Yes, you can (and should) be the CEO of your own Small Business
It's time to stop hiding behind the title "founder" or "owner" and start wearing chief executive with confidence.
It's good for you, suitable for your employees (if you have any), and ideal for your customers.
Here are the top 12 reasons you can and should wear the title of CEO of your small business.
It's more straightforward for your clients and customers
When you use the title of CEO as a small business owner, it's clearer for your clients or customers who is in charge of your business. It can also help you build a strong brand and reputation that people associate with your company.
It's important to remember that you're not just representing yourself when you're using this title. You're also representing your company and the products or services you provide.
What Is a CEO?
A CEO is the chief executive officer of a company or organization. This person leads management and sets the overall strategy for the business. They are responsible for managing all aspects of operations, including planning, organizing, and directing resources toward achieving specific goals for the organization.
The term "CEO" was first used in a Harvard Business Review article published in 1960 by Max Danish and William Gorvine as an abbreviation for "chief executive officer." Since then, it's become widespread in corporate America — but it's not just limited to large corporations anymore.
Why Do Businesses Use It?
Businesses use this title because it helps build trust with consumers and other companies by communicating who's in charge of an organization: its founder or owner, or designated individual.
The most important thing is that when you use the term CEO while running a small business, it communicates what kind of leadership role you play within your company. This makes it easier for everyone involved to understand how their responsibilities fit into the company's overall structure — including yourself!
Your personal brand is part of the startup.
Your personal brand is part of your small business. Be confident in using the title CEO.
Many people shy away from using the title CEO because they are worried that it might be too bold and aggressive. Or they are concerned that they do not possess the experience to back up such a claim. However, you can put all of those fears to rest by understanding what the title means and how it can benefit your business.
You may not have hired employees yet or expanded beyond one location as a small business owner. However, there are still many ways in which you can use this title to boost your credibility with customers and potential investors alike:
It shows confidence in your abilities. Using this title with enthusiasm when talking about yourself or your product or service (or both) will make you more professional than someone who shies away from using it.
You're the primary decision-maker.
You are the primary decision-maker at your small business, so you should use the title CEO. Period.
You're in charge of the company — and if you don't believe you are, you're missing out on some of the benefits of being a CEO.
Using this title, you can make sure your team knows who's in charge. It also helps set clear expectations for people who report to you.
The CEO is typically considered a public face of the company, which could be helpful if you want more visibility in your industry or community.
You have direct access to and control over every aspect of your business.
As the person with direct access and control over every aspect of your business its important to identify your role publicly. That means you are the CEO, whether you like it or not.
You are responsible for every decision that affects your business. You decide what products you sell to how you sell them, from how much your employees get paid to how much vacation time they can take.
You are responsible for everything within your business: customer service issues, employee conflicts, and everything in between.
The good news is that this also means that you get to make all the decisions about what happens within your business, including how successful it will become.
You are personally invested in the success of your small business.
You are the most personally invested in the success of your small business. That means you are your small business's CEO.
As the founder or owner of a company, you have to wear many hats - from marketing and sales to bookkeeping and operations. But one role is often overlooked: chief executive officer (CEO).
While it may seem unnecessary, being a CEO is not just about giving yourself a fancy title. It's about taking a leadership role in growing your business and making sure it's profitable over time.
You are putting in the most hours and taking risks.
The bottom line is that you are the CEO of your small business, whether you like it or not.
You are putting in the most hours into helping your small business succeed. You deserve the title CEO regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Quick note for small business CEOs
Of course, there will be times when you don't feel like a CEO, and that's OK. But in those times, you have to remember that you are working hard to make your business a success, so treat yourself as such. Take some time off, go out with friends or do something fun.
Celebrate all of your successes along the way because they will keep you motivated and on track toward success. You don't have to be "the boss" all of the time, but when you're working hard on your own business and not getting paid, it's nice to have someone give you a pat on the back every once in a while.
You are guiding the strategic direction of the business.
You are guiding the strategic direction of your small business. That is what a CEO does. You are responsible for managing the company's resources, including time, money, and people.
In addition to making sure that your employees have everything they need to do their jobs, you also need to ensure that the company has enough cash flow to pay its bills on time. This means you will be reviewing reports from accountants regularly and working with lenders and investors to ensure that the company can continue operating during difficult times.
Being in charge of overseeing all aspects of a small business can be stressful, especially when things go wrong. But it also gives you a lot of freedom because you don't have direct reports or anyone looking over your shoulder telling you how you should do things.
You are in charge of delegating and selecting vendors.
You choose which vendors to work with and who does what in your business. You think about how to structure your business, so it runs well, is profitable, and can grow.
What job title does that sound like to you?
You set the company culture.
As CEO of your small business, it is your job to set the company culture. That means you set the tone for how employees interact with each other, clients, and vendors. If you want your employees to be positive, upbeat, and excited about their work, you need to be that way yourself.
You can set the tone by modeling positive behavior in the following ways:
- Be kind and polite.
- Be approachable and available to others.
- Be happy, positive, and enthusiastic about your work and the things you do outside of work (especially if they involve family).
- Don't take yourself too seriously — have fun!
You are deciding on HR.
As a small business CEO, it is your responsibility to make all HR-related decisions.
In the early stages of a startup, you are the CEO and CTO. You are probably also a developer and designer. You are also the CFO, COO, and salesperson in many cases.
When running a one-woman show, your time is limited, and you have to be smart about how you spend it.
As a small business CEO, it is your responsibility to make all HR-related decisions like hiring new employees or firing existing ones.
You are intimately aware of your company's struggles and pitfalls.
You know your business best as the CEO of your small business. You have to make decisions, and you have to be able to make them quickly to keep everything on track. In many ways, this is what being a CEO is all about.
Being a Small Businesss CEO has no employee or customer count requirement.
The CEO title is one of the most common titles to use in the business world. It's also one of the most misunderstood.
Many people assume that the CEO title is reserved for those at the top of large corporations — a sort of "Mr. Big" for small businesses.
The CEO title is used by companies, from small startups to medium-sized businesses and even large corporations. "Chief" comes from the Latin root caput, meaning head. So when you call someone "chief," it means they are in charge of an organization.
The real question is, what does it mean to be a CEO? And how can you use this position to help your small business grow?
This description sure sounds like a CEO to us!
Yes, you can be the CEO of a small business. You are one. Guess what, you earned it.
Now, wear the title with pride and build an excellent small business. You are a small business CEO.