Small businesses often rely on a few key employees to handle important projects. As an organization grows, it’s important to identify the positions that underpin and support the organization. Using a basic functional structure can help create an organization that helps you meet sales and profit goals.

Critical Components

Determine which functions are important now and those that must be added in the near future before reviewing current personnel or positions. For many businesses important short-term functions include sales, marketing, accounting and office administration. You can identify their importance to your organizational structure by determining what would happen if you eliminated them, had a key employee leave or experienced a downturn in performance. Examine the consequences not only to your customers, but also to your other employees, functions or departments. Some business functions can be outsourced in the early stages of a company’s development.

Organizational Chart

Create an organization chart as if you were starting your company today, without considering your current personnel or positions. This prevents creating jobs based on placing existing employees. The top spot might be the owner, with a chief operating officer, chief financial officer and marketing director as direct reports. When creating an organization chart, assign all key functions necessary to support your operations. If you outsource human resources, for example, you might assign that role to your accounting person.

Talent Pool

Review your current employees and decide where they fit in your organization chart now that you know what functions are needed and the positions required to fulfill them. You might need to shift some of your staff, hire new employees or provide training to bring others up to speed. Write detailed job descriptions for each employee and share the new organization chart, positions, responsibilities and hierarchy with your staff.

Develop Titles

Review the job titles you plan to use. This helps identify the key positions among your staff and establishes a chain of command. A common method is to give a coordinator or manager title to a small department with a single employee. As the company grows, you might use the title of director for the head of a multi-worker department, with that person handling strategic planning. Her assistant would be a manager who would execute her plans. The manager might oversee a coordinator, an entry-level staffer.