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  • Writer's picturePhil Chang

Small Business Organizational Chart

This is a repost from Jim and Laurie Shopland's blog post.

Is it important to have an Organizational Chart for your small business? As a small business owner, it can be challenging and confusing on how to set up your team.

Traditional Org Charts are based on titles and roles and run the risk of leaving too many open questions. Perhaps there is a better way.

If you are struggling with significant growth in your business, or you have an ambitious goal to achieve in the next 6 to 12 months, it may be time to implement an Accountability Chart instead of an Organizational Chart.

While an Organizational Chart is based on titles and roles, it can often be confusing when understanding accountability. And an Organizational Chart while it can be a useful tool, runs the risk of leaving too many open questions and not enough useful information.

What’s more helpful is to develop an Accountability Chart, especially if your business is less than 20 employees, or if you are planning significant business growth over the next 6 to 12 months.

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. Vince Lombardi


Business changes quickly and the structure and responsibilities within your business need to keep up.

An Accountability Chart starts by dividing your business up into 3 major functions. These 3 functions can represent any business –

  • Sales and Marketing represent activities that are used to generate business.

  • Operations and Delivery provides the product or service and takes care of the customers.

  • Support covers all the money and infrastructure components.

As a Business Owner you may have your hand in all these areas, so in order to have a strong business, all 3 of these functions at a strategic level need to be strong as well.


Knowing that you need to be strong in all aspects of your business, the next steps are to layout your organization and determine who is accountable for keeping those functions strong.

Here’s one of the keys to really making this work: There can only be 1 person ultimately accountable for each area.

When more than one person is accountable, then no one is accountable. Leadership and accountability are ultimately how issues get solved, things get done and businesses grow.

In addition to all 3 functions being strong, they have to work in harmony with each other.

When you have strong functions, they are naturally going to drive issues and have friction with each other. The Sales and Marketing function will always be pushing the envelope, the Operations and Support functions will often act as moderators. Both aspects are healthy, but obviously opposed to each other.

To listen to the latest episode from Jim Shopland, click here

To listen to the latest episode from Laurie Shopland, click here

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