Becoming a Business Owner: What Does Business Ownership Entail?
For millions of Americans, owning a business is a lifelong dream. That dream is certainly attainable, given that, at any given moment, 16% of Americans are actively running their own company.
We might be a nation of entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean that business ownership is for everyone.
After all, being a business owner comes with a vast list of responsibilities, not to mention the extra graft needed to ensure that your company beats the odds and survives long enough to make a profit.
If you’re serious about the business of business, read on to find out exactly what successful business operations entail in 2023.
Building a Strategy
This is a bit of a catch-all term that covers many different business owner tasks. Before you even register your company and pursue funding, you need a strategy.
You need a strategy that demonstrates how you will exceed beyond the competition to attract paying customers in the short and long-term. Without a strategy, you simply do not have a company.
Staying On Top of Finances
What is a business owner, if not the person who keeps the lights on? Building a successful business requires a strong overview of the financials.
You might not need to know about every cent coming in and out of the company, but you should know how healthy your finances are and how much access to ready, liquid cash you have at any given moment.
Staying on top of finances also means leading funding efforts whenever they are needed, and ensuring that everyone gets paid on-time and in-full.
Securing Your Business Ownership
Perhaps the defining business owner role is to, you know, own the business. This means securing all of the necessary permits, registering the company in your name with the relevant authorities, and successfully applying for any sector-specific licenses you might require.
It also means being proactive when protecting your intellectual property through patents and copyright, so that no-one else can benefit from your good ideas.
By getting the legal aspects of “ownership” nailed down, you will be better able to enjoy your success.
People often assume that a business owner can do whatever they want within the confines of their company. However, this is very much not the case.
Being a business owner – especially one that employs people and services end-consumers directly – comes with a vast array of new responsibilities.
You are responsible for the health, privacy, and even the convenience of the people that your company serves. You must follow all applicable state and federal laws pertaining to employee and consumer protection, and there are hundreds of these.
Failure to stay compliant will result in serious financial penalties for your company at best, and lengthy jail time for you at worst.
No matter how good your business idea is, you’ll never make a buck if you don’t have some kind of sales plan in place. Your job is to oversee how your business will actually convince customers to part with their money.
This means hiring the right salespeople and marketing talent, deciding on your messages to the consumer, and co-creating a strategy to turn one-time purchasers into lifelong loyal customers. Without a steady stream of sales, you won’t get very far.
Handling Your People
A business lives and dies on the dependency of its people. As the business owner, you are ultimately responsible for your people and their performance.
You will have the final say on who you recruit and who you retain. It is your job to decide how to smooth over any interpersonal issues that might arise in the workplace, and ensure that everyone gets along and works together as an effective team.
If your people are not empowered to do their job to the best of their ability, you and your company will lose out.
If you sell physical products, you’ll need a way to either make them or transport them so that they get to your customer. This means that one of your major responsibilities as a business owner is to set up a smooth logistics chain. Let’s say your company makes luxury bath soaps.
For this, you’ll need the correct oils, lye, colorants, fragrance oils, and binding agents. You’ll also need facilities to manufacture the soap, and reliable ways to get the finished soap bars to customers and to partner stores.
All of this requires a well-oiled logistics machine, with partners that you trust. Remember, managing relationships with your logistics partners is essential in order to keep costs low.
Delivering Excellent Service
Let’s not forget about the customer. All it takes is one bad customer experience to seriously set your business back. Remember, people read those Google reviews, and those reviews have a serious impact on your ability to attract new business.
That’s why it is ultimately up to you to ensure that your company delivers excellent service to everyone who interacts with your company in any way. This means putting together a solid customer service policy.
It also means training all of your customer-facing employees on the art of good service, and incentivising those who exceed expectations to keep up the good work.
Utilizing the Tech
People often forget to consider just how important technology is to the functioning of virtually any business, no matter what industry or size that business might be.
You need to make sure that customers can easily pay you, which means adopting the most popular and convenient payment technology.
You need to follow data protection laws, which means you need to have the relevant software that will keep your customers and their transaction data safe.
All of this and more requires not only technology, but company-wide training to ensure that everyone knows how to use it.
Is It Time to Make An Exit?
It’s no secret that business ownership is a significant undertaking. You have responsibilities as a business owner. You are responsible for your people. For your customers. For your finances. For your compliance. The list goes on.
If you’re a business owner who wishes to relinquish these responsibilities and try something new, we are here to facilitate. We can help you sell your business to the right people for the right price, ensuring a smooth and lucrative exit for you and your team.
Get in touch with our friendly and professional team to find out how to make it happen.