Choosing the right business owner title is a decision that requires careful consideration. It goes beyond just defining your role within the company – it can also impact how others perceive both you and your business. With the right title, you can establish credibility and convey a sense of authority that will strengthen your brand.
With that in mind, we have curated a list of 21 small business owner title options to help you choose the best fit. From CEO to Founder, or maybe even Chief Innovator, each title option carries a unique set of implications that can help define your role and shape the direction of your business. Let’s dive in and explore your options together!
A Business Owner Title: More Than Just a Name
An owner title is not merely an official recognition of one’s ownership but a symbol of one’s role in an organization. It conveys the trust and value placed in the person, and often shapes perceptions of their capabilities.
A title can range from traditional options like CEO (chief executive officer) or COO (chief operating officer) to more creative titles that reflect a unique identity. In fact, the right title can be instrumental in building a company’s culture and reinforcing its brand.
Whether conventional or imaginative, a title should accurately depict a person’s responsibilities and communicate their authority in a clear and consistent way. This in turn can help to establish a sense of trust among employees, business partners, and customers alike.
Crafting Job Titles: A Key Factor in Business Success
Small business owners face a pivotal decision when it comes to selecting appropriate job titles. This decision significantly influences not only how the company is perceived by customers, business partners, and employees alike, but also how effectively it can communicate its values and mission.
Job titles play a crucial role in establishing an organisation’s culture, image, and professional standards. They can convey a sense of the company’s fostering, innovation, and professionalism to those within and outside of the organisation.
It is, therefore, of utmost importance to approach job titles with due diligence and care, considering the skills and experiences of each employee, as well as the responsibilities and functions of each role. A well-crafted job title can help the company attract and retain top talent, while also creating a sense of pride and purpose amongst employees.
Choosing an appropriate job title that reflects a business’s structure and the role of the owner is essential. However, the title may vary depending on the type of business entity. A CEO of a corporation may have a different title than an LLC or sole proprietor. It’s important to select a title that accurately conveys role and status to avoid confusion and foster clarity in workplace communication.
Choosing the right job title is crucial for a business’s growth and expansion plans. A visionary CEO may opt for a strategic title, while a hands-on owner might prefer an operational title. By selecting an appropriate job title, a business can effectively convey the roles and responsibilities of its team members and ensure a clear understanding of their areas of expertise.
Limited Liability Companies
An LLC owner’s job title is not always straightforward and may differ based on the management structure of the company. The members of an LLC can assume various roles, such as those of a manager or a member, depending on the internal hierarchy. While managers generally handle the day-to-day decision-making tasks, members play an advisory role in major company decisions. Additionally, members can have the option to be involved in daily operations, thus assuming the role of both a manager and a member.
Job Titles That Align with Your Company’s Values
When selecting a job title, it’s crucial to reflect on the company’s mission and values. A job title can act as a beacon to attract people who share the same values. For example, a social entrepreneur would prefer a job title that emphasizes their commitment to social or environmental impact. This title would help gather individuals who share similar values and beliefs. It can create an environment that is more meaningful and productive, which will ultimately benefit the company and its mission. Taking the time to consider how the job title aligns with the company’s ethos can contribute to a stronger and more cohesive work culture.
Strategic or Operational?
For small business owners, an accurate job title that aligns with their approach is crucial. A hands-on owner could choose an operational title like “chief operating officer” to reflect their active involvement in daily business operations. On the other hand, an owner who prefers to delegate tasks may prefer a more strategic title.
In either case, the selected job title should effectively convey the owner’s approach and role to employees and customers alike. By carefully considering and selecting a fitting job title, business owners can more effectively communicate their responsibilities within the company and establish respect and authority within their team.
21 Titles for Small Business Owners
Selecting the appropriate title when beginning your small business can help you build influence and legitimacy. Below is a list of 21 titles commonly used by small business owners.
