The Defining Dozen: #6 – What’s your role going to be?

Learn how to answer the sixth of the "Defining Dozen" questions – What’s your role going to be? – so you can write an effective business plan.

In Step 3 of "10 Steps to Open for Business," answering the “Defining Dozen” questions is vital to writing a good business plan. The Sloan brothers describe them in detail in StartupNation: Open for Business, their book. Here is the sixth of those questions, in a special book excerpt:

What’s your role going to be? To answer this question, go back to your Life Plan. Review all the activities you love to do and the kinds of skills that you enjoy using. Maybe you’ll realize for the first time that you don’t want to go into this business alone. Maybe you’ll want your role to center on the “people kind of stuff” and leave the mechanics and “back of house” tasks to a partner or a key employee. You might decide to be the chief technology officer, because what you’re really good at is innovating. Your Life Plan should provide a great starting point for you to understand if your bailiwick is managing people, product development, or selling like there’s no tomorrow.

Whether you’re going the solo route or you’ve determined you’ll build a team, this next piece of advice is critically important: Make a list of duties and responsibilities. Remember, it’s very easy in a business to become overwhelmed by all the work piling up in your inbox. Leave yourself enough breathing space to enjoy being in business for yourself. By writing down your own job description, you can free yourself from duties that aren’t the best use of your time. Be true to yourself; your business will suffer if you take on roles that you either don’t enjoy or that don’t fit your interests and your skills.

Excerpted from StartupNation: Open for Business Copyright© 2005 by Jeff Sloan and Rich Sloan. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Learn more about the Sloan brothers’ secrets to business success – buy the book StartupNation: Open for Business now.

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