Wearing all the hats as a small business owner?
You have all heard the phrase Jack of all trades is master of none but did you know that there is more to the phrase? The full version reads:
A jack of all trades is master of none, but oftentimes better than master of one.
Does this resonate with you as a small business owner? Are you feeling overwhelmed by wearing so many hats and having the full weight of your business on your shoulders? You are not alone, so many business owners feel the pressure to do absolutely everything themselves due to many reasons. Time and cost play a large factor in the lack of options to delegate and it can be all-encompassing to be a designer, stylist, photographer, marketer, finance manager, shipping co-ordinator, customer services adviser and so on, the list of responsibilities is endless and it is not surprising how many small business owners struggle with burnout.
Key Roles And Responsibilities Of A Small Business Owner
The key roles and responsibilities of a small business owner are to maximise revenue, profit, cash flow, income and long-term net worth, by consistently producing greater results and performance from the same time, the same effort, the same activities, the same people, and the same money invested in your business. Secondly to continually reduce cost, neutralise or eliminate weaknesses, risks and threats and develop a strategic competitive advantage to combat increasing competition. As you see continued business success, you’ll probably identify key areas where you can grow. A boost in cash flow means that you can expand your options and build your operations.
So, what you can do?
The key role of a business owner is to look for ways to become an ever more valuable person in every area of your business. Including employees, suppliers and customers. Part of a business owner’s job description and responsibility is to strengthen the business on the inside while expanding the business on the outside.
On the Inside.
Strengthen the business from the inside and focus on the 6 key business drivers. The day-to-day responsibility and success will come from your ability to identify, analyse, plan, implement and manage the performance of these simple but very important 6 business drivers.
- Management – Manage yourself every day.
- Money – Financial Management.
- Marketing and Sales – Management of sales, marketing and customer service.
- People – Management of productivity, training and development of employees, suppliers and partners.
- Product and Service – Your Operations. Everything from product design, photography and styling, to shipping.
- Process and Systems -Daily tasks such as admin and bookkeeping.
Other things to consider.
Clearly define your mission, goals and vision of the business and find the best people for the job and invest in them by delegating whether internally or externally such as hiring freelancers to support with tasks that you either don’t have time for or are not experienced enough to do. Keep control over finances and focus on business fundamentals – making money and generating cash so that future profitability is protected and the bottom line improves. Building a business model that supports customer loyalty, and trust, with a continuous stream of innovative products and quality of service, is paramount to the longevity of your business.
On the Outside.
This is where you work on the business, not in the business and you focus on growth and securing a foothold in the market.
Things to consider.
- Spot trends and opportunities and neutralise or eliminate threats and weaknesses.
- Defending and maximising your market share.
- Focusing financial strategies on identifying sources of funds.
- Making investments to build company assets and long-term net worth.
- Exploiting existing resources and developing or acquiring ones that are key to your future success.
- Developing competitive strategic advantage in established market niches to combat the increasing competition.
Some of these have a greater responsibility and a bigger impact on your business depending on where the business is in the growth cycle. For instance, for a new start-up business Money, Marketing/Sales and Product are very important, As the business is growing and becoming bigger. Other factors like developing yourself, your team and your systems also become very important. Although every one of them is just as important as the other, the most important ones, in general, will always be:
- Money – Financial Management.
- Marketing/Sales and Money.
- Your Product/Service.
Take a close look at your business and divide it into different responsibilities and success factors. Search for the three things that account for 90% of your success in all the different areas like growth, sales, profit, income, cash flow, employee satisfaction, customer service, and quality and focus on these. Identify these and make them your primary focus. Don’t neglect the rest, they are all important, but most of your time should be focused on the main three points. If things begin to pile up and the overwhelm builds more and more, it is time to step back and evaluate the above points. Can you do anything differently? Can you hire people to help you, even if only temporary freelancers to help get you through a growth period? All of these things are flexible to an extent and must still work for you as a business in order for you to be efficient and successful in your sector.