Entrepreneur, boss or geek.. which one are you?

by Paul Allen on February 3, 2011

Are you in the right business? How do you know?

It is a fact that the most successful SME’s compliment the owner’s skills & interests. So perhaps it is worthwhile taking a moment to assess your skills base.
Michael Gerber author of the E-Myth series defines three roles the business owner must fulfil: the entrepreneur, the manager & the technician. Any successful business requires all these roles, in SME’s all three roles are often combined in one person and your success is defined by how well you balance all three.

The ENTREPRENEUR is the ideas person. Without the entrepreneur, the manager and tecchie would have nothing to do. The entrepreneur is creative, innovative and always looking for opportunities, yet also has the ability to assess critically, be open minded & forward thinking.

THE MANAGER is the organiser. The manager sets targets, organises resources & solves problems. A pragmatist, the manager is strong on administration, marketing & communication. In many ways the manager is the face of the company coming into close contact with customers

THE TECHNICIAN actually gets the work done! The entrepreneur dreams up the idea, the manager puts a system in place and sets deadlines & the technician builds the product.

Without the entrepreneur there would be no ideas, no innovation, without the manager, the technician would do what he or she wanted and without the tecnician nothing would actually get built!

Anyone who runs a small business will probably recognise the technician in themselves more than any other role. This is because most businesses are set up by people good at something who decide they could make money working for themselves. The problem is they often end up doing what they like rather than what is profitable or efficient. 50% of businesses fail in the first five years which Gerber would argue is because most businesses are driven by technicians rather than a good balance of all three roles.

If you feel a weakness in one or more areas, the manager is the easiest to outsource to an individual or even to technology. If you’re most comfortable as the technician, update your entrepreneurial skills, read management books & autobiographies of innovators. Get more involved in the marketing role on a day to day basis and again read established texts such as “The Marketing Plan” by M McDonald & P Morris. Any skills you don’t have or are not interested in, outsource!

So if you do one thing today, take an honest look at your list of skills and interests. Which of the skills do you excel in at present, which are you prepared to learn and which do you have no interest in? Assess the skills of those around you and the resources they could add to the mix and soon you will see you will be able to work on your business rather than in it!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Debra Mann January 6, 2012 at 10:55 am

Interesting article, Paul, especially as I now am looking at what my core strengths are and what would give me that all important “job Satisfaction” for my next role. Having worked in one of the best industries in the world, and loving every second of it, I have a wealth of skills. Entrepreneur, (yes) I started my own business and then sold it. Geek, not really but, a bit of a maverick, Marketing, Sales and Business minded makes me a rear breed when you look at the industries I have worked in. Media. But, if I did do it all over again, I have to agree with you, outsource something! One of my biggest mistakes was thinking I personally, had to do it all. The truth is something had to give and often it is the things I was best at, like selling and marketing and doing what bring in the money, should have been 100% of my time, rather than the technical bits like websites, blogging and social media that took up my time and actually someone could have done it a lot better in the first place and a lot quicker, because they had the right skills. Ant Hodges talks about becoming a “specialist” in his blog this week and I think I have always known that to be right. Yet when you run your own business, you think, “you cannot afford to pay to outsource” yet your time is the most expensive of all and you should be spending your time doing what you are best at. And to be successful in anything concentrate on what your good at.

All the best for 2012 and I look forward to seeing you soon.

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