Due to limited start up funds, many new business owners have no choice but to perform a variety of roles themselves. Employing others to help us, may not be feasible, and suddenly we find ourselves required to do things that we are not familiar, and sometimes, not comfortable with. 

In this section we’re going to look at what the main roles of the start up business owner are, and how they interrelate. Knowing this up front, will help us be more prepared. 

We’ll do this by first looking at the roles themselves – and some of the sub-roles that nestle underneath each category.  

Here are the 3 hats or the 3 roles that most start up business owners must wear to be successful: The Crafter, The Manager, and the Entrepreneur.

As you can see they are broad terms but a lot of different roles nestle underneath those broad terms. 

The Crafter produces the product or service; the Manager delivers the product or service; and the Entrepreneur promotes the product or service, looking for sales opportunities.

Each depends on the other to create a business that (literally) delivers the goods – you can’t drop one of these roles for long without the business itself unravelling. So, for us, as first-time business owners, we must carry out all 3 roles ourselves.

Let’s look at the responsibilities and dependencies of each role a little more closely. 

On the slide we can see the responsibilities belonging to each role:

  • The Crafter is looking to develop a product or service that meets the customer’s requirements in terms of it’s function or performance, it’s quality, and it’s delivery. If a service is being provided, this is also the role that provides the service directly to the client. 
  • The Manager is in charge of keeping the business running. They are keeping the lights on and the doors open. They do this by ensuring bills and taxes are paid, customers are served, and suppliers are managed. They are also ensuring that the business has the technology and equipment it needs to do the job. If the employees or contractors are in place within the business, the manager also performs a human resource role including hiring and firing.  
  • The Entrepreneur ensures that there is always new customers being found by developing a brand that can be found (via marketing) and people want (via keeping up with market trends). They also build new partnerships with other businesses.

​Initially, if we look at the box in the centre of this diagram, we’ll also see some shared responsibilities.

These are things that require input or action from each “hat” in order to be performed successfully. For example: the Crafter alone cannot decide the strategic direction a business takes without considering current industry trends which is the jurisdiction of the Entrepreneur. They could decide to make cheap, plentiful products when the market is demanding high quality unique items. And the Manager may not have the space to store all those cheap, plentiful products that Crafter has decided to make but can’t yet sell. 

Now, in reality, this isn’t a matter of a different person taking a decision on their own of course, as our start-up business owner will be wearing all of these hats themselves. But, it is still important to consider all sides of the business when making decisions pertaining to these shared responsibilities. 

As we’ve been looking at this slide, you may have become a little nervous! 

There are many activities on these job descriptions, with which you may not be too familiar: brand development for example, or business money management, or how to set pricing.

Don’t worry, new business owners rarely have complete skillsets on day 1. Many of these skills are developed by experience ie learning on the job. Others can be obtained by taking short courses, talking to a mentor, reading books or watching informational videos. 

It is also highly likely that you already have more of a complete skillset than you think…

In the next video we’ll be looking at business skillsets in more detail. We’ll look at the multiple routes to start up, and then we’ll see how ready we really are by creating an entrepreneurial resume. 

See you then! 


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