Organizing and Scaling my business as a solopreneur
Starting with visuals of the organizational functions and geographical spread
I find it harder than before to find time to share my experiences nowadays in my newsletter. I made some new visuals early this week when hiring interns and realized I could share some of the experience here.
Should I have an organizational structure?
I stumbled upon the creation of an org structure for my company when brainstorming with intelligent friends. I realized the need to bucket my work into functions to be able to brainstorm one independent aspect at a time. This approach also will help me think of metrics of success in each function.
I divided the workstreams at Spark Creative Technologies into the areas visualized below.
The functions are:
Consulting project execution
Product & enggineering
What are the different organizational functions?
“Customer research” involves talking to prospective customers to identify needs and understand how they think and approach problems. Identify the Jobs to be Done by customers for which they have hired such help in the past.
“Marketing” efforts to create discoverability of the business and increase the conversion from awareness to action (on the AIDA model).
“Sales” is to build relationships with prospects, look for opportunities to solve customer problems, and offer paid services.
“Coaching candidates” is about providing tailored career coaching services right from resume to interview preparations for Product Management aspirants. An example of a paid client was an MBA student interested in getting their first PM role.
“Consulting project execution” involves the execution of consulting projects which include customer research, ideation, execution of ideas, and measuring success. An example of a paid client is a B2C SaaS business looking to grow in users and revenue.
“Scaling up” involves finding ways to increase the bandwidth of the business. This includes hiring employees, interns, and freelancers. It also includes finding effective ways to delegate tasks.
“Product & engineering” involves identifying a customer problem that can be solved by building a product. An example is an ongoing project with a software engineer to build a resume-checking tool tailored for Product Management aspirants.
Should I build an org chart?
Michael E. Gerber, in his book The E-Myth Revisited says that one should have an org chart even when you have a one-person company so that one can define processes for each organizational ladder and hire to replace yourself in your company. A similar sentiment is echoed in Built to Sell by John Warrillow.
However, I did not go that route, because I do not see the exit strategy of my company involve selling it when it runs as a consulting business.
Should I visualize my company structure in another way?
I work with freelancers or interns to help scale the business. So, I looked at a way to identify the geographic breadth of the team that has helped run Spark Creative Technologies.
Contributors to the success of Spark Creative Technologies are spread across Ireland, the UK, Portugal, USA, Canada, Venezuela, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Hungary.
Clearly, the company is working remote-first.
Should I build a hiring process?
When hiring freelancers, I created a process to hire and delegate work. The most crucial step was writing things down, a cultural trait I picked up from Twilio, as I was mentioning here.
In another article, I will share more about what worked for me to hire.
The above illustration is thanks to Craiyon.
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This was posted originally on my personal website.