Switching gears is the name of the game for the small business entrepreneur. Sometimes he or she has to roll up his or her sleeves and make the shift from the top chef to the humble bottle washer. To make these shifts fluidly, without desperately falling behind in other areas, the entrepreneur must set priorities.
Tasks that are less enjoyable, like human resources and accounting, are often put aside for later. Often the necessary priorities of the day get skewed because too much time is spent on the easier tasks of running the business. As we learned in Economics 101, when evaluating scarce resources, needs must trump wants. The needs of the business, not the wants of the owner, are top priority.
As mentioned before, an entrepreneur insurance practitioner, like small business owners, wears many hats. According to Marvin LeBlanc LUTCF, CNP, he or she must wear exactly six hats in order to cover all of a successful business persons duties. He or she has six roles to play. The order of the hats worn is important, and by staying focused on the business, each hat's order falls into place. There is one hat that should always remain first for the entrepreneur insurance practitioner, the salesman's hat.
The first hat is the salesman’s hat. It must be the one most often worn. Selling is the core economic need to meet in order for the business to grow and thrive. What the customers desire and what they are concerned about is of top importance.
The second hat is worn for recruiting and hiring. Hiring the right people is crucial. When employees are a good fit for the company, they share the company’s vision and help take it to the next level. Vigilant scouting for talent is necessary.
The third hat, the fiscal manager hat, is about expenses, profit, losses, fiscal management, accounting, payroll, and taxes. Becoming familiar with standard financial documents, paying attention to profits, and making the most of the business’s assets is time consuming, but oh so necessary.
The fourth hat is the team leader hat. Leadership skills encompass the ability to delegate fairly and effectively, the ability to inspire a team, the ability to find and nurture the strengths of each member, and the ability to smooth conflicts.
The fifth hat is worn for marketing the brand. It is developing brand recognition and building referrals. Many insurance practitioners think marketing is like a trip to the dentist — something you just have to do every six months or so. But marketing has to be continuous and targeted.
The sixth hat is worn as the entrepreneur. The growth of the practice is dependent on the ability of the leader to think ahead to the future. Reading "The Wall Street Journal" and “Barrons” on how to be a better entrepreneur will increase future opportunities. The effective Entrepreneur creates a compelling vision and infuses it throughout the entire organization.
In closing, something to remember, failing to wear the proper headgear at the appropriate time could leave you wearing a paper hat.
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