How to Organize Your Small Business
There are 3 levels of work in your business: a Leadership role, a Manager role, and a Technician role. The Leader’s job is to clarify the vision, set the direction, and build the systems. The Manager’s job is to maintain, refine, and measure the systems. The Technician’s job is to do the specific work of the business – e.g. work the systems. How do your organize your small business to achieve maximum results?
Now, I understand that most small business owners wear all three hats! However, to be strategic and grow your business you MUST learn to spend more time on Leadership and less time on the Technical work of the business. Where most of us struggle is that we do not spend enough time “leading” because most of our time is consumed with “doing.”
The Leadership Level
So how do you begin to make a shift – to become more of a Leader?
I recommend that you start by creating an exhaustive organizational chart. However, do not create your chart around people, create it around roles and functions. Start with the 5 major areas of every business:
- Operations (or Fulfillment)
These are the 5 BIG systems that you must have in order to organize your small business. You, as business owner, are the CEO, so your primary box should be at the top. That’s the Leadership box. Now if you spend the bulk of your time in the technical work of the business, you will not be in the top box much. As a result, your business will typically not grow much! If it does, the growth is often times not sustainable. So it should be your goal to spend an increasing amount of time in the top box!
The Manager Level
The next level is the “Manager” level. As I’ve already mentioned, there are 5 big systems that must be managed: marketing, sales, operations, admin, and HR. In other words, there are 5 manager roles:
- Marketing Manager (typically referred to as the Marketing Director or CMO)
- Sales Manager
- Operations Manager (sometimes referred to as the COO)
- Admin Manager (typically referred to as the Office Manager)
- HR Manager (typically referred to as the HR Director or Director of Human Capital)
Now, again, as the small business owner, you may be the person in all 5 of these manager boxes. But you need to break down your organizational chart this way so you can see clearly what all you are doing! This is also necessary when you come to the point of delegating.
The Technical Level
Below each manager box is a list of tactical duties performed by technicians. List out all the different technician roles and functions! So on my org chart under “Marketing” I have the following responsibilities:
- Outside Speaking
- Digital Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Referral Marketing
These are all tactical things that any marketing “technician” can do. You will want to do this under all 5 areas. By doing this you will see how many “boxes” you personally are in. Then you will be organized enough to start creating systems and delegating.
When I first did this my org chart had more than 40 boxes! I was a “solopreneur” at the time. Now I have some staff and I’m constantly looking at all the boxes to identify more and more that I can get out of. However, please know that you can’t leave the box until you document the system.
What about you? Do you need to organize your small business? If you need help creating your chart, documenting your systems, and then getting out of an increasing number of manager or technical roles, contact me for a strategy session. I’d be more than happy to help you get more of your time back! Let me know in the comments what role you have the hardest time getting out of.