Small Business Owners Wear All Of The Hats

Fortune 1000 companies and organizations of similar size are managed by one major chief and four minor chiefs.  The small business owner manages all of these roles.   In billion dollar organizations these chiefs perform the following business functions:

  • Chief Executive Officer – Responsible for the entire organization
    • Chief Operating Officer – Responsible for all administrative and functions of a business. Typically, this person is second in command
    • Chief Marketing Officer – Responsible for all marketing processes
    • Chief Financial Officer – Responsible for all financial management and reporting
    • Chief Technology Officer – Responsible for all technical hardware and software operations

If you are considering a new startup or you are an owner of an existing small business, you perform all of these roles. Sometimes performing these tasks cause overlapping processes that cause confusion, miscommunication and disfunction within your own business.

With 85% of all startups failing in the United States, confusion and disfunction may contribute to this statistic. I wrote this blog to explain the basic functions all small business owners should perform and yet maintain a level of separation.  The least amount of confusion, the better chance of success and business sustainability. 

For every small business and startup there are three main functions:

  • Customers
    • Marketing
    • Sales
  • Operations
    • Suppliers
    • Vendors
    • Technology
    • Getting product or service to the customer
    • Location of the business
  • Support Team
    • Contractors
    • Legal
    • Financial
    • Employees

I advise each business owner to separate these functions as much as possible. For example, designing a marketing plan should be based on the ideal customer, not the technology, contractors or other parts of the overall functional outline.

When I prepare workshops or online coaching for a client, I separate the training into each of the above areas.  I ask the business owner to focus and design that area in as much detail as possible before spreading themselves too thin across all functions.

In my years working as a serial entrepreneur and management consultant, I learned how to streamline business planning functions when I create a design for a new business.

The first step I complete is marketing.

I spend considerable time researching and investigating the ideal customer for my product or service.  Where are these people located, what is the potential market size, why would they buy from me and what other attributes can I discover before I design how my business will operate?

The entire foundation of every business I owned was a solid marketing plan. The research for this plan told me whether or not I had a good business idea that could generate sustainable income and reach seven figures annually in less than two years.  If I could not achieve this goal, I scrapped the business idea and moved on to another.

After my marketing planning phase, then I designed the operational processes for my company.  The final step was hiring experienced talent as I needed for my support team.

Through my blog postings I will continue to relay more detailed information to help you, the entrepreneur, succeed and grow your business to a sustainable level.


Written by

 Darlene Ziebell



2020-2021 Copyright  Darlene M. Ziebell  All Rights Reserved



Darlene Ziebell

Darlene Ziebell brings over 40 years of experience in business consulting and entrepreneurship. Her methods are based on a unique blend of large enterprise strategies and the battle scars she acquired in four businesses including startups, mergers, ESOP, acquisitions and partnerships.  One of her many endeavors was a business management consulting firm with a client base representing 20% of the Fortune 1000. She is an advisor to business owners training them on successful growth strategies through her Empowering Entrepreneurs methodology. Research her new book, A Dozen Avalanches Threaten Small Business, for more information.