The Many Hats Worn When Starting a Small Business

When embarking on your own small business obtaining the title of CEO is very alluring.  But small businesses tend to reflect their small budgets, especially when starting out.  Knowing this, in addition to CEO there will be 4 other very important roles you’ll also have to commit to fill.

Head of Marketing

You may not be a marketing whiz, but luckily the internet can teach you how to be.  Social media is in abundance and to be an active participant in today’s market you need to post, blog and tweet.

Don’t know how you’ll find the time to learn?  Tune into social media podcasts that can keep you up-to-date while you’re on the go.  Some popular social media podcasts include DishyMix, This Week in Social Media and Managing the Gray.

Customer Service

While you are busy supplying your customers with products and services you will also need to be available to answer their questions and satisfy their needs.  Commit to this by establishing a customer service mantra well before your business ever goes live.

How will you make yourself available (i.e. phone, email, website inquiry form) to your customers?  What policies (i.e. ordering, returns) will you have set in place?  Another element of customer service is now found on social media sites like Facebook and Yelp where public forums discuss your business.  Add value to the discussions by providing helpful, usable information whenever possible.


Managing your money is a crucial part of any small business.  While it would be ideal to have someone with a financial background handling your economic affairs, there are plenty of helpful tools (i.e. QuickBooks) that can assist you in money management.  Many people will urge you to outsource a bookkeeper but if you simply don’t have the funds for year-round attention, do the books yourself and hire a CPA just to handle your end of the year taxes.  Covering the books and generating reports may be tedious, but they are a great way to stay on top of how your business is running.

Administrative Assistant

Filing, correspondents, and purchasing office supplies will all fall on your shoulders when starting a new business.  The key to being your best administrative assistant is to stay organized and to devote a certain portion of your day to these types of tasks.  Because you are serving the role of both the assistant and the boss, make sure you implement techniques that work for both of you.  Excel is a great and inexpensive way to keep organized lists, but if a pen and paper works better for you, do not hesitate.  Also, stay up-to-date on current organizational trends (i.e. Microsoft Office has developed software specifically for small businesses click to test a preview version).

What other roles do small business leaders fill?

Leave a Reply