Unlike larger corporations who have teams of workers devoted to specific projects, small business organization offers the challenge of multiple tasks to be accomplished with fewer people.
An organizational chart helps clarify small business organization and outlines responsibilities expected from each individual. Even if you run a one-man business, organizing your business on paper provides a clear picture of what needs to be accomplished. Consider it a thinking tool which needs to be updated on a regular basis.
When developing an organization chart start with identifying the primary function of your company. Once you've identified your function, other categories you'll want to organize include:
- Sales and Performance
- R & D
Under each one of these roles make a list of tasks that must be accomplished. When first writing down all the things that need to be accomplished, you might feel a bit overwhelmed, However in actuality, listing what needs to be accomplished helps reduce stress and allows tasks to be identified and prioritized. Instead of trying to remember everything or hoping things are running smoothly, producing a list of tasks that need to be performed provides a measurable guide to know what needs to be accomplished and how best to do it.
Small Business Organization
Once you've made your organizational chart and identified tasks to be accomplished, this tool will continue to evolve. As you study your chart, incorporate ideas of how to improve work flow. For example, group tasks in a way that makes sense. Don't have different people performing redundant tasks. Find the best way to list what needs to be done. Jobs can be organized chronologically, by similarity or by the need for common resources.
Create a Resource Guide
Resources are used to improve time management and help get the work done with better office organization. Each person within the company should be considered a resource for specific jobs. Other resources would include:
- Information sources like websites
Creating a resource guide pulls all this information into one place along with contact information and can be included in your Policy and Procedures manual.
It's one thing to identify the work that needs to be done, but making a list does not make the work get done. Once you've identified what needs to be done, along with how and when, it's important to communicate those expectations by assigning responsibility for specific tasks to the individuals expected to perform them.
Don't just hand a copy of the organization chart to the people assigned the work. Take time to verbally communicate the plan and tell the workers that they have been assigned tasks that will make the best use of their skills. Also leave the opportunity open for feedback and improvement of the plan. Tell them that the chart is evolving and that your are open to suggestions for improvement. Creating a team effort makes the employee feel like they can make a difference within the workplace, instead of feeling frustrated with a list of impossible things to do.
After putting your new organization techniques into action, take the time to update your chart twice a year. Just as your business grows, ways to efficiently operate will also evolve. Don't get sidetracked and think you're too busy to update or you'll find yourself back at square one. Updating the chart and providing copies to your employees is a great way to stay in touch with day-to-day operations and opens the avenues to brainstorm new and better ways to get the work done.
Take the time to regularly look over the chart yourself. Often it will generate new ideas or raise questions that lead to improvement. Ask yourself questions like:
- Should I outsource?
- Are my people positioned to make the best use of their skills?
- Would rearrangement of work space help job performance?
People resources typically represent 65 to 80 per cent of costs, so learning how to best manage them will make a difference your bottom line.