Growth is difficult for many small businesses. Of course you want it to happen, but if you don't plan for it and manage it properly, it can get out of hand. Conversely, growth plans may accelerate.
We didn't start the company to fail. You want your team to go places, get recognition, and serve the market in innovative ways. You can see these visions unfolding in your head, but knowing how to execute them is not so clear. Try these three ways to prepare your organization for growth.
1. Delegate like a boss
You founded a company based on your idea. Therefore, it is not uncommon to feel the urge to monitor every detail. Also, in the early stages of a small business, everyone's roles may be less structured. We need one definitive voice to guide the way.
However, this chain of command can hinder a company's growth as operations take off. If your employees are afraid to act without your approval, your efforts will stall. Team members feel less empowered and trusted, and they withhold their skills and expertise.
If roles are not clearly defined, team activities may become stagnant. Employees do not know what their scope of authority and responsibility includes. Staff members are also anxious about stepping on someone else's toes, so they are reluctant to take action. Role ambiguity can leave you confused, frustrated, and demotivated.
That's why Thryv, a provider of all-in-one small business management software, recommends a matrix structure. Under a matrix structure, business owners are similar to the head coach of a football team. You are in charge of the game plan, but delegate and empower those who can support you. Each project has a leader who manages the initiative with the help of other employees' contributions. All team members know what to achieve and how it relates to the company's strategy.
2. Perform a process audit
Often, it's not the person who fails, but the process they are expected to follow. Inefficiencies in procedures and resources can stall business growth. These inefficiencies can be due to overly complex steps or no process at all.
You'll have to play detective to find out what's going wrong. Investigate which resources and courses of action teams rely on in different situations. Let's say your marketing team is responsible for supporting your retail sales team. The marketing department creates in-store brochures and other materials for use by sales staff.
However, stores are constantly reporting problems with promotional materials not arriving on time. Additionally, there may be many errors in the information contained in pamphlets and flyers. Further investigation revealed that too many people were involved in the approval process. Marketing departments rush to make last-minute changes and the overall direction is inconsistent. Employees are also shipping materials that can be distributed digitally using technology.
Reviewing these processes will speed up your work and improve accuracy. You can start by removing unnecessary people from your approval chain. Improved technological resources at the store level will allow sales staff to print basic information on demand. Strict planning and deadlines also allow the marketing department to complete creative tasks without feeling pressured to make mistakes.
3. Optimization of internal communication
Poor internal communication doesn't just cause confusion; This causes over 40% of employees to lose faith in his team and leadership. And internal communication issues affect more remote workers. Approximately 54% of off-site staff said it negatively affected their trust in leaders, and 52% said it decreased confidence within their team.
It doesn't matter if your small business operates remotely or in-person. It's about when, how and what you communicate. Effective communication requires avoiding mixed messages and choosing appropriate channels for different types of information sharing. You can't explain a big change in the direction of your company over Google Chat any more than you can have an all-hands meeting to ask questions about your bill. Choosing channels depending on the context, audience, and nature of the information helps you get your message across at the right time and in the right way.
Not surprisingly, Slack is one of the companies that has established internal communications. Real-time messaging platforms allow team members to communicate instantly, eliminating the need for long email chains and enabling quick decision-making. Designated channels keep conversations organized and allow relevant team members to participate. Conversations are also searchable, so all employees can call up the information they need on demand.
Grow your small business
America's 33.2 million small business owners all want their companies to thrive. Developing a growth plan will help you gain the steady market traction you need to continue. External factors can influence your goals, but what's happening internally usually prevents you from achieving them. By optimizing your delegation practices, processes, and internal communications, you can remove common barriers to small business growth.
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