The technician and the businessman

Many small business owners believe that technical competency will translate to business success. While some level of technical competency is certainly necessary, it seldom ensures success.

A business owner may be good at fixing computers, baking pies, or recommending a travel itinerary. But there is much more to running a business than providing a product or service. A business involves accounting and finance, marketing and sales, production and delivery, management and administration, and much more. A business requires a broad skill set to function successfully.

Certainly these skills can be hired. An accountant can be hired to do the books. A graphics designer can be hired to design marketing materials. A salesman can be hired to generate revenues. An office manager can be hired to oversee administrative functions. But many, if not most, small business owners wear all of these hats and more.

Regardless, the owner must possess some level of knowledge regarding these areas. He is the final decision maker, and without a reasonable level of knowledge he will be unable to make competent decisions. In other words, his technical expertise will not help him when it comes to making decisions regarding finance or marketing.

The failure to obtain this skill set—whether through personal education or by hiring others—is the downfall of many small businesses.

To use a football analogy, the business owner is the head coach. The greatest head coach is not an expert in every aspect of his sport. His primary job is to hire experts, delegate responsibilities, and then organize the entire operation. He is responsible for the final decision making, but he does not need to micromanage every aspect of the team.

This is true even of those football coaches who were stellar players, that is, superb technicians. An all-star football player will not necessarily make a good coach—the two roles require vastly different skill sets.

The coach must be able to organize, teach, encourage, and lead. The same is true of a business owner.

Comments are closed.

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.