July 18, 2012
What follows is a post from Dr. Atul Teckchandani, one of the great professors teaching Entrepreneurship at CSUF.
One of my favorite reads is the ‘You’re the Boss’ blog. Recently, one of their bloggers, Jay Goltz, published a post titled “Do you really want to be a business owner?” that is worth a look. It’s a very candid take on what Mr. Goltz says are the “joys” and “pains” of being an entrepreneur.
What is especially interesting is that Mr. Goltz talks a lot about human resources (HR). He mentions that part of the joy of being an entrepreneur is the ability to provide “opportunity, security, confidence, guidance, development and a livelihood to the people lucky enough to work for you.” He also mentions that firing an employee is one of the most painful parts of being an entrepreneur.
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs spend very little (if any) time on HR. Instead, most focus their energies on product development, sales and marketing. On one level, this makes perfect sense because without a product or service to offer and customers who are willing to purchase it, the company will cease to exist. But the problem is that none of this is possible without bringing in people who are qualified to perform the tasks required and setting up the structure and culture so that they can thrive. A recent Harvard Business Review article made a strong case that there are considerable financial benefits to firms in the retail sector – which is notorious for treating their workers poorly – if they cross-train and empower their workers.
Current and future entrepreneurs should take Mr. Goltz’s advice to heart. While being your own boss can be great, entrepreneurs must also realize that they are also someone else’s boss. And to increase the firm’s likelihood of success, entrepreneurs must spend time to work on being a good boss.
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