Starting your own business allows you to take charge of your workday, expand on your creative ideas and build a dream. But in order to run a small business, you take on a number of roles. The day-to-day running of a business requires juggling many jobs, large and small. Some of these jobs you'll excel at, while you may struggle with others. Once you consider all the jobs involved, you can seek training to help you learn new skills or assistance with necessary tasks you aren't prepared to perform.
Managing the inflow and outflow of money is key to having the funds to buy the supplies you need to do your job, pay your employees and yourself, and meet other financial obligations such as loan payments. Even if you hire an accountant, you'll want to keep track of income and expenses. You'll also need to make sales tax payments to your state or city, pay your suppliers, issue paychecks and make quarterly tax payments. Computer accounting programs for small businesses streamline the financial aspects of running a business. Input receipts and expenses daily to keep track of your financial obligations and resources
Unless you're operating a sole proprietorship, you'll probably have employees. You'll decide on job duties, interview applicants and make the hiring decisions. You're responsible for training new employees and monitoring their job performance. If someone can't come to work due to illness or an accident, you need a back-up plan to fill in for their job function. Having employees also means adhering to federal and state labor laws, withholding the right amount of taxes from their paychecks and remitting the funds to the state and federal governments. In small offices, you'll have the final say when it comes to workplace disputes or dealing with employee problems.
Customers need to know you exist in order to buy your product or hire your services. For most businesses, marketing is an ongoing task. You'll decide how to reach customers through advertising, community events, social media and the signs on your office building or company vehicles. You'll also want to solicit feedback from new and existing customers to insure you're doing a good job for them so they'll refer others since word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.
Running a business requires keeping up with technology, whether it's office equipment such as computers and copiers, or the latest online e-business software. Trouble shooting, approving new technology purchases, monitoring the performance of existing technology and getting the most from your equipment and software takes up part of the day-to-day activities of most business owners.
Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.