INSIGHT

You can't do everything yourself

There's something you should know, by Angela Middleton

There’s something you should know is our bite-sized business advice column. The amount of advice out there can be overwhelming, so we ask the professionals we meet along the way to tell us the one thing that they think every start-up needs to know.

Angela Middleton is an award-winning entrepreneur in the recruitment space. She has initiated the creation of apprenticeships for over 3,500 young people in her 14-year career. And she firmly believes in thinking beyond yourself – to the structure of your business, and the processes you use.

"The structure of your business is important, too – even if there’s only a handful of you at the moment, you need to be clear about exactly who does what."

 
 

“You can’t do everything yourself and the sooner you realise that, the better”, she says. “You often hear new business owners saying ‘I wish I had ten of me’, or ‘I feel like there aren’t enough minutes in the day’. Well, the only way to replicate activity to your own standard is to have clear processes and procedures in place. Then, things can happen while you’re not there and they can still happen the way you’d like them to.”

Angela says the structure of your business is important, too – even if there’s only a handful of you at the moment, you need to be clear about exactly who does what. And as your business grows, it’s important to keep tabs on the structure it’s growing into, and the roles you’re going to need to fill.

“Are you going to need a head of business development? Or a head of finance? Or a head of technology? Create an organisational chart for your business now – even if you only have three or four staff – and start to position everyone where they’ll sit within that larger structure. At the moment, it’s easy to keep tabs on what each person is doing, but when you reach 25 employees you’ll need much more clarity. So, the sooner you get your target structure in place, the better.” 

In summary: “’If you have clear processes and procedures and that is communicated within a good management structure, everything can be ticking along quite happily while you focus on the big picture and driving your business forward.”

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