Entrepreneurs: Lessons in Growing Your Business

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When I was younger I had a business mentor that I would meet with on a regular basis. It wasn’t a scheduled meeting. He actually rented back office space from me in the building that I purchased from him, so we would see each other and he would invite me in for a chat.

He was very wealthy, his fortune made with real estate and finance projects. I was not wealthy and I listened intently to everything he had to say. I found his business savvy to be unparalleled.

One of the most important lessons he ever taught me was that my business was not going to expand through my hands; I would need to use my knowledge.

He went on to explain that in a given day I would only be able to touch, or put my hands on, so many issues per day. However, if I could find people that I could work with and train with my knowledge there would be no limit to the growth in my business.

A good place to start to find the right people is a self-evaluation.  Entrepreneurs are not always leaders and leaders are not always entrepreneurs.

Are you an entrepreneur, a leader, or both?

Entrepreneurs are creative, hard-working, determined, dedicated, multi-talented and focused. Entrepreneurs often have expansive skill sets that include the ability to do many things well.

Entrepreneurs have a need to be in control and find it difficult to delegate. Leaders are able to empower others, don’t require total control in every situation and are comfortable delegating.

However, entrepreneurs are bound to the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. That means taking an idea or concept from startup to a thriving business will require different skills and talent, therefore, different people. You can’t do it all.

Perhaps John Quincy Adams said it best, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Which one are you?

Because there are so many different tasks and priorities an entrepreneur needs to delegate at any time, here are three areas of business you should consider finding an expert to take over:

1. Financial Management

Entrepreneurs may have keen financial intuition, but the time spent managing the finances of a new business may be better spent being creative, developing new products and services for your enterprise.

Finding the right person to run the business end of the business will be one of the most important decisions a leader will make. Startup capital may come from bank loans, credit card loans, financial investors, or a combination thereof.

Startup capital is another challenge to navigate. Sourcing loans and venture capital will require finesse. For smaller budgets, some entrepreneurs turn to credit cards. The company I work for was started that way. Founder Mike Dolen used his personal AmEx to finance the $1,500 domain name purchase, which eventually grew to become one of the largest credit card websites.

The person in this position should possess a background in making sound decisions, be able to work within a budget and be able to communicate for the business with other financial officers and executives.

2. Advertising and Marketing

It takes more than an idea and money to be successful in business. Finding the right advertising and marketing professional that can implement proven strategies for growing the business is essential.

Advertising focuses on getting your product or service out to the masses. Marketing on the other hand represents an overall strategy the business will put in place to work towards the goal of growing the business.

3. Customer Service

Successful businesses are customer service oriented and have a genuine interest in customer satisfaction.

The customer service specialist should know the product, be proud to promote it and willing to go the extra step to satisfy the customer whether they asked or not.

Customer service should be about people and not demographics. The product or service being offered may have generated the visit by the customer, but building relationships with them will keep them coming back for more.

Bottom Line

Whether an entrepreneur or leader, the point is growing a business will require more than one person. Entrepreneurs are often visionaries and when they surround themselves with leaders, who can execute the vision, find themselves in successful businesses.

About the Author: Don Miller writes for CreditCardForum.com, a site where people post questions and get answers related to credit cards. He has the heart of an entrepreneur and regularly contributes to small businesses and entrepreneur websites.

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