Starting up a new business is an exciting venture. Maybe you woke up one morning with an idea that’s going to make you rich and you have a way to put your plan into action. Perhaps you’ve been working hard on an idea for a few years and it’s finally becoming a reality. Either way, your start-up is going to take more than just a great idea. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a business and until you’re setting one up yourself, you may not know how crucial each of the pieces are. The departments that make up a company can be done by one person, if they are a small business. The thing is, most small business owners don’t want to manage every part of the business alone. It can be tough to do it and when you spend all your time managing the finances, you aren’t going to have much time for much else in the business. This is why a good structure is a must.
Hopefully you’ve taken on some good advice about turning your idea into something tangible, but if not then it’s time to talk to the bank. Businesses cost money and getting some sound advice is going to take you a long way. You’ll need a strong business plan before you’ve even begun to be able to use as your business Bible. Running a business takes careful planning and if you don’t follow your plan, you won’t get very far. Some businesses, if they are larger ones, have very clear ideas of how they plan to manage each department, from HR to finance. If your idea is that of a smaller business, you may not be thinking about separate departments as you’ll be running each piece of the company yourself – that is, until you can expand. If you plan to expand one day and add employees, this must feature in your business plan so you have a clear vision of where you want your company to go.
Good business owners believe that their company is their baby, that no one can run it as well as they can. Great business owners are fully aware of the fact that if they effectively delegate their business into separate departments, they can concentrate on driving their business successfully. There’s nothing worse than trying to control an entire business from top to bottom; you need help, and that’s a good thing! No matter what size your business is, you need a good, solid structure to operate properly. If you don’t have efficient organisation, you may find it hard as a business to implement policy. There are certain departments that are crucial to the operation of your business, and before you get up and running, you need to make sure you’ve thought of them all. We’ve listed the ones that we think are the most important for you.
Not just about paperwork or filing, so don’t be put off by the name. Your company needs a knowledgeable administration department from the chief executive officer to the managers to implement all those policies we talked about earlier. Anyone who is involved in making important decisions for the company needs to be a part of your administration team. Alongside the HR department (we’ll talk about them later), managers typically are the ones to interview and screen for new employees so that they bring in the right talent. A strong management team is one that compliments each other so making sure you have a good mix of skills among your leadership roles is key.
Accounting: Of course, accounting is the probably the most important part of a business. You need to know where your money is going, whether your tax is being paid and how much revenue you are generating. This is all down to the accounting department. When you’re doing it all for yourself before you expand and hire outside help, you can use certain websites to gain free invoices for your clients to use. Your accounting department will be the ones to make sure that clients get paid and payments are made elsewhere. Never take them for granted and if you can hire a professional to help you out so you’re not stuck doing your own finances while running a business, do so.
There is not one company who can be successful without a healthy marketing department. With advertising and marketing being the link between you having your business and everyone else knowing about you, they’re rather important! The marketing geniuses in your company are the guys who are behind the development of your product and advertising it. They’re in charge of the website, blog, social media and all professional research required for your company to keep thriving and being a force in the market. Social media is never to be under appreciated in a company and while you can easily do all this yourself when you first start out, it’s always intelligent to hire an expert. There are people out there you can employ who know how to give their entire focus to just one job, freeing up your time for other business activities.
Sales: If you are offering a service or a product to people, you need people with charm, wit and incredible likeability to sell it for you. The marketing department can do a lot for your company in the sense that they can get your name out there for all to hear. The sales division will be the guys you turn to who will be calling potential customers for you and gaining new business. They’ll be spending their time building relationships with new customers and maintaining relationships with existing customers. They’ll also be meeting revenue targets and pitching new products as and when they are developed. A sales team is crucial to a business, even if you don’t have a physical store that you sell a product from.
The human resource department are the guys in charge of advertising new roles, interviewing prospective candidates and all of the stages relating to recruitment. They’re also a big part of protecting a company and its employees from any policies being breached. HR departments are a big admin department; lots of personnel work comes from here and without a focused department to manage your people, you can get swamped in a lot of work that you cannot do on your own.
If you have successfully managed to grow your company into a huge office with stacks of people, you’re going to require tech geniuses to keep all systems running. There’s more to an IT department than ‘switch it off and on’ and they’ll be the people you turn to when your website has crashed and needs to be more user friendly. The world is a technologically minded one, and your company must fall in line and be able to keep up with the latest developments. You can’t do that without a strong IT department, so think carefully about your business plan and your business needs before you expand. Make sure you include an IT budget in your plan – you’ll need it!
Every successful company has a strong, concise business plan and a great idea about where the business needs to go. As a business owner, you should be thinking about the structure of your company very early on. By remembering why each department could be the missing piece of your business, you will be ensuring that your company will succeed.