Structuring for entrepreneurial growth

In simple terms a business without a structure will not survive in this global competitive business landscape.

In all that we build, structuring becomes a central pivot for strengthening existence and longevity. In simple terms a business without a structure will not survive in this global competitive business landscape.

Such an entity will soon become extinct as there won’t be any pillar to adjust for further growth. Most of our SMEs seem to be fond of building castles in the air as they just do business without any clear systems to guide in their operations.

Visioning should be hinged on solidifying a structure. Otherwise we keep going in circles when we are supposed to be progressing. It then takes us back to the school of business and strategic management where the future of a business should be mapped now instead of experiencing future surprises. It's common knowledge that what we do today determines our tomorrow.

A structure initiates basic communication within a business going up to stamping authority and dominance in our various markets.  

The bottom line of a business is gained from setting up the direction of a business, defining the reason(s) for existence, encouraging accountability and responsibility by every member within and outside the organisation. In this case it becomes clear that shareholding attractiveness is not at the end of successful growth but at the beginning through a real foundational structuring (start-up matters in enterprising).

In this edition we therefore remind each other and discuss some key structuring matters that follow a successfully run and growing entrepreneurial business.

To start with is the visioning of a business idea by the owner(s) which should be passed on to all current and potential stakeholders.

A vision has been talked about in various business fora in its broadness to the extent of diluting its foundational meaning to entrepreneurs. This should not be a mere business jargon but a practice.  

It is frightening that most of our home-grown businesses don’t have a meaning for their future (that’s what a vision should do so as to define your future). In fact they are directionless as they exist for today’s pocket only without any projections for the unforeseeable business future and generations.

There is a need to have a long-term anticipation of the business that spans up to more than two decades. We have to capacitate our present guided by a look that is beyond our current operations. As a result, that vision will help to initiate business structuring that is born out of a 360 degree scrutiny and configuration of all systems.

This is then followed by structuring that defines what we do on a day to day basis. Here we develop a mission for our business. A combination of a vision and mission has been the basis for strategic planning by most of our successful businesses.

Meaning that in the same structuring we are also being strategic in all our facets. Starting from the way we produce to the marketing aspects of our offerings. Business value chains are rooted on what we do on a daily basis as a mission.

Rather than being an act of serendipity here we are able to plan with precision as guided by our mission. Yet most of our entrepreneurial businesses seem to be surviving by accident. 

Their operations are all over just because they failed to define their mission so as to be guided accordingly on a daily basis. For such businesses there is nothing to use as a measurement guide for good performance. Everything is haphazard so to speak.

My greatest worry is on the displays we always hang on our walls especially at the front office.

Where all the aforementioned are colourfully displayed/presented including values and objectives of the business. They are so attractive but not practiced by the owners themselves. 

A promise of accountability, honest, responsibility just to mention a few commonly displayed as business values should be part of the entrepreneurial structuring.

Most of the time it becomes a gimmick as the customers and other stakeholders hardly find these in our daily operations/delivery. The modern customer is now more knowledgeable than any time before to easily see where a promise is not met.

So let’s go back to the drawing board to match these structured values with quality for greater customer satisfaction. As a reminder the vision, mission, values and objectives which structure our entrepreneurial existence are foundational in our strategic planning and longevity.

In most instances we always see that the entrepreneur becomes everything within the business structure. That is as the owner, accountant, driver, clerk and so forth.

Yes we always start small and grow into systematic operations but it should also begin as a practice in our early start-up stage. You cannot be a jerk of all trades or micro-manage a business for it to be successful.

Most popular and growing entrepreneurs are always out there looking for partnerships, investments and brand escalation rather than being fully for operational activities.

A good structure allows others to do it for you while you look at bigger matters. That is the same reason in our business structuring we should consider delegation as a cornerstone for business growth. Also considering succession planning and talent management as a must do in this age of entrepreneurship.

Lastly I remind our fellow entrepreneurs that it is no longer the tradition where structuring was to do with developing an organogram, defining functions and departmentalisation. The modern approach to this perspective is anchored on a flexible approach to doing business.

One that keeps both employees and customers closer to your business ideas and even claims ownership. At the same time giving greater room for innovation by the founder(s) and any other stakeholder.  Of course there is no one sized jacket that fits all here we discuss some key matters for consideration.

*Dr Farai Chigora is a businessman and academic. He is the Head of Business Science at the Africa University’s College of Business, Peace, Leadership and Governance. His doctoral Research focused on business administration (Destination Marketing and Branding Major, Ukzn, SA). He is into agribusiness and consults for many companies in Zimbabwe and Africa. He writes in his personal capacity and can be contacted for feedback and business at [email protected],, WhatsApp mobile: +263772886871.

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