Big and successful businesses did not just happen; they were built intentionally. If you study the business model of these big companies, you will see that they’ve been carefully designed to produce the kind of results they are getting. Unfortunately, most small businesses are merely existing by chance.
Any circumstance may have led to you starting a business, but you cannot leave the growth of your business to chance. If you want to build a sustainable business, you shouldn’t wait to see where things lead you. Instead, you should actively create the company you want.
If you’re ready to take your business seriously and set it up for growth, here are some steps to take.
1. Clarify your purpose
Purpose lays the foundation for everything that exists. Anything without a purpose is useless. Why does your business exist? Why are you in business? What is the business trying to achieve?
Your purpose isn’t just the product/service you offer, but why you are even offering that product. Look at it as a calling that your business will fulfill through everything it does and how it does them. Capture the purpose in exact words in a language that everyone speaks.
2. Establish the vision
To take responsibility for your business and what comes of it, you need to think ahead and plan towards things. Envisioning the company you want to build is a critical part of this process. What kind of business do you wish to build? What do you see in the future? Where do you wish the company to be? What would it look like when it finally gets there?
Picture the final business model, how things will run, the kind of results that would be achieved continuously, etc. You need this for the next step.
3. Define the roles
One of the mistakes small business owners make is to organise their business around the people available at the moment, instead of organising it around the core roles needed to achieve the purpose of the business.
Following the vision you have established, what work do you see being done in the business? Start creating the different roles, from the CEO, to the COO, Marketing Manager, Operations Manager, Finance Manager, Production Manager, etc., down to the lineworkers. Do not only list these roles; also write down their job descriptions and requirements.
4. Assign roles to people
Even if there are just two of you in your company now, go on and assign various roles to whoever will be responsible and held accountable for them. Assign all the roles; one person can have more than one role, but only one person should be in charge of each role for accountability purposes.
While doing this, you may find out that some roles can be outsourced, and it would be more economical for your business to do so at this time. You will also be able to assess how your current employees fit into the company, and you can make smarter hiring decisions moving forward.
5. Establish the work process
Following the last two steps, you’ve dealt with what work needs to be done and who needs to do it. At this point, you will be looking at how the work will be done; i.e., establishing the workflow.
This has to do with the processes in your business. What are the daily activities that would go on in your business? What are the tasks and goals to be accomplished regularly, and what are the steps to be taken to accomplish them? Having well designed and documented processes make work easier and help maintain quality in the company. Don’t forget to also establish the rules and policies governing how things are done.
6. Document and implement everything
It is essential to document everything you’ve done so far and communicate to everyone in the company. If you have major stakeholders in the business, like cofounders, they should be part of the entire process.
Documenting them gives everyone something to follow and makes monitoring and evaluation possible.
Some of these steps listed above only simplify several core aspects of designing an effective company; like organisational design, business process design and documentation, business operations, company policies, etc. So, it’s a lot of work than you may have thought, and it requires going back to the drawing board.
At Owens & Xley, We are committed to helping you build the business of your dreams. Reach out to us, and we will work with you to design the company you dream of having, and put the right structure in place.