Look (Inside) Before Your Leap

Entrepreneurship is a profession like any other. Just like you want to become an astronaut, an anthropologist, an oncologist or a librarian you might want to become an entrepreneur. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary describes an Entreprenuer as someone who “organises, manages and assumes the risks of a business enterprise”.

What Makes You Think About Pursuing Entrepreneurship?

  • The possibility of having the freedom to try out your own business ideas and innovations
  • The glamour associated with being an entrepreneur
  • The apparent freedom to make all the decisions that need to be made on the job
  • The possibility of super success and mega riches

What ever be your reasons, if you have the desire, you should pursue entrepreneurship, you should pursue it with all you got.

The Risks That The Entrepreneur Assumes

There are many kinds of risks that the entrepreneur needs to assume.

  • Loss of invested capital
  • Loss of precious time wasted on a pursuit that may not yield any returns
  • Possibility of being labeled a failure
  • Loss of income
  • Possibility of of bankruptcy
  • Possibility of creating an inefficient organisation that is poorly staffed

In the essay I am going to focus on the risk of building an organisation that is poorly staffed. What does being poorly staffed mean.

Poorly Staffed Businesses

  • Insufficient number of people in the organisation to handle the available work load
  • Mismatch between the skills and talents that the staff posses and job role that they are assigned in the organisation

A business that is just starting is never going to have enough people to handle all the work that needs to be done. The people running such a business including and especially the entrepreneur are going to overworked. As the business grows and there is even more work to be done and there is money to go around then it is possible for the business to hire more people. It is easy to determine if an organisation is insufficiently staffed and take measures to match the number of people with the work load.

It is more difficult to identify if there is a mismatch between the skills of the people working in the organisation and the job role that they are handling.

The Goals of a Business

The goals of a business enterprise must be:

  • Finding Customers
  • Selling them a product or service that they need and are willing to pay for
  • Collect payment
  • Repeat

In order to achieve these goals the organisation structure that needs to be put together must define the job roles that each person in the organisation structure must fulfil. While staffing the organisation it is important to define the roles of each member of the organisation well and find a candidate that can do well in the specified role.

The same applies when you are appointing a CEO (the Main Ringleader) for your organisation. You need to first define what the CEO is supposed to do and what he must not do.

An entrepreneurship is also primarily defined by the entrepreneur which is why it is called an entrepreneurship and not something-else-ship.

Of course the amount of the risk that needs to be assumed can be controlled by entrepreneur (at least to some extent). Among the risks that have to be assumed by the entrepreneur one is the risks of leadership.

When you hire a person to do a job, you go about putting together a job description first and then looking for someone who has the skills and experience that match the job description. And it is possible to find someone willing to do this job unless the risks involved doing this job outweigh the compensation provided for doing this job. Which means that when you follow this process:

  • Putting together a job description
  • Putting the job description in front of job seekers and then
  • Choosing the most appropriately skills and experience candidates from the applicant pool

You end up with a candidate that has a high chance of success in doing well at the job and thus provide maximum possible return on investment (in the form of compensation) that you make on the person that you are hiring.

In the process of managing your business enterprise you have think hard about how your business enterprise is to be provided with resources to do the various job that need to be done within the enterprise to ensure that the the enterprise generates some return to the entrepreneur.

To be continued…

Written on August 19, 2017