If you have dreams and aspirations to become a self-made millionaire, you’re not alone. The life of an entrepreneur certainly seems appealing. The freedom to choose your own working hours and the opportunity to tailor your job to suit your strengths is attractive to most of us. But is that the reality of the role? Can entrepreneurship really be that easy-going and enjoyable? And can one person really make all that happen alone?
Entrepreneurs tend to fall into a fairly specific personality type. They’re creative, adventurous, and driven. They have natural charisma and a flair for encouraging others to follow them. Most importantly, they have big ideas, and they want everything to happen at a fast pace. An entrepreneur is ambitious and rarely takes no for an answer. Unfortunately, an entrepreneur’s strengths are focused on just a few areas of business. So what happens to all the other work that needs to be done to make a business successful?
Let’s face it, money is something that motivates the entrepreneur. But it’s not something they want to spend their days managing. Paying the bills is tedious and takes too much time away from more important and creative tasks. An entrepreneur is a people-person, not an accountant. They like bottom line numbers. What they need is someone that can take those numbers and turn them into much bigger numbers. And, of course, they need somebody to make sure the bills are paid on time.
Many entrepreneurs know the value of having a financial backer. After all, every startup can benefit from a cash injection. Hiring a money mentor to structure systems for financial success means the astute business person can concentrate on making the money. Whether you’re looking for ways to grow the capital or boost the profits you’re starting to see, it’s important you focus on where your strengths are. This is often more about nurturing leads! Leave someone else to manage your books.
Opening the mail, typing up the invoices, and calling building maintenance are jobs that an entrepreneur is simply too busy to tackle. What you need is someone that can manage the day-to-day running of your company. Handling the odd enquiry and getting letters out in the mail takes time and focus on the task. Any business owner has their eye on other tasks and projects. These aren’t the most glamorous jobs in the business, but someone reliable is needed to take them on.
There is always a letter or an email to handle. Perhaps there is a bill to pay that you just can’t find the will to get around to? An assistant or administration role is perfectly placed to handle these odd jobs that distract you from the bigger picture. It makes sense for you to place yourself where you can offer the most to your business. With your skillset, it would be detrimental to the company and to your career to divert your attention away from the bigger role that you play.
Reception and Customer Services
One part of your company that is essential to get right is your customer services. After all, your customers are your most important asset! Chances are you’ve got a lot of meetings, pitches, and networking to do. All of those people that you meet have the potential to become backers, customers, and suppliers. But you can’t pause a big presentation to take a call from a customer enquiring about your delivery options. What you need is a team of people that have a talent for customer services to take care of each and every call.
You might have an assistant or receptionist that handles the calls into your head office. This person would be responsible for fielding calls and taking messages on your behalf. The might meet and greet visitors to your office as well. Like you, they need to be instantly likeable and able to offer the right level of hospitality for each situation. But you’re needed in the boardroom, so leave it to your employees to handle this side of the business.
You’re probably very good at sales. After all, sales people and entrepreneurs share many common characteristics and personality traits. But the difference is they are looking after themselves and their own commission. You can see the bigger picture. You’re building a company. You have a vision for the future. You have dreams of making a big difference in the world and being remembered for your contribution. That goes far beyond the bottom line.
You also need to be the one that goes for those really big clients. The owner of the company is far more prestigious and reputable than someone sent in from the sales team. That means you need a lot of people working to round up the rest of your leads and convert them into customers. As an entrepreneur, you might have a knack for engaging people and getting them to buy into your ideas. But what you need here is a closer. Any sales person that can get a client to hand over the cash should be someone on your team.
Every great entrepreneur achieves two things they can boast about. The first is that incredible big idea for a product or service. It seems so insanely obvious and simple, you can’t understand why nobody thought of it before. But they didn’t – you did. However, it’s the second thing that makes the first thing successful and memorable. That is the marketing of that idea. How do you get that product into the mainstream? That campaign strategy is probably what will make your name for you.
Of course, very few entrepreneurs got all the way to superstardom from one lucky marketing campaign. It might have been unique and even innovative. But without a team of marketers and creatives behind you, it simply can’t work. Marketing plans often comprise of dozens of individual campaigns. These are carefully coordinated and scheduled to build up to the frenzy you dream will happen for your great product idea. Whether you hire an in-house team or work with an agency, you’ll need plenty of people driving your marketing machine for you.
PR and Online Presence
Your fame and fortune come at a price. Being in the public eye isn’t a lot of fun for very long. You can easily come under scrutiny, and social media can be a very cruel place. This is why you need a PR agency on your side to help you manage any difficult stories or situations that might arise. Your online presence is crucial so you can continue to build your influence, your credibility, and your reputation. You are your brand, your company, and your products. You must represent them well. To coordinate your activities to achieve this effectively, choose a good PR team.
There is no way you can personally monitor and respond to every social media platform twenty-four hours a day. You need to allocate this task to people in your customer services team. You need to schedule public speaking events and press events as time goes on and your company grows. You also need plenty of voice online with blog articles too. These will probably need to be written by a ghost writer on your behalf. Just scheduling all this could become a full-time job for someone!
Getting your product to the customer is another job you really need to hand over to someone else. You must free your time to be advancing the company toward the next thing. So hire a team to manage your packing and posting. You might need to start small at first, but as your products take off, you might need to rethink your logistics. Depending on your products and your customers, you might need a warehouse and delivery vans. Or you might need to contract a third party logistics company to handle the transport of goods in and out of your facility.
Getting your product where it needs to be on time and in good condition isn’t that easy. A lot of time should be spent considering this side of your business. As the head of the company, the decision about your approach needs to be yours. That doesn’t mean you should invest your personal time in getting these jobs done yourself. Hire right, train your people in your company ethos and vision, and delegate the duties.
All businesses need to find specialists to cover the tasks that are too complex to do yourself. These might include accountancy services or legal services. Ultimately, you need someone with the right training and qualifications to undertake this high level of responsibility. The success and future of your company could depend on it.
Don’t be afraid to hire the people you need to do the jobs you shouldn’t be doing. We all have to start as one-man-bands, but as the company grows, you need to delegate tasks quickly. Free up your time to be an entrepreneur.