As a small business owner, you can have a lifestyle of freedom and flexibility not offered to an employee. However, being a small business owner also carries greater responsibility with many more tasks to juggle. Most small businesses have limited resources when launching, which means that, as the owner, you have many hats to wear, depending on the nature of your business.
First, a small business owner must be the principal strategist and planner. To understand the new business, as well as the necessary resources and strategies, it makes sense to start with a business plan and a marketing plan. You’ll need to do research, planning and writing to develop a plan, and expect to revisit and change it as needed.
Most small businesses need start-up capital to get established and grow their products and services. Depending on the business, some owners can bootstrap and start with a smaller budget. Other ventures require a small business loan to fund expenses for retail space, office equipment and hiring employees. You’ll also need to set up and maintain business bank accounts, payment processing, accounts payable and accounts receivable, and taxes.
Small business owners must comply with federal and state business licensing laws. From forming a limited liability company to creating legal contracts, they must know basics of the law and have access to an attorney if legal problems with customers or employees arise. You might need to write, review and sign legal contracts and sales agreements. When legal issues occur, you’ll need to consult a lawyer.
No matter how good your product or service is, you need marketing and sales to drive business. Marketing and sales strategies and implementations vary widely, depending on the business, and could include tactics such as print advertising, public relations, online marketing, networking, cold calling and commissioned salespeople.
In the beginning, many small business owners are responsible for providing all or most of the customer service duties. These include phone calls, email messages and follow-ups concerning product delivery and quality issues. As the business grows, it makes sense to automate and hire customer service people when possible to scale operations and growth.
As a small business grows, so do its hiring needs to accommodate more orders and faster growth. The owner needs to identify human resources needs, write job descriptions, screen and interview candidates, train, manage and pay employees. For some businesses, it makes sense to hire a dedicated HR manager to handle screening, hiring, training and employee-related processes.
A small business owner has many broad and diverse tasks and responsibilities that are essential for starting and managing a successful business. Depending on the type of business and the stage it is in, the roles and responsibilities change and the owner continually must adapt to thrive.Read More