Most small businesses start out as a one-man or one-woman show. The founding entrepreneur usually fills most, if not all, of the essential roles. While this is an exciting time for any entrepreneur, it’s not sustainable. Many business owners experience burnout as their companies grow, because they simply cannot do it all (no matter how hard they try).
I started my company at 22. And while I was working hard, experiencing growth, and moving my business forward, I quickly learned that scaling boils down to two main things: people and systems.
Create a Formal Management Structure
Delegating tasks can be hard for entrepreneurs who have, more often than not, had their hands in every aspect of the company from the start. But if you want to scale your business, you need to be able to pass tasks on to others so you can focus on your role. A formal management structure is essential here. No matter how big your team is, whether it’s two people or two hundred, everyone should understand what they are responsible for and who they report to.
Canadian entrepreneur Mat Moxness has been investing in real estate for the last decade through his company Crescendo Equity. With multiple years as an expert in the industry, Moxness has found that it’s essential to understand—from the beginning—the overall structure of your business. These foundations will be essential in the growth process because they give you, and your team, a framework for understanding how tasks are completed. “As your portfolio grows, you will have less time for team management,” he says.
Formalize this structure early on, because the busier your company gets, the less time you will have to go back and restructure.
Do Your Research, and Utilize Tech to Digitize Processes
It may be a clichéd statement, but it’s true: work smarter, not harder. There are many tech products on the market right now that can help streamline communication and digitize otherwise time-consuming processes. Take advantage of the resources available to you, and have a computer do work that would otherwise take lots of manpower.
In Moxness’ business, he’s found that technology has streamlined the research process so that time and money are saved. Some information is hard to track down, but he uses subscription-based systems that simplify the process. For entrepreneurs, an automated accounting software, communication system, or industry-specific technology can save manpower and maximize the efficiency of your company.
With these systems in place, your team will be well-equipped for growth and expansion. Digital systems make time more efficient, and they make communication easier. Find the best ones for your business, industry or the size of your team, and implement them early on to ease any transition pains.
As an entrepreneur, you have a lot to offer the world and you will likely want to have a hand in every aspect of your company. Know that, in order to grow, you need to make time for your top priorities and delegate the others to people that you trust. Scaling a business requires structure. You’ll go further if you know how to choose the right systems and structures to help your business go far.