Loosening the apron strings: introducing tiered management structures

When your small business starts to grow, it may be time to start looking at implementing a tiered management structure. Perhaps, up until now, you have been in charge of everything, but now that is getting unrealistic as your business grows and develops. Or maybe you want some outside input, a fresh perspective on what you are doing in order to help you to expand.

Often, before hiring managers or directors, small business owners have built up their team of employees, perhaps in admin positions, accounts, tech, or within manufacturing roles. You may have also used the services of contractors and freelancers to manage elements of work in the past, but now it is time to introduce a full-time manager to your organisation.

Handing over the reigns…

Of course, relinquishing personal control over your own business can be an intimidating prospect, particularly if you are currently a one-person limited company. Perhaps you have had the final say over everything, from the design of your logo to the model of your office furniture, until now. Handing over significant responsibility to somebody else can feel daunting.

When is the right time to hire a manager?

When the time is right to start hiring managers to work with you, it is actually an indication that your business is doing well and is likely proof of significant growth. You should feel confident, then, that the decisions you have made so far have been successful for your company’s progress. This means your decision to implement a new structural system is likely to be a good one too.

Signs that you need to hire a manager

There are a range of indicators that your business is ready for some kind of managerial structure.

Indicator one:

Perhaps you have had a significant influx of work recently. Your team are overwhelmed with the volume of work and could use an additional person to manage the workload. Or maybe your employees could use the input of another senior role to help direct their workflow and increase productivity.

Indicator two:

Maybe your own workload is becoming repetitive. Breaking free of the routine and delegating tasks to another person will free you up to focus on the big picture. This could lead to pursuing new business. This will be of particular importance if you have big plans to expand your business.

Hiring a manager will allow you to delegate a range of tasks, from the mundane to those where you know you do not personally excel. Perhaps you are great at networking and sales, but your product development skills are lacking. In that case, you could hire someone who complements your skills and excels in the areas that need attention. It will also allow you to give your current employees the attention and support they need.

Options for hiring a manager

There are two main possibilities when you are recruiting a manager for your business.  You could move an existing employee into a management position, or you could hire somebody new to the business.

The benefits:

There are certainly benefits to each of these options. If you hire from within your company, the new manager will already be familiar with your business and how it works. They will also know the wider team and their individual strengths. You can feel confident in their abilities in managing your company. However, an external candidate could bring new life and new ideas to your existing processes. They could also make improvements in ways that internal candidates may overlook.

What to do once a manager is hired:

In either case, introducing your new manager to their work should be done gradually. This is particularly if the new manager is completely new to the company and its processes. Rather than overwhelming them by outlining their responsibilities on day one and leaving them to it, undergo an incremental process. This will allow them to familiarise themselves with the job, and the company, and let them gain confidence and knowledge over time. Offering mentoring and support to the new hire from you or other senior partners is also a highly effective approach. This will ensure a smooth transition and confidence in everyone’s role in the company.

Just give it time…

Hiring your first business manager can be scary. However, if you do it with care and thought, there is plenty you can do to make sure your business is in the right hands. Investing time in this process in the short term is sure to pay dividends in the longer term as the brand continues to grow.

If you’re looking for more information on when and how to take on new hires, you can find this in our Help Centre, where there is plenty of advice on handling your business’ growth.

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