Creating Business Infrastructure to Manage Unpredictable Growth
As an entrepreneur, you can create a business infrastructure that minimizes the impact of unpredictable growth for your small business by following these steps:
1 Document Your Strategic Vision
- Look at your business plan and extract the vision statement from the plan. If you do not have a business plan, then think about the overall direction in which you want to grow your company.
- Write or type it at the top of a separate sheet of paper.
- Your vision gives you a glimpse into the type of business infrastructure that will be required to grow your company.
2 Record Goals that Align with Your Strategic Vision
- Underneath your Vision statement, record short-term (12-months) and long-term (3 to 5 year) operational goals that align or support that vision.
- Consider the staff, technology, processes, workspace and knowledge/information management tools that you will need in place to support your vision.
- Categorize those operational goals as Business Design, Records Management, and Business Processes.
3 Determine Business Design Tactics
- Determine those tasks need to be performed on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis.
- Figure out the type of staff needed to execute those tasks.
- Next, decide the reporting structure or chain of command for managing that staff. Does your company vision require a flat organization or one with multiple layers?
4 Determine Records Management Tactics
- Think about the type of information that staff will need in order to perform their jobs without your daily presence.
- Determine which information will be stored physically vs. electronically.
- Decide the best and most secure storage methods for both paper and electronic files.
5 Determine Business Process Tactics
- Figure out which business processes need to be documented in order to minimize training and ensure consistent work output.
- Determine the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will be used to monitor or measure the performance of each business process.
6 Prioritize all Tactics
- Now take a look at all of the tactics you’ve written for each operational goal that supports your overall company vision.
- Write down the estimated completion time next to each tactic. If applicable, also write down the estimated investment associated with each tactic.
- Next, prioritize all of these tactics with number one being the most critical. You may find that time and money will play a key role in prioritization.
7 Commit Tactics to Calendar
- Consider your prioritization from step #6 and begin placing those tactics onto your calendar system. An electronic calendar such as MS Outlook may be helpful.
- Schedule a tactic at least one day a week on a day that you normally reserve to work on administrative-type tasks.
- Continue recording all tactics onto your calendar until all tactics have been accounted for. You may find that your tactics stretch out over a 12 – 24 month period.
8 Track Your Progress
- Begin conducting weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meetings to review your progress in completing the tactics you identified as necessary to achieve the goals that support your company vision.
- Make adjustments as necessary.
- Determine which additional resources or opportunities you can use to complete certain tactics.
Once you document your vision, goals, and tactics you will have a much clearer idea of your company’s growth direction. That clarity enables you to attract and retain the best tools and resources to ensure you stay on course. Best of all, you will have the business infrastructure necessary to sustain an unpredictable growth spurt.