If you’re responsible for running a small business, you need to be able to fulfil a number of different roles. Here are our thoughts on which ones are the most important.
1 – Salesperson
Once of the biggest skills that a CEO / founder / MD needs to have is the ability to sell. You need to believe in your product or service and convince others to do so too. Persuasion, empathy and the ability to close a deal are absolutely critical.
Without sales, you don’t really have a business. If you’re not a people person, get working on that. Now.
2 – Recruiter
People are one of the most valuable parts of any business, and as a leader, you’ll be responsible for building a team. You need to understand the business needs, be self-aware, be a good judge of character and able to use your persuasion to get great talent onboard.
Without people, you don’t really have a business. If you’re not a people person, get working on that. Now. Familiar line?
3 – Mentor
Working in a small business or start-up is often a real challenge, and your team need somebody to talk to. Often, that’s you.
Not because you want it to be, but because there isn’t anyone else. Get good at listening. Offer practical advice. Deliver on the changes you promise.
4 – Fire-fighter in-chief
Every business has issues, bad days and problems customers. In a startup or SME, those problems nearly always flow ‘upwards’ very quickly. To you.
Get good at understanding problems, looking at them in the context of the big picture and making sure you respond appropriately. Don’t run away from issues – they have a habit of coming back to find you later on.
5 – Customer champion
As CEO, you’ll know that understanding and responding to your customer needs is critical. Get to know your customers intimately and make sure you can provide that input to the rest of the organization.
But really, go out and talk to them. Have a coffee. Really understand them.
6 – Strategist
It’s extremely easy to become distracted by the low-level buzz of activity in your business. That stuff is important, but you must take the time to step away and survey the overall landscape of your business. Don’t allow tactical busyness to detract from you setting the direction and vision for the organization. It’ll kill you.
How well do you fulfil these, and what areas do you need to work on to see your business grow in 2016. If you're not sure, reach out to our team for a chat!