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Running a small business myself, I know that much of the joy that comes with working in such an organisation is the energy and shared goals that perpetuate through the team.
Of course, most small businesses aspire to grow, but sometimes, that growth can result in that dynamic feeling getting lost along the way – slipping into ‘business as usual’ and potentially missing out on exciting new opportunities. Not only that, but if the owner is not as visible (or present) as they were in the early days it can result in the team becoming disengaged.
Obviously, as a business expands it stands to reason that there will be things that need to be more formal, and additional policies and processes put in place, but preserving your unique culture keeps people motivated, encourages loyalty and makes sure that you don’t lose the what it is that made you special in the first place.
So how do you reap the benefits of moving beyond the start up stage, at the same time as keeping that ‘small business’ feel?
The answer, as with so many things in life, is preparation.
Preparing the foundations for growth will mean that you can deal with the practicalities of expansion in a more manageable way. Establishing mechanisms that let appropriate things be ‘standardised’ and repeatable means that those things can, to some degree, look after themselves. This gives you the time, energy and resources you need to get back to what you do best – finding, creating and exploiting new opportunities – and engaging with your team.
Having the right HR policies and procedures in place plays as essential part in achieving this standardisation. Once these are established (and of course, communicated), previously complicated issues can be dealt with quickly and easily – and everyone knows where they stand.
You also need to make sure you have the right people in place. Recruitment can be both costly and time consuming, and having the right mix of people from the outset can reduce the likelihood of future staff related headaches.
However, much as I’m a firm believer in trying to retain that small business energy, I also believe in constantly re-assessing and reviewing both goals and progress. This will help you to maintain a clear view of the current state of your business, whether your current arrangements are still delivering what they need to be, and what HR support your business needs in order to continue growing.
For support with all aspects HR strategy development and support, including policy and process creation and recruitment, contact us on 01229 615 280 or email us at email@example.com for a FREE consultation.