1. CEO Title
The CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, is the senior-most member of a company’s management team and is responsible for making key strategic decisions for the organization. From developing and executing long-term growth plans to ensuring profitability and managing company culture, the CEO plays a central role in ensuring the success of the business. It’s a job that comes with great responsibility, and one that requires a diverse set of skills, including leadership, innovation, and the ability to navigate complex business landscapes. Unsurprisingly, it remains the most common title in the business world today.
2. Managing Director
The managing director title is a prestigious and complex role that demonstrates a high level of professional expertise. This position involves overseeing the day-to-day operations of a company, managing key stakeholders, and ensuring a strong financial performance that aligns with the vision and mission of the organization. The managing director is responsible for leading by example and inspiring employees to work towards shared goals. A successful managing director must possess excellent organizational and leadership skills, have a keen eye for detail, and be able to adapt to the ever-changing business environment.
3. Chief Financial Officer
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for managing a company’s financial well-being and maintaining the bottom line. They oversee various financial activities, ranging from financial planning and record-keeping to financial reporting and analysis. Besides, the CFO collaborates with other company executives to develop business strategies, assess financial risks, and identify areas of improvement. This executive plays a vital role in ensuring the company’s financial success and long-term sustainability.
4. Chief Operating Officer
The title of Chief Operating Officer, commonly shortened to COO, is one of the most frequent executive positions in business ownership. The COO is accountable for day-to-day operations, managing and planning financial performance, and overseeing staff training. In other words, the COO plays a vital strategic role in achieving an organization’s goals and objectives.
5. Managing Partner
A managing partner is an individual tasked with the responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of a partnership, which includes overseeing finances, setting strategic direction, identifying new opportunities, and managing relationships with clients. With comprehensive knowledge of the partnership and its operations, as well as expertise in their field, the managing partner plays a crucial role in ensuring the partnership functions smoothly and achieves its goals.
6. Technical Director
A technical director is a professional who supervises and ensures the efficiency of the technical operations within a company. These operations often include managing teams responsible for research and development and carrying out engineering projects. Additionally, the technical director often handles technical aspects of IT departments, ensuring they align with the overall company objectives. Their responsibilities may also encompass implementing new measures, coordinating and overseeing operations, and ensuring delivery of high-quality technical output.
7. Creative Director
In a company, the creative director holds the important role of supervising its creative direction and output. From branding to design and marketing, the creative director ensures that everything is aligned with the company’s vision and goals. Their work often involves overseeing a team of designers and marketers, providing guidance and feedback to ensure that the company’s brand is communicated effectively. Creativity, strong leadership, and a clear vision are necessary qualities of a successful creative director.
8. Director of Operations
In the industry, the director of operations plays a significant role, as they are responsible for the overall coordination and execution of a company’s daily operations at many different levels. Typically, such duties may include ensuring production runs smoothly, managing logistics and supply chain, overseeing customer service operations, and coordinating with departments across the organization to achieve overall business goals.
9. Chief Marketing Officer
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) plays a critical role in leading a company’s marketing activities, responsible for overseeing everything from advertising campaigns to market research initiatives. Beyond conventional means for promoting products or services, the CMO must also keep pace with rapidly evolving digital marketing channels, including social media and mobile marketing. The CMO often collaborates with other key stakeholders in the business, such as sales and product development, to ensure a well-coordinated approach to marketing that aligns with broader business objectives.
10. Chief Technology Officer
The CTO plays a vital role in an organization, responsible for the development and execution of a company’s technology strategy. Working in tandem with other members of the leadership team, the CTO identifies opportunities to leverage technology to bolster day-to-day operations, create efficiencies and drive growth. Furthermore, the CTO is the go-to person for evaluating and implementing new technologies, staying ahead of the curve to keep up with the ever-evolving technological landscape.
The founder title is bestowed upon an individual who initiates a business venture and plays a pivotal role in shaping its vision and values, while directing the company in a strategic direction. This title is a testament to the person’s entrepreneurial endeavors and their leadership in turning an idea into reality.
The owner of a company is not just someone with legal control over the organization, but they are also the driving force behind its success. They have the responsibility of making sure that the company is headed in the right direction and making prudent decisions for its long-term growth. To do so, they need more than just a profound understanding of the industry in which the company operates, but also a deep knowledge of the company’s goals and vision. Having a strong grasp of the business’s fundamental values helps the owner steer the enterprise in the direction of enduring success.
