While there could be many reasons that they stay small. One explanation is the failure to operationalize. In other words, the entrepreneur is unable to put systems, processes and a team in place to effectively scale. To operationalize a small business, consider:
1. Formalize communication
A common characteristic of smaller teams is ad-hoc communication. No defined meeting schedule, nothing captured in writing… just off the cuff conversations. That’s ok with a very small team. In order to scale, we need to add some formal structure to our communication:
- All Hands staff meeting
- Leadership team meeting
- Written weekly summary for each leader (use a tool like Weekly Update)
2. Define objectives (annual, quarterly, monthly)
When everything is small, businesses often have a simple goal: make money. As things scale, we need to define more precise and measurable objectives for each period. Doing annual planning with major objectives broken up by quarter and smaller projects for each month is a great way to stay organized.
3. Organize the team
In the early days, everyone may be sharing responsibilities and wearing many hats, which is great. As things grow, it’s valuable to define clear roles and responsibilities so people don’t step on each other’s toes and don’t have ambiguity on how their success is being measured.
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