You’ve now launched your own business.
A long-cherished dream has finally seen the light of day.
Deep within you truly desire to succeed.
You’ve read about what legendary entrepreneurs have and are doing to ensure that they are always at the top.
You know that being an entrepreneur means you are responsible for making your vision of success a reality.
You also understand that this responsibility will require you to play a number of roles. Well, here are some of the different hats you’ll have to wear.
You certainly don’t need to be good at all these roles to be a successful entrepreneur. What you aren’t good at – at the onset – can always be improved upon with time.
1. Head of new customer acquisition
You’ll need clients for your products/services.
Unfortunately, they won’t start coming to your premises automatically; you’ll need to attract and then convince them to start spending their money on what you have to offer.
At this point in time you already know who your ideal target customers are. You just need to find the best message that will strike a chord with them.
Marketing your business will be a continuous effort moving forward.
You’ll always need to create relevance for your business in order to keep drawing in new clients.
2. Customer experience and service architect
Once customers have started trickling in, it’s upon you to ensure that all their interactions with your business are top-notch.
Customers should be assured of satisfaction whatever their engagement with your business involves.
This is what superb customer experience is all about – and it starts right from your mission statement which you always have to live up to.
Your customer experience strategy will need to be complemented by exemplary customer service which involves all the things a business needs to do to make a customer feel valued and important.
3. Chief salesman
Making sales is the only way your business is going to earn revenue. Ideally, the healthier your sales volumes, the higher your revenues and profits will be.
Ensuring that your product/service gets out there and convincing people to spend money on it is an art that you must perfect. Even if you have a sales team it is clear that they will look up to you for inspiration and direction.
Simply put, if you lack passion for your product/service don’t expect the sales team to work miracles on the ground.
Selling is an aspect of business where your input on the front lines is really required Steve Jobs-style.
Interactions with your customers will reveal many pointers and ideas that you can take advantage of in order to make your sales effort more precise and focused.
4. Minding the business’ coffers
It’s quite ironic that for many entrepreneurs the sight of a healthy bottom line is what causes them to grin widest yet they are stubbornly hesitant to learn about how to prepare balance sheets, profit and loss statements and cash flow statements.
While finding and paying fine accountants and bookkeepers to handle these matters on your behalf is undeniably convenient, the truth of the matter is that entrepreneurs who are personally involved in their business’ financial matters are best placed to lead their ventures to long-term success.
Being in charge of the financials will enable you to among other things know your business’ health, be sure of its tax compliance, and be able to monitor trends such that you can plan ahead based on facts rather than assumptions.
5. Undisputed team leader
As the business owner you also have the distinction of being employee #1. This means that even if your business does not hire other people you’ll be responsible for leading yourself.
Being team leader means that you’ll have to espouse all the qualities of an efficient team and lead from the front.
Running a business successfully is no walk in the park – it requires dedication, commitment, zeal and focus from everyone involved. The team will eagerly play ball if they see you doing your part with vim and then some.
6. Head visionary and strategist
How big do you wish to grow your business?
Does your vision portend success?
Indeed the most successful entrepreneurs have all grown from the ground up because one eye is firmly fixed on the big picture.
As such, even as you are engaged in the day to day running of your nascent business’ operations, you should ensure that all the present effort is essentially about preparing the groundwork for future growth and success.
Long-term vision is imperative.
7. Head of creativity and innovation
Unless you are dealing with something quite unique that virtually nobody else can offer e.g. corks then constantly wearing your thinking cap is not an option.
You need to ensure that your business will always remain relevant and competitive.
Businesses often reinvent themselves after their previous brilliant offerings become obsolete.
Reinvention is about progressively providing new offerings that can satisfy the needs of your customers.
Reinventing is actually an investment of time, money and brain cells. Done well, you’ll certainly reap handsomely moving forward.
8. Chief perceiver of opportunity
Given the dynamic nature of societal trends, new opportunities and possibilities are constantly being revealed. Only the entrepreneurial eye can identify these opportunities and only the entrepreneurial mind can come up with a blueprint of how to harness them profitably.
You therefore always need to keep an eye on trends. Specifically, you need to be aware of changing needs and requirements with the aim of providing innovative solutions.
9. Informed calculating risk-taker
This role is ideally connected to that on opportunity perception described in the previous point.
Entrepreneurial calculated risk-taking describes the willingness to perform the actions required to harness an identified business opportunity knowing full well that the actions could result in profit or loss.
As such, considering the unknowable nature of the result you expect, your actions in this regard will need to be based on informed assumptions.
It is for this reason that many successful entrepreneurs have on several occasions invested time and money in seemingly profitable opportunities only to have their fingers burnt. On most occasions though, these entrepreneurs’ achievements can justly be described as legendary.
10. Motivation guru
The rigors of running a business are such that you’ll always need steady hands to steer the vessel forward towards success. Even so, the exertion will regularly take a toll on you and the team hence the need for everyone to enjoy some down time for purposes of re-energizing.
Keeping the team well motivated is essential and there are many ways to do this besides paying competitive salaries. You can start by making the workplace atmosphere and culture truly conducive to productivity.
It is also vital to make the team part of your vision; you can really use some of the bright ideas and suggestions your team can offer. Rewarding effort and goal achievement is also imperative.