A principal is a topmost executive who holds significant managerial responsibility for a specific business unit or function within an organisation. Principals play a vital role in developing and implementing strategies for their designated areas of operation, while also overseeing day-to-day activities to ensure success. They may also be called upon to liaise with other key executives and stakeholders as they work to balance the needs of their unit with the broader goals of the company.
A proprietor is an individual who has complete ownership of a small business. They are solely responsible for overseeing and managing all aspects of the business. They are required to make all business-related decisions, including financial management, marketing, and human resource management. A proprietor must be highly motivated and disciplined to ensure the success of their business. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to operate as a proprietor, but the rewards can be substantial.
The role of the president in a company is to oversee and manage the daily operations, tasks, and affairs of the business. As the second-highest-ranking executive, next to the CEO, the president is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the company’s strategic plans and ensuring that the objectives align with the company’s vision. Additionally, the president is usually responsible for representing and promoting the company, building strong relationships with key stakeholders, and driving company growth.
16. Vice President
A vice president is a prominent member of an organization’s leadership team, who is usually positioned one level below the C-Suite. As such, they are responsible for overseeing a specific business unit or function to ensure its smooth operations and optimal performance. In practice, this entails not just managing employees and budgets, but also developing strategies, setting goals, and working closely with other VPs to align overall business objectives with specific unit goals.
17. General Manager
A general manager is a key figure in a company, as they are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and making sure everything runs smoothly. They are often tasked with developing and implementing strategic goals, as well as managing budgets, handling customer complaints, and supervising employees. In short, a general manager is the backbone of a business, ensuring that every aspect of the company is functioning at its best.
18. Business Development Manager
A business development manager is a critical role responsible for identifying and pursuing viable business ventures for a company. This involves conducting research, shaping good relationships with vendors, clients, and other major players in the industry, evaluating the competitive landscape of the market, and collaborating with executives to define priorities and opportunities that align with organizational objectives. By providing a valuable outside viewpoint and guiding the strategic direction of the company, the business development manager can open up opportunities that have previously been out of reach.
19. Human Resources Manager
The human resources manager is a corporate role entrusted with managing a company’s most valuable asset – its workforce. This encompassing role involves a range of activities spanning from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding, to employee performance management and development, compensation, benefits, and additional employee relations. The HR manager is responsible for the smooth functioning of the organization and overall alignment of employee goals with the company’s objectives.
20. Sales Manager
A sales manager plays a key role in managing a company’s sales team with the primary objective of increasing sales revenue. They lead and guide the team to ensure the achievement of sales goals and targets. Their responsibilities also include developing sales strategies and identifying areas of improvement in the sales process. They work closely with other departments to ensure accurate sales forecasting and maintain strong customer relationships, while keeping themselves updated on industry trends and competitive activities.
21. Project Manager
A project manager holds a vital position in an organization, encompassing multiple responsibilities. They are responsible for supervising the planning, execution, and delivery of specific projects from start to finish, ensuring the project meets the required objectives, is delivered on time and within the set budget. The project manager’s role involves liaising with diverse stakeholders, from developers and contractors to clients and vendors to ensure all aspects of the project are delivered effectively and efficiently. Their skills in project management can determine the success and impact of a project on an organization.
The Art of Choosing a Business Title
Choosing a proper title as a business owner can indeed influence your company’s triumph. As such, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly or hurried. If you’re aiming to start your own business, it’s prudent to research various options available to you, assess your own skills, and consider your objectives and duties before making a final decision on the title that best suits you.
However, it’s important to note that selecting a business title is just one aspect of entrepreneurship. There are other crucial aspects, such as building a business plan, identifying your target market, developing a marketing strategy, and setting realistic financial goals, which also warrant attention. In sum, giving careful consideration to all critical aspects, combined with a will to succeed, can help set you up for lasting success as a business owner.
