Why Every Small Business Needs Structure

Home - Articles - Why Every Small Business Needs Structure

According to an article on Terminix, the term “ant colony’ describes not only the physical structure in which ants live, but also the social rules by which ants organize themselves and they work they do. The queen ant is the founder and the leader of the colony. Her main function is to populate the colony by laying thousands of eggs. The male ants’ only function is to mate with the queen so she can lay her eggs. Worker ants are responsible for building and maintaining the nest, protecting and feeding the colony. There is a clearly defined structure and order in the ant colony that entrepreneurs can emulate.

The average early-stage business owner wears multiple hats – from managing social media accounts, to interfacing with clients and running the daily operations of the business. When the initial thrill of executing your business wears off, how do you carry on without burning out? Can your business survive without your active involvement?

On our Instagram live series last week, we had Joycee Awosika of Oriki Group talk about “Structuring Your Business Post Covid-19”. Here are key points she shared about the importance of structure:


From inception, Joycee’s aim was to build a global brand.To achieve this and allow the business grow to its full potential, she knew that the business could not revolve around her. Putting structure in place has allowed her to explore her other interests and focus on her family. A sustainable business is one that runs seamlessly in the presence or absence of its founder.

Building & Maintaining Standard

Another point she raised was how structure has helped her establish and maintain a set standard for her brand, despite having multiple outlets. Clients are happy to interact with a brand that offers the same quality of service regardless of the access point. 

Maximizing Employee Output

Structure involves defining employee roles and establishing hierarchies of communications; as well as standard operating procedures (SOPs) for employees to follow. It allows your staff to know what is expected of them at every point in time and also gives room for them to exceed expectations, ultimately translating to growth for your business.

Having A Clear Overview

Why do you think most employees get away with stealing from a business? You guessed right; lack of structure! In a well-structured business, you have a bird’s eye view of everything that is going on – inventory, sales, expenses, customer records and so on. This makes it easy to spot any discrepancies.

Structure also helps you spot recurring trends and connect the dots. If you run a grocery delivery business, putting structure in place will come in handy during the lockdown period. Based on your records, you can see what products are in high demand and the locations that orders come from. Assuming most of your orders come from Victoria Island and you deliver once weekly, you can increase the frequency of delivery to twice weekly to encourage clients to increase their purchases.

If you are wondering how to start putting structure in your business, here are a few tips on getting started:

  • Outline all your business processes from start to finish.
  • List out your goals as a business.
  • Explain in details how each business process contributes to achieving your business goals.
  • List out all your employees, their roles, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Remind your employees about how fulfilling these expectations contributes to the growth and success of the business.
  • Set goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) for employees and create appraisal systems to check performances.
  • Empower your staff with the knowledge and tools they need to fulfill their expectations.

You can also check out Joycee’s Guide on Creating & Implementing SOPs.

Missing something? Let us know

Recent Posts