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8 Fundamental Principles for the Effective Management of Small & Medium-Sized Businesses

Learn 8 hot business management tips from Computools’s CEO for organizing any small, medium, or enterprise-size business.

Since the foundation of Computools in 2013, I have witnessed numerous market fluctuations. However, today’s market is more turbulent and unpredictable than ever before. The rise of digital leaders has changed the rules for growing a business. A company’s size has become a non-essential factor when projecting its success. The number-one rule is to choose the right management style that will let you develop the ability to keep up with market volatility and stay afloat.

I use what’s called ‘regulation management’ for expanding Computools’s reach globally. IBM gave birth to this form of management a long time ago, and its purpose is to enable effective control over an organization’s performance from the top down. A short time later, I noticed that the same approach can be relevant to organizations and businesses of all sizes that suffer from poor management, inconsistent operation, or stagnant performance.

The concept of regulation management is not difficult. It consists of eight rules and by applying them, you will manage to keep your organization in order and build a good foundation for consistent growth.

Follow my 8 rules below to scale your business without losing profitability:

1. Define business streams

How your business works can be split into several areas or streams, each referring to a complex business activity. For instance, most enterprises have Marketing, Manufacturing, Support, Shipping, Delivery, and other streams. By structuring your company’s organization, you set barriers between departments and group your specialists by expertise, thus helping them achieve better collaboration. This categorization is also needed to establish the basis on which you will later manage and add business processes. This division can be vertical, horizontal, or even diagonal. The point is to cover 100% of your business value in this structure.

2. Assign managers

Different streams need different managers. The manager has to be an expert in the field they are assigned to so that proper business processes and workflows can be organized from scratch. If we are talking about a startup or something small, one expert can be in charge of several adjacent streams at a time, for example, Marketing and Support, or Production and Quality Control. Your streams should have a few common points at which managers can streamline the production of business value, but the rest of the business processes in the streams should be organized and implemented strictly within departments.

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3. Enable communication within each stream

It is important that all stream members (team members within a specific working process) communicate and interact with each other in one chat where they can share and brainstorm ideas. You should provide a favorable working environment where they can organize a think tank and come up with good ideas to implement in practice. Today, it is easy to find user-friendly and cloud-based business management software options that allow different people to be united in one place: Skype, Slack, or Workplace by Facebook are all good chat apps to start with.

4. Arrange a dashboard

Alongside chat apps, you need to use business process management software that lets managers supervise employee performance and build connections within the team. The best starting point is to choose a data visualization tool that helps translate data into diagrams, charts, and mind maps as well as offers a customizable dashboard where you can track your workload, performance, and changes to projects and human resources involved in your projects. My recommendation would be Google Data Studio. It allows you to import data from different systems and work with it simultaneously.

5. Set up regular meetings

Being on the same page with each other is the key to getting work done in the right manner. The simplest way to achieve this is through regular meetings between the expert manager and the team in which both discuss work-related issues and develop a smart strategy to reach one or another goal. What you should keep in mind is that the outcome of the team’s work is always a result of your efforts in explaining your vision and objectives to them. To cultivate a good level of understanding, you should have 1 to 3 meetings a month depending on the complexity of your project and goals.

6. Prepare a presentation for every new meeting

Managers should prepare a presentation for every new meeting. It is necessary to structure the information they are going to say as well as remove unnecessary details that will complicate the team’s understanding. Moreover, the process of preparation usually gives some more insights that pop up when the manager is wrapped up in their work.

A good presentation is typically structured by doing the following:

– outlining completed tasks and tasks-to-do in the backlog;
– reviewing the dashboard and commenting on the latest updates;
– discussing work-related and/or project-related issues within the team.

7. Select team members to meet with

My next point is that you do not need to have all team members in the same meeting to change the way your department works or implement a new high-level strategy. It is enough to invite a few managers and team leads to convey your idea or describe changes that you would like to make to your business processes. Their role will be to decompose this goal into smaller tasks and assign them to different workers with regard to their field of expertise. Holding smaller, shorter meetings is an effective way to organize a workflow within and between streams.

8. Provide follow-up to relevant team members

All meetings should be completed with a follow-up that briefly outlines the key points discussed during the meeting. This follow-up is sent to all participants, including the speaker. This practice is necessary to fix the most essential insights and conclusions that were made during a meeting. Do not forget to provide the link to the presentations so that all managers and team leads can access them whenever they manage processes or make decisions. Similarly, it allows other team members who were not present in meetings to keep up with the changes being introduced to the company’s organization.

I see this set of rules as a fundamental basis for growing a large company, but it works equally well for the management of small and medium-sized businesses. You can alter and complement it with other rules until you achieve the most convenient organizational structure that fits your business goals.

Computools is a full-service software company that designs solutions to help companies meet the needs of tomorrow. Our clients represent a wide range of industries, including retail, finance, healthcare, consumer service and more.

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