Every company no matter it’s age or size should be capable of communicating it’s complete business infrastructure. A company infrastructure is comprised of it’s basic accommodations, framework, and resources upon which the entire business model is constructed. This infrastructure includes all elements of the business needed to ensure efficient and profitable day-to-day operations. Examples of these elements may include items such as physical building and location, accounting software, intellectual property, equipment and machinery, office furniture, and personnel. When proper infrastructure is in place a company will be able to produce a reliable service or a dependable product. The resulting consistency that is created will then allow a business to strengthen its relationships with customers and vendors. A business environment that is well-structured and stable will also provide a setting that allows employees to thrive and work at their full capacity. Businesses that fail to correctly implement a comprehensive infrastructure will likely face many potentially avoidable setbacks.
Business Longevity Is Supported By A Stable Foundation
Each component of a business infrastructure serves a purpose in company operations. When one part of the infrastructure fails, it affects the business as a whole. Often time well-meaning proprietors begin with the intentions of integrating an ample supporting infrastructure only to fail. Causes for failure may be because of circumstances such as unexpected rapid business growth, lack of business foresight, underestimation or overestimation of business demands, or personal matters that get in the way. Another major factor is not adequately budgeting for operating costs. Owners frequently “bite off more than they can chew” and work long hours performing various supporting roles such as accounting or marketing tasks. However, by calculating a proper budget, elements of the business structure can be delegated to an employee or outsourced. The business owners time then can go into overseeing operations and revenue generating activities. A shift in focus such as this can have a positive impact on the health of a business. The question then becomes, “If time is money, what is yours worth”?
There are many overall benefits of implementing a proper business structure. Infrastructure specifically outlines employee duties and obligations. By holding departments and their workers accountable for their own performance a higher quality of standard can be reached. Productivity is elevated due to better coordination between departments. Task redundancy is eliminated. Proper flow of communication among staff creates a stable organizational culture. It is most often breakdowns in communication that cost you customers, employees, and your reputation.
When a company is operated using appropriate supporting framework the customer will also reap the benefits of dealing with an efficiently managed business. Customers expect a predictable and quality experience. The goal is to build credibility with customers and assure them you are an expert in your field. By doing so, you will improve the customer’s perception of your company’s image and build a loyal customer base.
Customers are not the only ones that prefer a predictable and well run business. Employees excel in well-structured and stable work environments. Your staff craves order and consistency in task allocation and job performance expectations. After all, a happy, motivated employee is a productive employee. An improved organizational culture allows you to attract and retain top talent.
Many business owners find that they are completely overwhelmed by the time consuming responsibility of managing day-to-day operations. The best way to ensure that you can successfully delegate work and leave the office confidently that things will still run smoothly is through the use of appropriate business documentation. Depending on the long-term goals of the business, there may be plans for future expansion and growth. Savvy entrepreneurs utilize infrastructure planning to prepare for future growth. By ensuring that the business structure is based on a replicable platform, one ensures that the business model can scale to any size. It may also lead to other avenues such as attracting investors or profitable sale of the business.
”Your problem is to bridge the gap which exists between where you are now and the goal you intend to reach.Earl Nightingale-American Radio Speaker And Author
7 Steps For Creating A Solid Business Infrastructure
1. Job Analysis
Determine what tasks need to be completed and which employees will perform them.
It is important to perform a detailed review of all duties required for business operations. This step will determine staffing requirements and how work will be efficiently distributed. Job positions should be given titles with clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
2. Organization Structure
The hierarchical structure of a business is most efficiently expressed in the form of a flowchart.
Defining the proper chain of command and how information flows within an organization serves to streamline both internal operations and customer relations.
3. Electronic Records Management System
A properly secured and organized electronic document storage system ensures that information can be accessed quickly and reliably.
It is vital that digital files are stored and accessed securely, especially those that may contain sensitive customer information. A standardized method for creating, naming, storing, purging, and backing up files ensures that information can be retrieved quickly and reliably.
4. Paper Records Management
Despite the heavy reliance on digital formats, there is often still a need for hard copies for certain documents.
Many of the same concepts of “Electronic Records Management” also apply here, such as a standardized filing system. Storage of paper documents may require access control such as a locked filing cabinet. It may also be necessary to use cabinets that are fire and waterproof to prevent catastrophic loss of important documentation.
5. Workspace Planning
Productivity is greatly enhanced by intelligently planning your company office/workspace layout.
Strategic placement of employees, equipment, and office furniture will facilitate a streamlined work environment thereby improving communication, maximizing productivity, and increasing profitability.
6. Service Delivery Process
Comprehensively document how your company delivers its core product and/or services.
By detailing all steps required in delivery of your product or service you ensure a consistent and positive customer experience. Your staff will also benefit by having clear and concise job expectations.
7. Operations Handbook
A well-crafted company operations handbook will provide a reference for current employees and proper training for new hires.
By including a high level of detail in your operations handbook you ensure that your company will continue to operate even in your absence. Employees are empowered by having a detailed manual they may refer back to when unsure about a certain task. New employees benefit by having detailed instruction on how to perform all duties related to their position.
Asolid and effective infrastructure is a pivotal ingredient of every successful business regardless of its size or type. Without a strong supporting foundation a business will have difficulty offering a dependable service or product. With well-functioning systems in place a company will run efficiently and position itself to bolster customer relations. The resulting supportive business culture is one that will also allow employees to realize their full potential in their roles with the company. Ultimately, the overall health of the business will be determined by the caliber of its business infrastructure.