4 Overlooked Roles of the Small Business Owner


Richard Chang, author of The Passion Plan at Work , once said that “passion is the single most powerful competitive advantage an organization can claim in building its success.”  In honor of this year’s National Small Business Week, which wrapped yesterday, let’s talk about some of the overlooked roles the small business owner must play in his or her organization to regain that passion.

1) Super passionate spokesperson:  Ms. Small Biz Owner, you left a good job in the city, working for the man, to take a risk. Now you find yourself buried in the minutiae that it takes to run a business from day to day.  It can sap your enthusiasm and passion unless you stoke the fires!  Meet with key customers and clients and remind yourself that you are living your dream, building a future and solving issues for other people.  Everyone needs a cheerleader.  Be your own.

2) Chief Strategist:  Probably one of the most overlooked roles for a small business owner is that of chief strategist.  Sure, once upon a time there was a business plan and it’s now collecting dust on the shelf.  That small business plan was a living and breathing path to success.  Smart business owners consistently review their strategy and models.  If you don’t know where your revenue is going to come from next week or next year or during the next downturn, you’ve got some planning to do.

3) Student:  Bill Wagner, in his book The Entrepreneur Next Door, says that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time an entrepreneur invests in his education and his success.  But, let me be clear:  learning comes in many different forms, thanks to social networking and social media.  As a small business owner, you should be leveraging online workshops, Twitter, blogs, Linked In and a whole host of other tools to get your most pressing questions answered by people who have been there.  Those tools can build your business and brand, too, but they are just as important to you as a leader.

4) Consensus Builder:  The drive and will to succeed is part of the entrepreneur’s DNA. So should be consensus building.  Find ways to be inclusive, seek out alliances that can benefit your business, and instill a culture of passion and enthusiasm in your organization.  Nothing will kill success and innovation in your company faster than an owner ignoring or shooting down ideas and concerns from the rank and file.  Your employees will flee for the hills the first chance they get. 


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