For a startup, organizational structure must not be an afterthought, but a result of careful planning. Pay no heed to mythical origin stories that claim startups simply come into existence with a group of friends meeting at a basement or garage. Well, it takes much more than brainstorming and big dreams to launch a successful company. In fact, many of the pitfalls on the road to success are related to poor organizational planning and execution.
Cover all the bases
First of all, startup founders have to strategize on the structure of the company and lay the groundwork for daily operations. Now, no rule is set in stone, and business arena is a highly-dynamic field. Hence, founders should not lock themselves into a rigid structure, which is insensitive to shifts and does not factor in tangible goals. You cannot expect to solve problems in an organization with sheer energy and determination: Employees must know how to behave and what to do without you looming over them.
No matter how small it starts, a company eventually grows and exceeds the capabilities and even visions of only a few people. Those entrepreneurs who fail to realize this are faced with the impeded sales growth and missed capital raising opportunities. The baby steps are by no means easy either. In the beginning, most startups have quite a busy period fighting for market share and stability. The pressure is sometimes unbearable, just like the daily workload.
Ways and means
Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance to set up such an organizational framework which is able to facilitate growth patterns. This involves the clear definition of responsibilities, roles, teams, and supervision. Note that the founders, managers, and executives usually have comprehensible duties, but it’s equally important to assemble a hierarchy of delegating tasks and structure of teams. Everything should also be scheduled and marked by deadlines.
Of course, startups most often rely on autonomous, flexible small teams in order to spur innovation and experimentation. One of the aspects that must not be overlooked is how teams fit into a company’s culture and perpetuate it. This is also to say that you cannot welcome just anyone on board, and need to figure out your hiring policy. Also, it is a good idea to acquire top talent and fill even the leadership roles with it.
Furthermore, strive to grease the workings of your organization with digital platforms. For example, employ communication software such as Slack, and take advantage of features like direct messages and private backchannels. Streamline the project management with Basecamp and nail your to-do lists. Check out employee time clock software, which simplifies the process of timesheet management. At last, handle accounting with much more ease by opting for tools in the league of FreshBooks.
The various moving parts vary depending on the industry sector as well as the goals of the founders, whether they want to achieve a solid income or sell a company. Notwithstanding, the lines of communication must be open. Many startups endorse casual relations, which is fine, as long as they’re also frequent. This kind of internal coordination should be of great help when navigating the restless waters of the startup’s lifecycle. Just be prepared to embark on the journey of constant learning, which includes seeking the insight from outside as well.
Tried and tested
Good organization is at the very heart of any company, a cornerstone of its productivity and profitability. So, to get the business up and running, you first have to envision organizational dimension, and translate into policies, business models, best practices, and strategies. The only way to overcome growing pains and reach the phase of steady growth is to pull together a business bustling with resourcefulness and efficiency. Set clear expectations, always lead by example, and ensure that the company runs like clockwork.