Many people want to become an entrepreneur. Living independently by one’s wits and skills is very alluring. However, “Entrepreneur” may be an appealing title, but starting out that word encompasses far more than you might expect. To succeed you must invest an immeasurable amount of time, money and energy to make your dream a reality—and sometimes you’ll end up taking on responsibilities you may not have expected. What are those responsibilities? Here are 6 roles every entrepreneur must fulfill while on their road to success:
- Partner – While you may not plan on partnering, you never know where your entrepreneurial journey will take you. Even if you never begin a joint venture, you’ll always be a partner in some way. Your partners will include suppliers, distributors, ad agencies, ET AL. and the health of these relationships is just as important as any other. Maintaining positive communication and leadership will ensure a long lasting, mutually beneficial relationship.
- Accountant - While hiring an accountant takes a lot of pressure off of you, more likely than not you’ll find yourself bean counting in the early stages of your business. You’ll have to budget, project, debit, credit, and finance with the best of them. Of course, this will help you in the future when you finally get to hire someone who actually enjoys this part of the business, but that won’t happen overnight.
- Creative Designer – Unfortunately, most startups don’t have the cash on hand to pay for a full time graphic designer and this means you’ll have to make due with what you’ve got. While it’s best to leave your branding in the hands of the professionals, you’ll have to find a way to keep your content fresh–throughout your website, social media and advertising. That means opening that old version of Photoshop and putting an hour (or five) of your time creating the materials that will help your company meet its goals.
- Marketing/Sales – This may be one of the most important roles of any entrepreneur. You’ll have to be your own salesman and marketer, seeking out opportunities to expand your clientele. In many ways, you will become an integral part of your brand and that means ensuring your image reflects that which you want your business to represent. You’ll need to determine your target market, meet their needs and communicate your offering to them effectively.
- Human Resources – In business you’ll learn that you can’t make everyone happy all the time. At some point you’ll have to decide whether someone is the right fit for the job you hired them for–you may even have to let them go. You’ll need to always try to hire the best person for the job, because it can make or break your business. All requests for time off, personnel issues, etc. will fall squarely on your shoulders.
- Janitor – Whether you like it or not, at some point you’ll find yourself mopping a floor, sweeping a hallway, clearing off a countertop or taking out the trash. This is an important time for any entrepreneur to develop a level of humility that will help them in the future. Understanding that every role within your company is integral to ongoing success is important for your personal development as well as the development of your business. So if you find yourself washing a window–hold that squeegee with pride and realize how the output positively impacts your business.
The life of an entrepreneur is a glamorous one, but to meet your goals you’ll find yourself taking on unexpected responsibilities. It’s important to always take pride in your work and learn all you can about every role, you’ll be much better off in the future for it.