When an entrepreneur starts his/her small business, it is common for him/her to do as much as possible at the beginning. However, as this enterprise continues to grow, it will eventually get to a point that additional senior management team members are required to oversee increasing demands of differing operational aspects of the business. Each member of the executive team must possess the skills to fit his/her position. The following positions may need to be filled when one decides to hire an executive team:
Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A CEO is the leader of the management team and is responsible for all final decisions. He/she must be a strategic thinker who can predict the future of the industry, plan routes for business development, and take good bets with business resources. Among the CEO’s skill-set, the most important is the ability to put the right person in the right position, and replace those who do not deliver. In this way, he/she can delegate important tasks to competent people, free himself/herself from operational details and focus on high level business strategy. The business owner may choose to retain the role of CEO, or prefer to hire one, based on the level of involvement desired.
Chief Operating Officer (COO)/ President. COO and Presidents functions are very similar in a small business. They both oversee staff functions, daily operations and make sure the business runs smoothly day to day. The COO is detail-oriented, able to implement strategic plans using skillful tactics.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A CFO is responsible for setting financial goals and controlling budgets. He/she calculates how to spend the least money leading to the largest return. Of primary importance to the CFO is attention to the companys cash flow, the blood of every business. If the business owner does not want to carry a series of numbers to bed every night, hire a CFO to take care of the finances. In many small businesses, a part-time CFO fills this role.
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO). A companys success can heavily weigh on its marketing strategy. Therefore, the CMO plays a crucial role in the management team. A CMO should have a profound understanding of company products or services, as well as those of competitors. He/she is then able to precisely position the goods or services in the marketplace (knowing the right price), and effectively communicate product/service value to customers.
Everyone has different talents. An owner should focus on his/her strengths. Dont cling to the CEO position if you are a detail-oriented person and cannot rise above details. And dont hesitate to try out the CFO position if numbers come naturally to you and you have a proven record. Only when the right persons fit their roles, can an enterprise fully maximize its potential.
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