5 important roles for an entrepreneur

Author Image for Jennifer Warawa


Global Vice President, Product Marketing at Sage



Todays guest blog looks at five key areas an entrepreneur should focus on

So youve started your own business with visions of doing what you love all day, every day. You may have already figured out its not shaping up exactly like that. Now that youre an entrepreneur, the game has changed - and its not just your career path that is changing, it needs to be you too! As youre getting ramped up for success, here are five key roles every business owner needs to play

1. Chief Customer Officer. Lets face it if you dont have customers, you dont have much of a business. Heres the challenge many business owners face: they confuse great customer experience with great customer service. For example, they think smiling, saying thank you and being nice will get them where they need to go which is no longer the case. The customer experience involves every touch point a customer has with your business and isnt about tactics, its about creating a true customer experience strategy and then executing on it. Bain & Company says 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of their customers agree. There are hundreds (thousands, even) of great books, articles and blogs you can read on creating your customer experience strategy, but the bottom line is you need to have one.

2. Chief Financial Officer. Ah, the part of running a business almost everyone would like to get rid of bookkeeping, accounting and tax. The reality is these are some of the most important functions in your business and your numbers actually tell a story a story of where youve been, how healthy your business is and what you should change to be successful in the long term. If numbers arent your thing, find someone who loves them (like an accountant or bookkeeper) and make sure you have regular, proactive, ongoing communication with them. If you leave a meeting with your accountant feeling confused, wondering what they just said, you simply have the wrong accountant and its time to find a new one.

3. Chief People Officer. You may not have employees yet but nonetheless, youre now in a leadership role. The most important person you need to look after? You! Its easy as an entrepreneur to get caught up in everything that needs to get done and find yourself working all hours of the day and night. Doing something you love and are passionate about makes time fly by. However, while youre caught up in the adrenaline rush called entrepreneurship you can get burned out, so make sure you take time to look after you and exercise, eat properly and get some rest and down time. Youll need it to keep fueling the passion!

4. Chief Executive Officer. The CEO of any company spends a great deal of time looking at the big picture, planning for the future and creating a vision. At the same time, when youre running the show, its easy to get bogged down in the details. Make sure you are spending a significant amount of your time on the strategy its what will lay the foundation for your future success.

5. Chief Innovation Officer. So this may not be the most common title but its critical to your long term success and sustainability. In order to stay relevant, competitive and on the top of your game, you need to reinvent yourself challenging the status quo, innovating and looking for new offerings that keep your customers coming back. Time spent innovating truly is an investment so dont overlook how important this role is.

You likely started your business because you had an idea you were fired up, excited and passionate about spending time in these five areas will help you stay that way.

Image from Stew Dean on Flickr

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