Small business owners are ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in their companies, and a hands-on approach is often necessary for the business to run smoothly. While duties vary from business to business, there are core components savvy business owners oversee on a daily basis to ensure successful operations.


If he doesn’t have a manager, a small business owner opens the doors to the business himself each day. Opening involves unlocking access doors, turning on lights and equipment and opening and counting the cash drawer on registers at retail businesses. The owner does a “walk around” of the business to confirm the place is clean and that nothing is out of place, and he may double check the schedule to be sure the operation is fully staffed for the workday.

Overseeing Operations

A business owner addresses customer complaints, confers with managers about the status of goals and projects and conducts internal meetings as needed. In an organization with few employees, he might lend a hand with customer service if other staffers are busy and take over roles and responsibilities if employees call in sick.


A savvy small business owner keeps a daily eye on business finances, even if he employs an accounting professional to assist with accounts payable and receivable. Activities include reviewing bank statements, budget expenditures, credit card activity and cash register receipts. Many business owners also handle purchase orders and payroll approval.

Employee Relations

Some business owners play a role in scheduling employees and hiring for open positions. For companies without a human resources professional, this involves reviewing resumes, checking references and interviewing prospective employees. On a daily basis, owners with open-door policies hear questions and concerns from staffers and act as go-betweens to mediate conflict.


A business can’t be successful if it is low on inventory or supplies. A business owner evaluates the company’s needs on a daily basis and may coordinate efforts with a supply manager. This involves ordering inventory and arranging for delivery. The owner may also monitor and evaluate vendor and supplier contracts and negotiate new agreements to ensure seamless access to necessary supplies and services.

Correspondence and Paperwork

A business owner carves time out from each day to return phone calls and respond to emails and other written correspondence. He also addresses insurance and unemployment claims, worker’s comp issues and regulatory compliance issues as they pertain to his industry.

Business Building

Networking and business promotion is vital to the success of a small business. A business owner is typically involved in industry organizations such as the local chambers of commerce or Rotary club and often takes a hands-on approach to marketing and advertising the business. This can involve attending luncheons and networking events and monitoring and tracking advertising campaigns.