Planning for Business Growth and Expansion
There is a tremendous amount of information to be considered when starting a business. Not only is there planning for the business you are experiencing at the current moment, to maintain success an owner must plan ahead for growth and expansion. This planning should include the structure of the company as it grows as well as planning for any type of business product. I plan to discuss the detailed projects and plan regarding growth and expansion of a dot-com start up and the challenges that may be faced along the way.
The business at hand is a dot-com start up that involves renting apartments to students. Phase One (see example page 6) has five employees. The original organizational structure of the company had three Salespersons, one Accounting/Billing person, and the owner. The owner handles all of the apartment maintenance, is an extra salesperson and performs any extra duties as needed. Organizational structure helps to define how job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated, (Robbins, 2010). The Salespersons and the Accounting person are specialized into their departments but due to the small size of the company there may be some overlap in duties.
Phase Two (see example page 6) has developed very quickly and without planning. The company is currently at 30 employees and has grown 500% over the last six months. This growth has required a more in depth look at each individual job and has required more work specialization. Work specialization is the degree to which activities are subdivided into separate jobs, (Robbins, 2010). A manager has been brought in to strengthen the chain of command and manage all the processes and employees to ensure each area is running smoothly. At this point, the small size is still manageable but the chain of command is not a hard and fast rule with the owner still very involved in the day to day aspects of the business. The owner still makes all of the decision regarding the business and is an example of a Centralized management style.
Challenges of the business at this point can be no formal job descriptions, jobs getting lost in the shuffle due to business growth and the owner and manager trying to run the business at the same time.
Phase Three (see example page 7) of the business becomes more involved in a variety of ways. Once a company grows to fifty employees, the majority of labor laws begin to apply. The next forecast for growth is for two hundred employees and is projected for one year out. We begin to see a more de-centralized approach as departments begin to form. Managers are brought in to oversee the day to day operations of their departments and are responsible for carrying out the objectives set by the owner. Human Resources is formed to manage the legal employee aspects of a company this size as well as recruiting, new hire orientations, payroll and any type of employee relations issues. The Sales Department has the largest growth due to the fact that this department brings in the most revenue. As this department continues to grow, support staff will be needed to manage calendars, maintain files and any other as needed duties. Where the sales staff may have been creating their own documents when the company was smaller, they may now rely on administrative help to perform their general maintenance of documentation.
As the company grows, an Information Technology Department will be needed to create a network for the business and ensure all employees have the technology they need. Sales representatives may require laptops as opposed to regular employees that can use a stand-alone personal computer. As growth continues, problems will occur which presents the need for a Help Desk department to correct computer problems and help employees manage day to day technology challenges.
As the company expands, so does the need for Maintenance. The Maintenance staff is responsible for...
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