The biggest enemy an entrepreneur has is primarily, themselves. Egos, lack of formal training, misinformation, and over-zealousness are often counterproductive attributes even for a manager: for a business owning entrepreneur these behaviors can cause stagnation in success and even threaten job security for the staff.
Those entrepreneurs that are successful because they have sufficient starting capital, or have capital stable partners tend to have a false sense of business success and become resistant to advice and even the realities of their industry. This self-prescribed immunity tends to breed bad business practices that affect their own professionalism and that of their staff as well.
When an entrepreneur decides to also manage the company they own (being an employee) there is an immediate risk, even when they may have formal education, let alone if they are in an industry with a high learning curve. For example; home health care, financial planning, logistics or running a new non-profit demand high learning curves and have a lot of legal requirements. Businesses like fast food (including cafes), retail and apparel have low learning curves but maintain high fiscal risk.
Personal discipline is important in order to avoid wasting time and resources. Lack of professional discretion will result in bad financial moves, poor marketing, ineffective communication and create problem solving occurrences that will hinder forward productivity.
There are a few immediate principles a new (or experienced) business owner should implement early. Following is a short list of issues to put in check before opening day.
Owner or CEO- If you have the money but not the brains, cool, hire smart people and stay home. If there is some hope for you, then be a team player and leader and hire smart people around you.
CEO role is a responsibility, not a coronation- A nice suit and demanding personality are not CEO qualities they are novelties. You’re in business not a movie, so roll your sleeves up, manage from a distance, stay update with trends and laws and watch your spending.
Not hiring does not save money- If you need an administrator, get one. In home health care, child care and credit solution businesses it is good to have a lawyer on retainer, one law suit can end a small company. Some industries require licensures; it’s OK if the CEO doesn’t have the license but the employees better be licensed regardless of the market value of such employees.
Although employees are a liability they protect your business (and quality) from liabilities and loss. Be proactive in hiring and contracting so that you don't need to cash in on your insurance.
A CEO is not a line worker- If you want to be an employee, go get a job. If you find yourself doing trivial task that an employee can do and micromanaging then owning a business is not for you. The CEO should be building business and retaining business relationships and most of all monitoring gains and losses- not stirring soup.
Don’t do it yourself- Get a mentor, lawyer and a CPA. Use internet and professional organizations as references when you’re confused or don’t know something – don’t create science in your head, that does not qualify as innovation.
This list hits on principles targeting ego infected behaviors, these behaviors must be dealt with quickly or the CEO/owner will be alone on a sinking ship.
Strategy and development consultant.
Basir has helped numerous entrepreneurs and policy makers cultivate professionally and develop positive and tough personal philosophies.
Basir is a leader in strategic positioning and start- up consultation for home health and long term care agencies.
"Consultation is the template for success and success is not for the weak; it's for the strong and willing... its for people with goals not day dreams" - S. Basir