Business Owner Title FAQs
What titles are small business owners giving themselves these days?
Many small business owners take a lot of pride in the title they give themselves. These titles can range from CEO to simply “Owner,” but they often reflect the unique identity of the business. Some business owners opt for titles that make it clear they’re in charge, such as “Head Strategist” or “Chief Visionary Officer,” while others emphasize their expertise, like “Marketing Director” or “Creative Director.” Ultimately, the title a small business owner chooses to take on is a personal decision and can be considered a reflection of both their personal and professional values. Whatever the title, what matters most is how effectively the business owner is able to lead and grow their business.
What tips do you have for those considering a particular business owner title?
If you’re thinking about becoming a business owner, there are definitely a few things to consider. One of the key decisions you’ll need to make is what type of business owner title you want to take on. Will you be a CEO, a founder, or a managing partner, for example? There are plenty of titles to choose from, but the most important thing is to pick one that truly reflects your role and responsibilities within the company. Additionally, keep in mind that owning a business isn’t always easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding if you’re willing to put in the work. So, if you’re ready to take the leap, make sure to carefully consider your options and choose the title that’s right for you.
How do you think a particular business owner title affects the way others perceive the company?
As a business owner, your title can say a lot about you and your enterprise. Titles can range from CEO, president, founder, or owner, and each conveys a different impression to potential clients or investors. The title you choose can indicate the level of professionalism of your company, your position in the hierarchy of the organization, and your level of experience. The impact that your title has on others’ perceptions can greatly affect your business. A strong and well-chosen title can give the impression of a trustworthy and committed business, whereas a weak or generic title may convey the opposite. Ultimately, your business owner title can be a key factor in how your company is perceived, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Are there any benefits to choosing a creative business owner title for yourself or your team members?
Choosing a creative business owner title can have many benefits for yourself or your team members. It’s not just about standing out in the crowd, but it also adds a unique touch to your brand. It gives you the opportunity to highlight your business’s core values and identity through a simple job title. A creative title can also help attract potential clients and employees, creating an intriguing first impression. It can encourage your team members to take ownership of their roles, boost morale and make the work environment more enjoyable. With so many benefits, it’s worth considering a creative business title for yourself or your team members.
How does the choice of title evolve over time, creating growth and change?
As a business owner, your choice of title can speak volumes about your organization and your own personal role within it. Titles are not just words on a business card, they can convey a sense of power and authority, or humility and teamwork. As your business grows and changes, so too may your choice of title. Perhaps you started out with the simple title of “Founder” or “CEO,” but as your team and responsibilities expanded, you added titles like “VP of Operations” or “Chief Marketing Officer.” These changes in title reflect the evolution of your business structure and the roles and responsibilities of the individuals on your team. By choosing the right titles, you can foster a sense of teamwork, while also highlighting the specific strengths and contributions of each member of your organization.
Do you think it’s important for a small business owner to have an official title or description of what they do?
As a small business owner, you are the face and backbone of your company. While some may argue that having an official title or description is just a formality, others believe it’s crucial for success. Being able to succinctly and confidently explain to others what you do can make a significant difference in how your business is perceived and received. Having a clear title or description not only helps establish your identity and positioning in the market, but it can also lend credibility and professionalism to your brand. So, whether you decide to go with a traditional title such as CEO or President, or something more creative and descriptive, such as Chief Problem Solver or Operational Wizard, be sure to choose a title that truly reflects your role and responsibilities in the company.
Do titles matter when it comes to networking and marketing other small businesses?
As a business owner, you are the face of your company, and your title is often the first introduction people have to your brand. But do titles really matter when it comes to networking and marketing other small businesses? The answer is a resounding yes. Your chosen title can convey authority, expertise, and credibility, which can be critical when it comes to building trust and attracting new customers or clients. It can also help distinguish you from others in your industry and make you more memorable to potential partners or investors. So, while titles may seem like a small detail, they can have a significant impact on your networking and marketing efforts. Choosing the right one can make all the difference in establishing yourself as a respected and influential figure in your field.
This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.