In the Trenches: A Big-Company Structure for a Small Business

Although Cranky Concierge is a growing company, it’s still pretty tiny. I employ just one full-time and two part-time staffers, plus four independent contractors who play different roles. However, because I aim to keep expanding the business, I need to think about our operations from a larger-company perspective — and create an organizational structure that will still work when we’re bigger than we are today.

My employees currently perform very distinct functions, but I handle all of the high-level tasks myself. But, as I discussed last week, that will keep changing as I reduce my day-to-day responsibilities.

Looking at much of what I do today, there are some very clear areas — sales and marketing, accounting and finance, tech, and legal — that will eventually require other people to run them. I’d love to hire one professional to handle each area, but clearly that’s not going to happen just yet. Cranky Concierge just doesn’t have the volume or the revenue to support that many people. That being said, I can plan for the future.

I’ve started to map out how I think the company might look as a million-dollar organization (vs. the $200,000-plus company we’re on track to be this year). At that point, I’ll need to have someone running sales and marketing. I’ll need to have someone running accounting and finance. You get the idea. So, I figure it’s best to set up that structure now.  I can create the various positions that I think I’ll need and then either have individuals fill multiple roles for now or just leave them empty until we grow into them.

Of course, I’m technically the CEO, CFO, CMO, CIO, and every other C-level person you can think of, but that’s OK. As we grow, it will become easier to have others step into those roles than it will be to try to reorganize the business and create new ones.

Then again, maybe I’m over-thinking this. What’s your take? Is it worth it to create this structure now? Or would you wait until it’s needed?

About Brett Snyder

Brett is the Founder and President of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. He also writes the consumer air travel blog, The Cranky Flier.
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3 comments
Jim
Jim

I would wait until it's needed.  You have no idea what you're actually going to need until then.

Hajime Sano
Hajime Sano

The E-Myth Revisted (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_13?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+e-myth+revisited&sprefix=the+e-myth+re%2Caps%2C1171) addresses these very issues about how to plan for growth. The author stresses the importance of fore-planning all the functions/roles that need to be filled. That way, as the company grows, people can be slotted into the pre-defined positions. Of course, the dilemma many small companies face is setting aside the much-needed planning time vs. reacting as the need arises.

Hajime Sano
Hajime Sano

Sorry- the Amazon link to the book was split up. Copy and paste the entire link between parenthesis to see it.

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  1. [...] In the Trenches: A Big-Company Structure for a Small Business – Intuit Small Business Blog Cranky Concierge isn’t a big business, but it might be some day. So I’m thinking about how that should work from a structural perspective. [...]