It will take every bit of enthusiasm and energy you have to grow your business into a viable enterprise and a powerful brand. If you think you work hard now with a job working in corporate America, you are in for a rude awakening once you start your small business, particularly if you are used to having a large support staff. This is the first of a Two Part series of blog posts on what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
This blog post is excerpted from my forthcoming book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months! A Month By Month Guide To A Business That Works! The book will be released in March 2010 by Adams Media. Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months! is organized by month to lead you step by step through the process of how to transition from a job to small business ownership. In other words, it’s a 12 month planning guide to fire your boss and start your small business.
What Does It Take To Be an Entrepreneur?
1. Chief Visionary Officer You must visualize what you want your small business to become over the long haul. Stephen Covey’s most famous concept is “Begin with the End In Mind!” This is true in business and in life. This is the step that gets people in trouble all too often. Don’t get excited about making one initial sale. Take the time to plan out your business model and write out a business plan. Think about what you want your business to be ultimately in terms of number of employees, number of locations, and amount of revenue etc. this will dictate everything you do as you start and grow your business.
2. Chief Sales Officer Nobody should be able to sell your business better than you. You need to be a selling machine. Networking feeds the sales of your business. People do business with people they like and know. If you are known more internally at your current job than externally, spend the time to build your network before your start your business. If you are really not that great at networking, there are two options: get a partner with a great rolodex who loves to network or take some sales training courses to develop a structured system to get it done.
3. Marketing Manager Your marketing efforts are the life’s blood of your business. You must market strategically. You have limited time and limited resources. The narrower your niche market, the easier it is to focus on where to engage your customers. When you are just starting a business you should do marketing activities weekly. Social media marketing activities must be done at least three times a week.
4. AR/AP Manager (Accounts Receivable /Accounts Payable) One of the most important things you need to do to have a successful small business is to stay on top of who you need to pay, and who owes you money. You should develop a set policy for when you cut checks to vendors and payroll such as every two weeks. When you can, try to negotiate credit terms with all of your vendors. Push for Net 45 if you can.
5. HR Manager All part time, full time and contract employees will be hired by you. That means you will need to develop job descriptions for each position and conduct interviews for all positions needed. If you work with a temp agency you will still need to provide a job description. No employees should be hired until you can afford their salary, taxes and benefits for at least six months. A year is even better.
What other jobs do you think a small business owner needs to do? Please leave a comment.
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Melinda Emerson “SmallBizLady” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #smallbizchat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted Twitter resource to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-By-Month Guide To a Business Than Works! is scheduled to be released by Adams Media in March 2010.