As small businesses grow, the ability of the owner/entrepreneur to wear a dozen “hats” diminishes. At the outset, its common to be the CEO, CFO, COO, etc. as well as the one that delivers value to the customers. Once a business begins to grow, the owner needs to start building an organization that can absorb some of those responsibilities and be scalable.
Alignment is a priority to begin growing. Everybody needs to be focusing upon the same goals and outcomes. Rather than relying on interviews and periodic conversations to establish alignment, a more robust effort is needed. Goals, mission, values, vision, etc. all feed into creating a team that is moving together as a whole towards particular outcomes and with the same team values.
Roles and responsibilities help employees understand their roles in the daily operation of the company as well as the overall movement towards established goals. With solid roles and responsibilities documented, teammates also understand the roles of their co-workers and can more efficiently and effectively do their jobs. Its also quite valuable when managers have a solid understanding of roles so they can understand when to grow the team, balance resources, etc.
Preparation versus planning. Building a high-performance organization requires preparation, training, management involvement, feedback, etc. Two common tendencies in small businesses are to plan in too great of detail or to hardly plan at all. Too much detail in a plan restricts initiative, encourages micromanagement, and isn’t very effective as no plan can last long without change. Too little detail and you lose alignment as the team moves in the direction that their interpretation guides them. If you focus on preparation and have an outline of a plan to move towards your goals, your team becomes adaptable, communicates well, isn’t held back by micromanagement, etc.
Each of these areas might seem separate and unrelated, but they are all part of the same “system” and each must be in place for a company to flow smoothly. Focus on these three topics, communicate the decisions / outputs, and empower your employees as much as possible and you’ll be on your way to greater success and more free time for you and your family!