Entrepreneurship 101: How Involved Do I Want To Be?

In this series, we outline basic concepts that all prospective business owners need to be mindful of as they build their companies.

Can Do

Starting a new business is a combination of moving homes, starting a new job, and starting a semester of college, all while going on a diet. It will challenge you in so many ways, every moment of each day. You are working, learning, and doing many things. You can be doing things as diverse as giving an interview to a local member of the press, coming up with a new advertising piece, interviewing a new employee, to taking out the trash. Talk about going from the front of the shop to the back!

In all of these tasks you are exercising a can-do spirit which every business owner has to have. But at some point, you must gradually change from “can do” to “must do” and from “must do” to “best at.”

Must Do

These are items that business owners may not necessarily excel at, but are vital for their business. For example, every business owner must know what business structure he/she has chosen and why that is best for their given circumstances and locality. They should have current financial statements – be those weekly or monthly, and know how to intelligently and thoughtfully read them. They should know key facts like customer acquisition cost or, if they sell products, the cost of goods sold. Whether business owners “like” these things is irrelevant. They are simply some of many things that must be done, and indeed, mastered.

Best At

As you build your company you will want to identify the things that you are the best at so that you can pursue them more fully. This means that you may delegate your “must-dos” that don’t intersect with your “best-ats” to trusted surrogates. Business powerhouse Ramit Sethi puts it this way: “I can’t afford to do now what I used to have to do.” The cost to yourself and your company only becomes greater over time because you refuse to remove yourself from the equation. Part of the magic of a business in general and a franchise, in particular, is that it’s a complex machine that you can make do what you want it to.

We said in another article that you should begin with the end in mind. There’s nothing to stop you from identifying now what business activities fall into which buckets (and which intersect) so that you can build your business more mindfully and intentionally. Don’t wait for the change to happen in your business as it grows. Know about it ahead of time and plan for it.

Do you know one thing you are “best at” in your job or business? Feel free to share with us in the comments below.