The Swiss Army knife is something that all people over a certain age will remember from their childhood. Although the name makes it sound kind of basic – we’ve all seen a knife before – what made it unique was its multi-functionality. Far from just a knife, it could open cans, be used as a nail file, become scissors and even a magnifying glass. In short, it was like a toolkit that would fit in your pocket.
This may sound like an esoteric start to a post about business, but if you’re a startup entrepreneur, then the Swiss Army knife is a pretty good analogue for what you do. On the surface, you’re a businessperson who runs a company (or companies). Beyond that, though, because of your startup status, you’re often a lot more than just the business owner. You may well find that you’re the Swiss Army entrepreneur. If you’re wondering why, read on…
You’re a marketing consultant
As an entrepreneur, the importance of keeping the outgoings low means that you’re unlikely to have a marketing budget that can sit with more established businesses. The idea of calling in a team of experts is off the table, and chances are you’ll need to do much, if not all of the work yourself. With WYSIWYG content management systems, you can likely wrangle a decent website into shape – but you may need to read up on how to make it really work SEO-wise.
You’re an accountant
Even as a sole trader, you’re going to have to keep things above board when it comes to finances. There will be business taxes to be paid, licenses to secure, and more. On the bright side, you may also qualify for grants and bursaries – but in all of the above, you’ll need to be able to show profit and loss columns that add up and make sense. With the likes of Crunch Zero bookeeping software you can be confident of staying on top of the numbers, and it’s experience worth gaining. In years to come, as your business grows and you have a larger team, you’ll always be familiar with the documents the accountant sends your way.
You’re a secretary
Once you’ve achieved the aims you set out for yourself and are standing astride the business world like a Colossus, you can pay someone to handle your phone calls and post. You won’t need to manage your own schedule because someone else has it handled. For now, though, you’ll need to have a calendar synced up on your phone, laptop and any other business device – and you’ll need to maintain it. When you’re growing your business, you can’t afford double-bookings – and there are plenty of options, such as Google Calendar, that are completely free of charge. Which is good, because you’ll need to keep records of those missed calls you need to return.
When you’re a startup entrepreneur, you don’t have “a job”. You have, at least, three of them and each requires regular and serious attention. Mastering this balancing act requires you to be like the Swiss Army knife – versatile and compact!