New entrepreneurs often spend a considerable amount of time focusing on product development or definition of their services. They may refine their business plan numerous times, identify funding sources and more to prepare for the launch. One aspect that is often overlooked, however, relates to the general organization of operations on a daily basis.
Many of today’s new business endeavors start as home-based businesses. While all new business may face organizational challenges, these issues are often a larger issue for home-based businesses. A home office is often viewed as a more relaxed environment, and the business may not be run in the same manner. In some cases, this is because a home office lacks the same level of infrastructure that an entrepreneur may establish with a professional office environment.
As a consultant, you may be faced with the tricky task associated with developing an organizational structure for home-based startups. These essential tips will guide you through the process so that you can better serve your valued clients and help them to achieve great results.
The Right Approach
Your ability to understand the company’s current organizational structure is essential to meeting your client’s unique needs. You must understand the daily operations of the company, including the habits of each staff member. Observing the team in action is essential. As you make your observations, focus your attention on their responsibilities, their approach to completing their routines, their ability to properly manage their time and more.
Understand that there is not a catch-all organizational structure that works best for each business. The work activities, infrastructure and qualities of each team member can vary dramatically from company to company regardless of the industry. Through your research and observations up-front, you can more easily create an effective organizational structure that is customized specifically for the company.
The Right Organizational Tools
As a professional organizer, you may be used to jotting down notes into your planner. While you may thrive with these proven methods, taking advantage of digital organization tools will help both you and your clients. More than that, your knowledge of these tools can help you to determine which organizational tools may be most beneficial to your clients.
Some digital tools offer communications and scheduling benefits, but they work in different ways. For example, some of these tools simply allow intraoffice chatting or communications between team members assigned to work on a specific project. Others may give you access to a digital calendar with daily reminders, the ability to invite team members to your online meetings and more. These are tools that may make you and your clients more productive and efficient in different ways.
The Right Apps
Digital organizational tools often come bundled with apps that can be used on smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Some of these are cloud-based applications, which means that they can be accessed by anyone with sufficient permissions and an internet connection.
Project-based apps, for example, may keep a team organized by establishing a timetable and allowing individuals the opportunity to share files, update the timetable to keep everyone in the loop and more.
Remember that these apps can help your clients with their productivity and organizational needs, and they can also be used by you. Some cloud-based apps, for example, allow you to connect with your clients rather than only with your internal team members. Through these apps, you can share files with your clients, pass along ideas and more.
The Right Mindset
As a professional organizational consultant, you need to educate your clients about the scope of your services. Some entrepreneurs believe that organization is all about a clean desk and an organized filing cabinet. It is more in-depth than that. Organizing work activities, adjusting habits, aligning team efforts are all based on organization. A company’s efficiency and productivity are directly related to the flow of daily tasks. Without optimal flow, there’s no efficiency.
One great example that demonstrates this concept are car production lines. Car manufacturing doesn’t seem to have much in common with your client’s organizational issue at first, at least until you explain why they work so well: they are well organized. Before Henry Ford and the moving assembly line, it took over 12 hours for a single car. After he reorganized the processes, it took only two and a half. Today, it takes roughly a minute or two!
Your clients should understand that you are customizing an organizational plan that is tailored to their needs. There isn’t an approach that is best for all companies. As a consultant, you identify and provide your clients with a strategic organizational plan that is ideal for them. This plan is based on the strengths of challenges of each team member.
The Right Execution
A common operational challenge that some businesses face relates to feeling overwhelmed by a huge or seemingly monumental task. It is easy to adopt a mindset that a project is too large to tackle. This impedes productivity and has a detrimental impact on the overall success of the company. Each project can be broken down into smaller and more manageable steps.
You can directly show your clients how proper planning and execution are essential when trying to achieve large goals. Re-organizing a company’s operations is a large feat, and you can break down this task into smaller tasks, making them more manageable. As you do so, educate your clients on the importance of each step, and emphasize each success. Take the additional step of informing clients about the importance of using this approach with their own projects going forward.
While your professional clients may have incredible business plans, substantial funding and other factors in place that are necessary for success, they may be struggling with organization and efficiency. Your role as a consultant is to help your clients improve the organization of their operations in all important ways. This is a challenging job, but each of these tips can help you to accomplish the goals that you have in mind. You may find that they help you to improve operational efficiency in your own business as well.
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