Pick a hat, any hat. It might sound like a game of chance to some, but for small business owners (including me) it’s a daily decision that has to be made, usually many times a day. Small business owners are often simultaneously the CFO, CEO, HR Manager, Payroll Manager, Bookkeeper, and Janitor. Not to mention doing the work that actually generates revenues!
So how do you turn these different hats from a game of chance to successfully run businesses?
- Know thyself! Despite what my husband might tell you, I don’t know everything. And neither does any small business owner. Some people know right off the bat the things they are/are not good at, and some may think they are good at things when, in reality, they could be doing much better.
Understanding your type of personality (think a Myers-Briggs type of quiz), is a good place to start (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp). It might not necessarily tell you something you didn’t already know, but it can help highlight areas where it might make sense to invest in either staff or outside help. I am a self-professed INTJ (introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging), which makes me a good technical auditor, but not so great wearing the human resource hat and a somewhat tentative networker.
- Pick a Hat! Pick a hat that you WANT to wear, based on what you have interest in and are good at (or what you want to be good at). There’s no requirement to be an expert in the subject if you have the desire to continue to learn and practice a skill. The key is to keep up the practice! I spend a lot of time in the car commuting, so one of my go-to things to help me stay on top of the areas I’m interested in are podcasts. I really enjoy listening to TED talks (https://www.ted.com/read/ted-podcasts) and Freakanomics Radio (http://freakonomics.com/archive/), who just did a several part series about “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.”
- Pass the Hat! I’ll probably never be a great HR Manager, and it’s not something that I have a particular interest in. Luckily, I work with a group of great people, one who is great at that role AND enjoys it. There are more resources out there than ever before for all types of business areas, so you don’t have to take valuable time away from generating income and participating in the functions you enjoy. ADP offers HR Management services and will go as far as to do your recruiting and assist with setting up an annual review process. At Sassetti, we already take the tax preparation burden off the shoulders of many of our clients, but did you know we also can help with your whole CFO function? Many small companies can’t afford the expertise of a CPA on staff full time, so we can help review financial statements, make suggestions for process improvement and provide other back office services.
At Sassetti we welcome questions about your business or organization and are always willing to figure out a way to help management maintain their highest and best use (or best fitting hat!)