Just as you would write a job description when hiring an employee, you need to understand what is fully involved in your new job as an entrepreneur and business owner. Everyone at some time or another has dreamed of becoming their own boss, but I’m here to tell you there’s a lot of work involved in running a successful small business. This post is the second of a two part series on what it takes to be an entrepreneur; click here to view Part I of this article.
This blog post is excerpted from my new book Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months; A Month-By-Month Guide to a Business That Works which will be released in March 2010 by Adams Media. Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months walks you step-by-step through the Emerson Planning System, which will reduce your learning curve as you start your business.
Starting a business is a huge commitment of time, money, and personal energy. Here’s a list of five more jobs you must hold as a small business owner.
Chief Operations Officer— Once you have your vision for your business, then you must run it. Issues such as office space, banking, insurance, inventory management, budgeting and financial management are all things that must be handled in order to run a small business effectively. You must also make sure there are processes in place for hiring, sales and customer service.
Chief Project Manager– You must know who is going to really get the work done once a sale is made to a customer. Who’s going to communicate with the client, attend all meetings and make sure the project or delivery stays aligned with the timeline? Will you need to hire employees or freelancers to get the work done?
Web/Social Media Manager– In addition to having a website that is updated regularly, you also need to make sure that you are maintaining a presence on social media sites where your prospective customers are spending time. Three top social networking sites are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If you decide to launch a blog to keep your website updated and promote your expertise, you will also need to write regular blog posts. Using social media consistently is the best thing you can do to build your small business brand online.
Bill Collector– One you make a sale, you must have a process in place to collect your money. In the current economic environment many businesses and corporations are paying their bills late. Small businesses are always on the bottom of the list, so you must be aggressive about getting paid. On day 31, you should be on the phone and emailing about the status of your payment. This is one of the least fun things to do as a business owner, but you must be paid for your products and services.
Secretary– In addition to writing your own letters, you will do your own mail merges, labels and take your mail to the post office or over night mail drop off. You will probably answer your own phone as well. It will be important to screen your calls. Never hesitate to tell a caller you are on deadline and need to call them back. Be sure to use a message pad so that you can actually remember to return the call.
This information will help you think through having your own business – before you get too far down the road pursuing your entrepreneurial endeavor.
What else do you think needs to go into the small business owner’s job description? 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 resource on Twitter 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 That Works will be released by Adams Media in March 2010.