We have 3 very different business units (B to B services, B to C events and web-based retail)...but overall our business is still very small (revenues around $1.1M). I've been struggling for a while now trying to design an organisational structure because due to the size of the business everyone always seems to be wearing multiple hats...should they wear a "Marketing" hat but covering all different biz units - or better to be a "business unit" manager and try to span both marketing and operations? We are wanting to totally re-design our structure at the moment because we have lost all our staff - so it's a great time to be able to re-design from ground-zero with no restrictions. We also want to include some virtual staff in the mix to try and give us room to grow - until now we've been "busy" all the time and I get the feeling that being less "busy" would give us more scope to grow. What I'm looking for is a framework or thought structure or process that will help to develop an answer to this problem. Or someone who can help talk this through! Many thanks, David

This depends upon where you are in the start-up continuum.

If you are still in search of a viable business model (i.e. the start-up phase) then the "multiple hats" scenario is spot on. In this phase the key is to discover that which is repeatable and scalable. In other words - to put your energy and resources into discovering things like:
-Who your market is
-What your positioning is
-What your offers are
-What your pricing model is
-Where your market is (aka what channels to use for inbound and outbound marketing)

Warning: It would be a mistake to think you already have these things figured out when you haven't. In my experience - mastery of these "basics" are what separates successful businesses from floundering ones. And no offense - but if you are only at $1.1M in gross revenues then it seems to me like you are just beginning to figure these things out.

Due to the need for flexibility in this phase (some call this being "agile") you are best served by a team that is willing and able to do what's needed. There will likely not (yet) be any "established" positions.

And with (gross?) revenues of only $1.1M it would seem that you wouldn't require a large team anyway. [I suppose this depends upon your current business model - so I apologize for making this assumption.]

Once you've discovered a viable business model - then it's time to build systems (since you will only then know all that goes into making the sale). These systems will help you efficiently and effectively scale and repeat. It's at that time you would start creating "positions" (aka jobs) and hiring staff to do what you discovered works.

All in all - Much depends on where you are right now in order for me (or anyone else) to provide you with more specific direction.

I'd love to talk this through with you if you are still looking for assistance.

Best of luck!

Answered 8 years ago

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