When starting a business, there are actually a number of positions you don’t need to fill. In fact, many first-time entrepreneurs run their burgeoning business entirely on their own. While it’s critically important to surround yourself with the right people at the beginning, you also don’t want to take on too many unnecessary employees. Consider these positions as you start your next venture.
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Most small businesses don’t have need of a marketing executive right away, although having one is certainly a good idea later on. Marketing your product or service is obviously very important. You can learn to do some of this yourself as well as hire an outside marketing firm. Hiring an outside firm is usually much cheaper than hiring an internal marketing department or even a single employee. The professionals at a dedicated marketing firm will have a good idea of how to market your product and can likely do a better job than either you or a single marketing executive can do alone. A firm will bring more varied and creative ideas to the table, of which some will surely prove to be very effective.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
A CTO is not usually necessary for new, small startups. While your tech and software will be very important, outsourcing your IT operations is usually the best option for new startups and small businesses. An exception would be if your company is so technologically-focused that you simply need a dedicated IT executive to function. Usually, however, an outsourced IT support firm will take care of your needs. They can troubleshoot issues, get new users set up and more. You might not even need an outside firm if your needs are basic enough because most modern software you can use to run a business, such as the Google suite of apps, are incredibly user-friendly.
Chief Legal Officer (CLO)
A CLO might only be necessary if your company is heavily involved in managing patents. Hiring an on-staff attorney might also make sense if your company needs to work with an attorney so often that the cost of paying a lawyer’s annual salary is less than the legal fees you’d incur. However, it’s certainly not a position you should be looking to hire on day one. Do note that enlisting the assistance of an attorney for business startup purposes and intellectual property registration is something you should do before you open.
Chief Human Resources Officer
At a small startup, it’s your job to perform all hirings and firings, as well as compose all policy and write job descriptions. It is actually unwise to not make these decisions yourself because you then lose control of the most important stage of your company’s development. HR and recruiting can be outsourced a little later once the foundation of the company and its organizational structure is in place. Only when your company is firmly established and grown enough should you consider hiring a Chief Human Resources Officer.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
This one depends on your company. Not every company needs a Chief Financial Officer right out of the gates. If you are the CEO and you have earned a business degree from an accredited university, it’s fairly safe to say that you will have taken some financial courses and have a pretty solid base of financial understanding. You can even outsource a lot of your financial needs through a Quickbooks alternative like a mail-in subscription service to do your taxes and keep your books up-to-date.
When starting a new business, it’s very important to know which executives you should surround yourself with and which ones you don’t need, at least not immediately. This serves two purposes. First, it saves you money by keeping you from hiring people you don’t need and helps you build a team of the right executives you need by your side. Second, as you and your team make due without the help of each of these positions being filled, you will learn more about your business and your abilities than you ever imagined – making you an even better leader and business owner. Wait until it is absolutely necessary, you won’t regret it.
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