Wearing Many Hats: Key Responsibilities for an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs wear many hats and carry multiple responsibilities. Whether they are operating a small local craft shop or a large technology firm, there are common areas where entrepreneurs must focus their time and energy.
Alexander Djerassi is quoted by Times Business News as saying that an entrepreneur needs a problem to solve. For Djerassi, an entrepreneur who helped found Mos.com, one such problem was helping college students find alternatives to costly loans for financing their education. For another entrepreneur, the problem may be a community’s need for a more convenient grocery store. For Australian entrepreneurs like Kath Purkis, strategic planning involves everything from finding a gap in the market, discovering the solution and planning how to deliver the solution to the customers. Entrepreneurs turn their visions into a business through thorough research, development and strategic planning.
Entrepreneurs may work long hours overseeing and performing tasks in all areas of their business, However, it is critical for them to spend time creating road maps. Entrepreneurs must have long-term and short-term goals and plans for achieving each milestone.
Business continuity is another key part of planning. During the coronavirus pandemic, many organizations had to quickly pivot in-person services to online. Those who were best prepared to do so were able to retain and in some cases perhaps even gain customers.
Recognizing, Recruiting and Hiring Talent
Running a successful business requires the ability to find the right people to join your organization. Creating a talented and innovative team of advisors and staff is essential if an entrepreneur wants to to spend their own time focusing on leadership in key areas such as finances, marketing, planning and assessment. Finding, hiring and retaining talented staff who share an organization’s vision and have the skill sets necessary to move goals forward is a primary responsibility for an entrepreneur.
Creating and nurturing professional connections is a must-do. Alexander Djerassi notes that contacts can be beneficial in providing advice and identifying prospects or start-up funding. Entrepreneurs often need the advice of experts in marketing, technology, finance, accounting, human resources and law, just to name a few.
There are many ways to build professional networks. Social media, professional organizations, conferences, training opportunities, community events or groups and college alumni associations are just a few.
Even if an entrepreneur has a dedicated marketing team, a large portion of their own time is spent selling a vision, product or service. Successful entrepreneurs find opportunities to market their business in almost every conversation.
Understanding industry trends and evaluating areas such as customer satisfaction and efficiency should be high priorities for an entrepreneur. Knowing what customers and others like and dislike about a service or product and what operations could use some tweaking requires investing time and energy in assessment activities such as client or staff surveys or feedback sessions.
Depending on the size and nature of their business, an entrepreneur might slip into roles that range from receptionist to IT support to speechwriter. But the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs prioritize their responsibilities in planning, networking, building teams, marketing and assessment.