An entrepreneur has to get right the aspect of establishing the first management team for the enterprise due to its significance. For you the entrepreneur, the initial management team of your enterprise plays a vital role in laying the right foundation for your enterprise. This foundation comprises systems and subsystems, policies and procedures, personnel, ethics, culture, image, other resources etc that the enterprise relies on and thrives with. Future management teams will operate on this foundation and modify it gradually, if required. The team and its capability determines to a large extent the take-off and pace of growth and general progress hence the future and overall success of your enterprise. The team also sets the general direction and trend of events in the enterprise. Money follows management and investors invest in management hence your team matters a great deal.
Establishing this foundational team is one of the critical issues that you the entrepreneur have to consider at some stage of your enterprise. Normally you the entrepreneur are the first employee of the enterprise – especially for small enterprises. In some cases also close relatives initially come in to help you, though it is not very advisable to use relatives especially if they do not meet the job requirements. However, as the enterprise starts registering significant growth, and for it to have a foundation upon which it can launch out to greater heights of achievement, you need a solid management team. For small enterprises the need for a management team may not be so quick but for medium enterprises, and bigger scales of investments in the business, the need for a management team comes faster than one may think or imagine. In fact, most large-scale enterprises have management teams from the start.
You should have some wisdom to know when to start building a management team for your start-up. Most entrepreneurs are not good managers and hence a process to build a management team and delegate most aspects of enterprise management to it becomes mandatory. There is however, no single way in which you can establish your initial management team, as individual and unique circumstances of your enterprise determines the decision factors and the approach that you the entrepreneur will follow in this regard. Factors that you may consider in making this decision include your skills and competencies, your availability for the enterprise, your personal and enterprise vision, mission, goals and objectives, the size of the business in terms of investment, revenue, staffing, number of products, locations etc, cost implications of the management team, relevant statutory and regulatory requirements for some industries, and several others.
As an entrepreneur, you have to consider the vital functions in the enterprise, to guide your decisions on establishing your first team. Key members of a management team, for a sizeable enterprise, include the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Marketing/Sales Officer (CMO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Of course the overall leader of the team is the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director. These titles in smaller enterprises may translate to Operations Manager/Officer, Marketing & Sales Manager/Officer, Finance Manager/Officer and so on. You should also not forget the human resource or human capital management role. You may not necessarily have all these positions filled at the same time. You may choose to do it gradually, depending on factors such as the urgency of the need, the costs involved, several operational issues within the enterprise etc. At times you may find that you the entrepreneur may play a role that may not warrant getting a fulltime officer for that specific function for some time.
You have to determine the management structure that is suitable for your enterprise, and this will guide you in establishing your team. The management structure is basically the functional framework that determines the positioning of the enterprise and its ability to handle challenges in the environment, enterprise adoption to the environment and the attainment of the overall goals and objectives of the enterprise. The structure also provides a framework for coordination of functions and people. Your managers should fit into positions within a structure that enhances flow within the enterprise, ensures responsibility and accountability including proper control, builds the culture of execution and also ensures efficiency and effectiveness within the enterprise.
Focus on what gives the desired results for your enterprise. Focus also on what is suitable. What works for one enterprise may not be the best for another enterprise. Your management team will depend on the structure for a guide so you also have to consider the hierarchy or the vertical layers of personnel within the system, and the chain of command or line of authority through which instructions pass in the enterprise. The bureaucratic structure is the most common though other structures such as matrix, network and virtual structures may be utilized by an enterprise. Structural transformations occur over time.
You should select members of your first team very carefully. The team should comprise people, that can effortlessly key into your vision and mission, being fundamentally aware of the enterprise and its growth and development goals and objectives, for the enterprise to benefit. They should be people, that can go the extra miles, even getting their fingers dirty; to get things done since building an enterprise at this stage has huge demands. People who have entrepreneurial qualities, and are street smart, are best suited for this beginning management team. If your enterprise is a small or medium-sized one, people with the big company mentality may not be suitable for this role.
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