How to Develop an Effective Organizational Structure for Your Startup

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Learn what it takes to organize your departments and employees to optimize business performance. Tips and tools inside to help!

An organizational structure prevents a company from falling apart as it undergoes changes that are essential for growth.

It establishes uniformity and improves the efficiency of your developing business processes.

Research indicates that a formal organizational structure is key to a company that grows to 50 to100 people.

At which point, a single individual, often the CEO, can no longer keep track of everything as efficiently.

As a startup, establishing an organizational structure should be one of your priorities.

This involves fundamental processes such as defining roles to delegating tasks. Thankfully, there are several tools available today that can help you get started.

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Defining Roles Through Organizational Charts

No organization ever grows without leaders. This is, by a mile, the most important early decisions for a startup. The best way to accomplish this is to use an organizational chart to plan visually and represent your management structure. It is also ideal to work with interactive organizational chart software to quickly make adjustments whenever necessary.

Creately Screenshot

A web-based tool such as Creately can help you architect your organizational structure on the fly. You do not need to register for an account or download the app. Instead, you can start editing immediately and take advantage of its styling features to quickly identify positions.

You can use some different shapes and visual elements to develop the organization's hierarchy. This includes arrows, people shapes, balloons, and lines. You could also import your images for a more personalized chart. Just remember that you need to sign up if you want to save your chart, but you are still free to access all the tool's features.

Once you have your organizational structure chart, you now have the bare bones of a reliable company that's built to stand the test of time. The next step is to focus on the more technical details – starting with your business procedures.

Document Operating Procedures

A growing business must establish systemised processes to help employees become more productive with their time. Without this, it will be difficult to identify critical tasks and monitor their completion, especially for a growing company with growing objectives. It also helps establish uniformity and a standard when it comes to output quality.

A startup can manually develop the documentation themselves. However, you need a more scalable solution that covers your business for the long-term. You can take advantage of a documentation tool such as SweetProcess, which can help you document repetitive tasks, establish a set procedure, and share them within your organization.

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SweetProcess screenshot

Systemizing operating procedures are also crucial for companies with an expanding workforce. Through procedure documentation, you can significantly reduce the time it takes to train new employees since the processes are already well-documented and refined.

Now that you have an organisational chart and systemised operating procedures, it is time to establish the teams responsible for the essential business processes.

Distribute Work, Delegate Tasks

A startup often struggles when it comes to monitoring every single member, especially with growing teams. A well-documented procedure is meaningless if you cannot identify the most qualified people to get things going.

This is why you should establish a system for managing your teams, delegating individual tasks, and monitoring the progress of every member.

However, it is not always easy to manage a team, especially if there are remote workers involved. This is now a common problem since outsourcing freelancers are slowly becoming the norm for digital startups.

To overcome this issue, you can leverage a comprehensive project management platform such as Wrike to distribute work and delegate tasks more efficiently. This is extremely helpful if you are managing in-house employees, remote workers, or both.

Wrike screenshot

A project management platform functions as a paperless workspace for a company. It facilitates collaboration, idea sharing, document sharing, and task delegation across teams. A platform like Wrike also helps maintain the productivity of your workforce with traditional management tools such as timelines and Gantt charts. This is the catalyst that integrates productivity to your organisational structure.

With these three components checked (organisational chart, documentation, and project/team management), your startup is off to an excellent start. You now have all the pieces needed to start getting results. Now, you need to answer one last question: can you keep growing?

Embrace Growth

After finally gaining traction and seeing progress, the final challenge startups must overcome to keep up with the momentum and set bigger goals. As a business, you should never settle for anything less than the great success you envisioned when you founded your startup.

First, make sure that you regularly review your company's performance to spot areas that need improvement or optimization. You should also explore new ways and consider new tools that will help you grow your enterprise.

Today, you can quickly search for growth tools that can improve different areas of your startup, particularly for online marketing. Online businesses today leverage platforms that can keep them ahead of the competition. This includes automation software, email marketing tools, analytics, and social media.

In today’s competitive world, you need to be adaptive and open-minded to all the opportunities that can help your company grow. However, you must also do this intelligently and focus on one area at a time. Do not go overboard and remember to be ROI-oriented with your funds.

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Conclusion

Founding a startup is indeed much work. There is a tonne of details to keep an eye of, from documentation development to company roles. However, whatever you do, you should never make the mistake of establishing an organisational structure too late. Otherwise, your entire enterprise might collapse to its growing size.

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