Having instructed ROIEDU Business for owners of small and medium-sized businesses for three consecutive years, I’ve come to certain conclusions regarding the benefits. Beyond learning the art and science of running a business, the trainee transforms into a professional businessman, because entrepreneurship is a profession itself. However, which are the main characteristics of professional entrepreneurs?
a) Separate their role from the enterprise. It’s very important that entrepreneurs respect themselves in the same manner they respect each and every productive human resource within their business. In other words, they must be compensated in a timely fashion, as is the staff, with a salary determined by the company’s cost centre, which is proportional to working hours and the degree of responsibility toward the company.
b) Have a clear picture of the company’s organizational chart. The roles within a business are non-negotiable regardless of its size. A company needs production and administrative staff, a financial director, a general manager, communications director, sales director, research and development director, etc. For smaller businesses, it’s common that multiple roles are assigned to one person. No matter how many roles professional entrepreneurs take on, they make decisions fully aware of which “hat” they’re wearing at the time.
c) Run the business according to cost centre principals. Traditional businessmen advise younger ones not to “chew more than they can swallow”, “make sure employees generate triple their cost” among others, which lead to the same point. A company must be set up and operate according to its cost centre, budget, expense history and record monitoring.
d) A business plan is the main point of reference for making decisions. In Greece, business plans are very misunderstood. Abroad it’s a necessary tool while the average Greek business bypasses it. This usually happens due to Greek businessmen’s perception of using this tool. The fact that very often there is a need to veer away from a business plan discourages Greek entrepreneurs from investing thought, time and money in developing one. Its value, though, is realized when veering away from it. If some decisions need to be made beyond the business plan, they might drag other ones along, as long as they are made with the initial plan in mind as a common reference point. The main goal is important, since professional entrepreneurs are result driven.
e) Select employees according to the needs of the job and not vice versa. In professions such as education, where feelings play a big role in establishing partnerships, owners constantly compromise their standards for a position, according to the personality of the employee. There must be a constant perception that the professional field in which we operate is an arena where we play a role successfully in order to complete a specific task.
f) Establish a business culture in which the employer is the employee’s client. Could it be any different? The employee provides a paid service and the employer pays for this service. In an exclusive business relationship, the employer is the employee’s sole client. This realization sets healthier working conditions for both.
There are many more specialized tactics in governing a business professionally, which all arise from daily needs these six basic practices create. Perhaps the most important ones are designing and monitoring cost centres. It is observed that complying with cost centre regulations within a company sculpts the personality of the entrepreneur and the other five tactics arise effortlessly and naturally.