It’s hard to say how many small business owners go into their enterprise understanding that their business may one day not even closely resemble what they started out as in the beginning. These inevitable changes may come through the natural growth of a successful business, or these changes can be forced by market conditions. One way or another, though, almost every business owner will have to rethink the way they do business.
Especially over these last few years, businesses of all kinds have been forced to reorganize, some to cut costs, others to do more with fewer employees, but mostly in response to something as opposed to in anticipation of something. What happens is these businesses just kind of make things up as they go along, which can actually work … for a time.
It’s not hard to make small changes here, tiny tweaks there. Over time, though, those little changes start to add up. Change to your business means you’re changing its structure, strategy, and the roles your people play. If those functions aren’t aligned clearly, things slip through the cracks and once day you can find that your business has a major leak … usually equating to a loss in revenue and/or cash.
Responding to Change
Many small business owners have recently changed goals, strategy, and reassessed product or service offerings. These considerations aren’t just for the big companies. In fact, small businesses are more likely to make impromptu changes that might work for the short term but can eventually lead to big problems.
So how can you reorganize your business effectively? Here are a few quick tips:
- Evaluate your problems. Analyze your situation and determine if your problems have solutions that can be handled internally. Is the problem organizational, or is the issue that your business simply isn’t viable anymore? Restructuring can save a salvageable business, but it can’t help a failed idea succeed.
- Make a plan. Create a reorganizational plan and share it with your staff. Hold a group brainstorming session to generate ideas for restructuring. The goal is to help get everyone on the same page and thinking about their place within your company’s future.
- Realign your team. Start at the top with an evaluation of your management team and work your way down. List the names of the people on your team who handle necessary functions. You’ll be amazed at how much crossover you’ll find. Eliminate extraneous positions or duties.
Reorganizing can be as simple as moving things around, like shifting financial and personnel resources from less profitable projects to those that make you the most money. But certainly consider the effect on your customers. Maintain high customer service standards by answering clients’ questions in a timely manner and honestly. Use restructuring as a means for communicating with them.
Lastly, don’t start these new changes and expect them to just run on their own. Create a system of measuring progress, and ask employees for feedback on how the new system is working. Measure results (more sales, more leads, etc.) and adjust the system as needed until you get the results you want.