Organize Your Company Around Your Business Plan
The first step in putting your business plan to work is to configure your company to reflect your plan in every part of your organization, from the structure of your management team to the procedures you put in place to make your company work. As you shape your organization, pay particular attention to these three parts of your plan:
Company description: Look at your company’s capabilities and resources and then develop your organization to fortify strengths and overcome weaknesses.
Company strategy: Build programs and systems that support your plan for reaching, serving, and satisfying your customers.
Action plan: Detail all the steps necessary to implement your business plan, including the priorities and timelines you’ll follow as you make it all happen.
As you organize your company, know that most businesses are built around one of four common organizational models:
The pack: In this model, one person runs the show, and everyone else is an equal member of, well, the pack.
Function: This model divides people into groups based on the functions they perform in the company.
Division: This model divides distinct parts of the company’s business into separate divisions, each with its own management structure.
The matrix: In this model, employees can wear more than one hat and report to more than one supervisor, encouraging team members to share talent, expertise, and experience.
The most effective organizational format for your company depends on the kind of company you’re running — big, small, formal, informal, online, manufacturing, retail, service, or a dozen other considerations. But most of all, it depends on your business plan.
Consider these questions and pointers as you shape the organizational structure that’s best for your company:
Is one individual responsible for your company’s vision and strategic direction? If so, you may want to use the pack model, with one leader and a pack of team members.
Is employee creativity crucial to the success of your company? If so, you may want to consider a loose organizational structure with relatively few management levels, giving your staff the freedom to be creative.
Are speed and flexibility crucial to your company’s ability to remain competitive? If so, think about a flat organizational structure with as few management levels as possible.
Does your company consist of several distinct functions, each with its own culture and kinds of employees? If so, consider a functional organization.
Is much of your company’s work conducted on a project basis, moving people and resources from one job to another? If so, a matrix organization may work best for you.
You can alter the structure of your company at some point down the road, especially if your business is growing rapidly, for example, or your business environment has changed significantly. In fact, maintaining the flexibility to reshape your business has become one of the keys to success in today’s fast-changing business world.