what, they will respond to knowing what they are individually responsible for, new people will need less time to fit in and will immediately have the right people looking after them, everyone will understand what the business strategy is and help to work toward it, they will be motivated and work for their own advancement and improvement, and they will receive the right training and attain the right skill levels to work out solutions for themselves.

All of this will free you from micro-managing people and allow you the time to work on the big-picture tasks.

So, the lesson is clear!

If you have grown your business by plugging people in wherever they fitted when they joined if you created teams depending on who you had available, you need to take a breath and design your organisational chart with deliberation and purpose, or instead of creating efficiency, you will create stifling and time-robbing inefficiency in your business.

I have written a guide on how to create your purposeful organisational chart, and you can download a free copy here.

If you haven’t checked it out already, my website teikoh.com is also full of other tips and tools on how to grow your business. Why don’t I see you over there?

Have a Great Holiday!

To all my wonderful readers – have a happy Christmas and take some time off! You deserve it!

I’m going to be back on the 14th of January with a great post on How Strategic Planning Can Save You From Being a Gibbering Wreck!

Make sure you put the email address teik@teikoh.com on your safe list by adding me to your address book on Outlook or create a contact in Gmail so that you get this fascinating insight into long term planning in 2020!

Go, go get some downtime, then let’s get back in January, refreshed and ready to build your amazing business into the success you can be proud of!

Why Do You Need A Business Plan?

In my 35 year career, I have only known a handful of small business owners who have prepared a business plan.

I find this astounding.

You would not leave the house to go shopping without some sort of plan – even if only in your head – about where you are going, where you would look to park the car, what you will wear with one eye on the weather, what you will buy, and how you will pay for it. Without this, how would you know whether to turn right or left at the end of your driveway?

Yet people start their businesses and run them for several years without thinking the journey through! Even worse, some people would read my example of the shopping trip and say “I’m just like that – I have it all in my head, that’s good enough.” Really? You are going to invest thousands and years into your business and you think it’s enough to have a thought kept in your head?

If you own an emerging business, relatively new, maybe 5 or 6 years old or so, and you are finding that you work hard every day but not seeming to get anywhere – if you find that for the last few years you have tried one idea before thinking of another and switching but not getting any co-ordinated growth forwards, how’s that undocumented “thought” working for you?

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