How Building the Right Structure Can Scale Your Business for Growth

By Guest Author, Jessica Schimert on October 5, 2022

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Guest Author, Jessica Schimert

Principal at Jessica J. Schimert Consulting, LLC


If you founded a business or managed an early-stage startup, chances are at one point you supervised many — if not most — employees directly. It is also plausible that as the organization grew, this became a much more daunting task taking precious time away from your ability to focus on the business (think strategy), rather than in the business (think tactics).

As small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) evolve, leaders must focus on creating organizational structures and processes that efficiently and effectively serve customers and guide and engage employees without the owner having to oversee everything on a daily basis. This evolution typically happens when employee ranks reach the 20 to 30 range, or a 20-to-1 reporting relationship.

Laying the Foundation

Efficiently organizing the business to scale is one of the top early tasks for a leader. Without doing so, it can become a major barrier to growth. Identifying what resources are required and empowering employees to act independently (with some autonomy) — while also controlling costs — are critical to scaling any SMB. 

The key to selecting the appropriate organizational structure is having a clear plan for where the organization is headed. A focused vision, organized priorities, and key performance indicators (KPIs) are necessary to identify the specific skills and experiences necessary in your employees.

Once a clear path to success is determined, leaders can create a structure that will support desired growth. Structure manifests itself in organization models, reporting relationships, job descriptions, measurable outcomes, policies and procedures, and feedback mechanisms. 

Supporting Structure

Structure is about organizing multiple employees in a model that drives efficiency and engagement. It enables everyone to know what they and everyone else are supposed to do, and it helps business owners more efficiently hire, develop, and promote the right resources.

Oftentimes the shift from a small startup to a larger company becomes overwhelming to employees. Too much structure may stifle innovation and slow communication while too little structure breeds chaos, confusion, and redundancy. Creating a structure that supports smaller, self-directed teams or “tribes” based on trust and transparency will ease the growing pains. Clearly defined values and supporting processes — internal communication, feedback and performance management, meeting structure, and development — will also make the growth stage a positive experience for employees and preserve culture. 

It is important to be open-minded about structure. You may not have the financial resources available to fill all the desired seats or the available talent pool at the start of your reorganization. However, build a structure that will support your vision. Remain focused on long-term strategic and sustainable growth, rather than quick wins. And maintain a philosophy that structure is a work in progress, evolving as the company evolves. 

Navigating through the uncertainty of growth?

Learn how the right structure can impact your organization for the better. Jessica Schimert is the principal at Jessica J. Schimert Consulting, LLC, where she develops top talent and builds high-performing teams. Contact her at 716-913-7732 or

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