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When the Founder Becomes CEO

By Mark Kleinschmidt

Time to Change

As a small business owner, you’ve built your business from the ground up.  However, as your small business starts to flourish and expand, your role with the business needs to change. The day arrives when you are no longer the business owner but need to become the CEO of your business. This transition comes with many challenges and your responsibilities will change so your approach needs to evolve.

Here are some of the key changes you will need to incorporate:

Shifting Mindset
To make this transition smoothly, first and foremost, prepare yourself mentally. Understand that your role as the CEO is different from being an owner – it necessitates an increased focus on long-term strategies and stakeholder relationships. Turn towards embracing delegation instead of handling everything personally.

Time to Delegate
As a small business owner, you might be used to wearing many hats, often functioning as a jack-of-all-trades. However, as a CEO, it’s pivotal to delegate tasks efficiently. Remember, your time is valuable, so put it towards fostering growth, strategically planning, and leaving the day-to-day operations to your team.

Building a Strong Team
Speaking of delegation, doing so becomes a challenge if you don’t have a capable team to rely on. Invest in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent. These are the individuals who’ll carry out your vision, so securing a highly skilled team is crucial so you can have more “CEO time”.

You are the Leader
As a CEO, you’re expected to solve complex business problems, formulate strategies for new opportunities, and make decisions that will keep the company on the path to continued growth. So, it’s crucial to develop your strategic leadership skills.

Be the Great Communicator
Now, you are more than just the face of your business; you are the business. Your communication must reflect your purpose and vision clearly. Ensure that your ideas and motives are clearly stated and understood by your team, stakeholders, and the public.

Continuous Learning
CEOs are lifelong learners. The economy, technology and consumer preferences are constantly changing, and if you want to continue to thrive, you must adapt. Attend conferences, engage in dialogue with fellow CEOs, hire a business coach, or read the latest business publications. Keep up to date with the most recent trends and developments in your industry.

Remember, every respected CEO standing at the helm of a successful business has walked down this path. Be ready to embrace these changes – after all, the very essence of growth lies in adapting and pushing past your comfort zone.

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