You’ve heard a lot about organizational design and how it can benefit businesses. After all, it’s designed to streamline processes and improve efficiency. But a lot of the talk around it seems to focus on big, corporate entities—businesses with several divisions and multiple departments. That’s not relevant to your small business—and so you might think that organizational design simply isn’t a concern for you. Contrary to popular belief, however, organizational design can have a huge impact on a small business! Here are just a few advantages.


Your small business may not have several divisions operating around the world. You may not have a multitude of departments either. Perhaps it’s just you and a handful of employees, all working out of the same office. That’s okay—organizational design can still help you streamline your processes.

One of the things the process does is look at your workflow. Does it really make sense for you to be operating your social media, or should that role go to the marketing manager? Who is responsible for what tasks can have a huge impact on how quickly and effectively things are done. Shuffling responsibilities around could help your firm get more done and still save time. You can also look to your workflow to find places where you may be repeating steps or doubling up on work.


One thing that tends to be a problem in small businesses is a lack of clear direction. You may have goals, but have those goals been fully articulated and understood by all staff? And, as your business has grown, have those goals shifted or realigned? Perhaps you started the business with one goal in mind, but strategic choices have now led the business to grow in an entirely new direction.

Organizational design can help clarify your business’s mission statement and your purpose. With clear goals and a well-articulated purpose in hand, you can focus on strategically running your business to meet those ambitions.


Sometimes, small businesses run afoul of the “too many hats” problem. When resources are limited, people may be expected to take on additional responsibilities. Much as organizational review helps you determine who is responsible for what and if that makes sense in context with your workflow, it can also help you redefine roles for your employees. When everyone wears several hats, employees can become jaded and disengaged. They may decide that they shouldn’t pitch in with a task because it’s “not their job.” There may be infighting about responsibilities—over who has the authority to make a decision, who should make the decision, and if the person responsible is trying to shirk his duty or not.

With organizational design, you can give your employees a clear definition of their roles—and a clearly articulated vision of where the business is heading. That can help reduce tensions between co-workers, and it can also help mediate areas where responsibilities overlap. Of course, redefining roles doesn’t mean that no one will ever assume another task or responsibility; it can simply make the lines clearer and give employees direction in their work—helping them to re-engage.


The biggest advantage of organizational design is that it can help small businesses both increase profit and reduce overhead. You may have thought you needed to invest in an expensive new computer set-up, but it turns out what you’re using works just fine. You may have thought you needed to hire another set of hands to help around the office—but maybe, with newly defined roles, the work is getting done with ease. That can, in turn, help you increase profit as you meet sales goals and product quotas on time and with lower production costs.

Felicia Smith

Felicia is the manager of human capital solutions at AugmentHR. With over six years of recruitment experience coupled with multi-faceted HR roles, Felicia is an expert in matching people with the right role and environment. She has worked in many different industries, including investment banking, HR consulting firms, medical, and commercial. Understanding people is one of her strengths, and she has recruited at every level, from directors, project managers, and engineers to operators and general labourers. Her ability to network and develop relationships has been a key tool to her success. With approximately two years of experience managing people and creating a positive work environment, Felicia’s diverse skill set makes her a well-rounded individual. Her business education and background help her identify different business needs and human capital solutions.

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