Major Changes Small Businesses Go Through: Structural

February 20, 2024

When a business undergoes structural changes, it often involves modifications to its organizational framework, processes, or strategies. Whether it’s a merger, acquisition, reorganization, or other significant shift, careful planning and consideration are essential. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind during structural changes:

Clear Communication:

  • Communicate changes transparently and in a timely manner to employees, stakeholders, and customers. Experience has taught me that if communication is lacking, people create their own story, positive or negative, so it is important to communicate early and often, even if the update is “we aren’t sure at this time”.
  • Clearly articulate the reasons behind the structural changes and the expected benefits.

Leadership and Change Management:

  • Ensure strong leadership and a clear change management plan. Work with your team and consult outside help if you are having trouble formulating an actionable plan.
  • Identify change champions who can help facilitate the transition and address concerns. Depending on the size of your business this might be you, the owner, or a select group of positive staff members.

Employee Engagement:

  • Involve employees in the process and seek their input where applicable.
  • Provide resources and support for employees to adapt to new roles and responsibilities. Having an ‘open door’ policy for employees to come with concerns at any time can go a long way toward feeling supported.

Skills Assessment:

  • Assess the current skill sets of your employees and identify any gaps that may arise due to the structural changes.
  • Implement training programs or hire new talent as needed.

Legal and Regulatory Compliance:

  • Ensure that the structural changes comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Address any contractual obligations or labor laws associated with the changes.

Technology and Systems Integration:

  • Assess the technology and systems implications of the structural changes.
  • Plan for integration or migration of systems to support the new organizational structure.

Customer Impact:

  • Assess how the changes will impact customers and communicate any adjustments to services or products. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. The changes you’re making might be very positive for your business, but you need to ensure your customers feel the same way.

Financial Implications:

  • Conduct a thorough financial analysis of the structural changes, considering costs, benefits, and potential risks.
  • Develop a budget and financial plan for the transition period.

Risk Management:

  • Identify potential risks associated with structural changes.
  • Develop strategies to mitigate risks and have contingency plans in place.

Timeline and Milestones:

  • Establish a realistic timeline for the implementation of structural changes.
  • Define key milestones and regularly assess progress against the plan.

By addressing these considerations, a business can navigate structural changes more effectively, minimizing disruptions and positioning itself for long-term success in the evolving business landscape.

-Sarah Elchuk is a Product Consultant on the Revenue Growth Team