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Entrepreneurship: The Top 5 Priorities of An Entrepreneur

by Samson Itoje

Entrepreneurship creates new jobs for the entrepreneur and the people he employs to help him achieve his dreams.

Entrepreneurship also enables self made CEOs to earn a salary for the rest of their lives . . . for as long as they live.

Yes, no one can fire you if you're an entrepreneur and a self made CEO!

That is why I highly recommend that company employees should consider early retirement from paid employment to start their own businesses.

The good news is that many employees have thought through that advice. And have decided on their own that it is the smart thing to do.

Setting Your Priorities Right As An Entrepreneur

Unfortunately, a large percentage of company employees who transition into entrepreneurship get distracted by non-essentials when running their own businesses and miss the big picture.

Many become pre-occupied with micro-managing the day-to-day running of the business that they fail to focus on business priorities. And that eventually leads to catastrophic failure.

You see, there is a world of difference between being the founder and CEO of a new company and an employee working in an established company.

An employee in a national or multinational company focus on just one aspect of the company. That is, the tasks (or responsibilities) associated with his job description. And he works in a department with probably tens of employees collaborating with other employees in other departments of the company to achieve the goals of the organisation.

On the other hand, a founder and CEO of a small business is often in charge of everything, from operations to marketing, sales, human resources, information technology, finance etc.

In simple words . . . the founder and CEO of a small business has a broader coverage than an employee in a department worrying about meeting his departmental goals.

Therefore, to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to set your priorities right. You need to focus on key priorities while outsourcing routine tasks to independent contractors and the people you employ to achieve your business objectives.

The Top 5 Small Business Priorities

Below are the top 5 small business priorities entrepreneurs must focus on to grow their business:

1. Customer Satisfaction: Customers buy your product or service because you (or your company) offer them superior value NOT because they like you. Therefore, your quality and after sales service must be top notch. If your customers are satisfied, they will buy again and again from you. And they will spread the message. And your business will eventually grow into a national or multinational company.

2. Sales & Marketing: Sales and marketing brings in the money that funds the activities and growth of the business. Therefore, acquiring new customers on a daily and weekly basis must be top priority. So, keep a sharp eye on improving your promotions and new customer acquisition skills.

3. Cost Optimisation: The difference between your sales volume and your cost of sales determines your gross profit margin. All your effort at growing your sales volume may be lost if your costs are out of control.

Therefore, ensure your business purchase materials and resources at cost effective prices.

Use multiple suppliers. Minimise losses. Watch out for thieves and fire them without mercy.

4. Employee Recruitment & Performance Appraisal: Hire the right people NOT the most educated. Provide appropriate training.

Set S.M.A.R.T. targets and ensure each employee has a written job description. Conduct regular written performance appraisals.

DO NOT MICRO-MANAGE your employees. Give them free hand to work.

Foster a business environment where employees are encouraged to use their creativity and ingenuity. Some of them may positively surprise you and take your company in directions of growth you may once have thought impossible.

Fire non-performing employees.

5. Aggressive Outsourcing: Outside as many tasks as possible to professional (and veted) independent contractors in order to keep your costs low and maintain your profit margin. Fire unreliable and dishonest contractors without sentiments.

There you have it. The top 5 business priorities of an entrepreneur.

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