Archive for June 26th, 2008

What We Mean by Structure

In a recent post that discussed properly framing your business so the marketplace “gets it,” I reminded those of you in the administrative support business that structure is your friend.

It occurred to me, however, that some people might not understand what I mean by structure.

First, let me emphasize that creating structure is not about boxing you in. On the contrary!

Structure is about erecting a foundation in your business that will support solid weight and give you the space you need to move around.

It’s about establishing standards, policies and procedures.

It’s about systemizing, automating and streamlining those recurring and repetitive processes, workflows and tasks.

It’s about setting and managing proper expectations in clients and giving them parameters and boundaries.

It’s about communicating that information to them.

Structure brings order to chaos. It’s what organizes the disorganized and disjointed. It’s what preserves relationships.

Structure is what will allow you to roll with the punches and go with the flow caused by all the twists and unexpected turns that you WILL confront throughout the life of your business.

Structure is what will allow you to remain flexible and agile. It will prevent your “building” from crumbling to the ground when you encounter setbacks or are forced into detours or course corrections.

Structure is what will give you the time to develop your ideas and work on experiments, as well as the freedom to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Structure is what will allow you to take superior care of clients and do your best work for them.

It’s what will prevent burnout and overwhelm.

Just as importantly, structure is a comfort to clients.

It tells them that yours is an administrative support practice that is set up smartly to serve them and that you are in a committed, legitimate business.

It says that yours is not a fly-by-night operation and they won’t be putting their eggs in a basket that may disappear into thin air tomorrow.

It shows them that you take their interests seriously and have given careful consideration in setting up your business to serve them for the long-haul.