Small business owner titles can vary from the standard (CEO, owner) to the specific (head plumber, director of technical operations). Every entrepreneur needs to make his or her own decision about the right title to use. But there are some things to consider to help you determine the title that works best for your particular company and your role there. Here are some of the options and things to consider.
Small Business Owner Titles
CEO, or chief executive officer, is a very professional sounding title that lets you show that you’re the individual in charge of the whole company. It’s often used by companies with teams or those that want their business to seem very established.
Another professional sounding title, president conveys a message of authority and can be used basically interchangeably with CEO depending on your preferences and how you structure the rest of the titles within your company.
If you’re the principal owner of your business, so if it’s not a partnership or corporation with investors, then you might just choose to keep it simple and go with owner.
Principal is another option that shows that you’re the prime owner or person in charge of the business, but it can sound a bit more official than owner.
Proprietor is another term for owner/operator that was popular in decades past. So it conveys the same message but can be especially popular with Main Street businesses and small town service providers.
If you were actually the person who formed your company in the first place, and not someone who bought in or formed a partnership where you eventually became the person in charge, then you could opt for founder as your title.
For those looking for a professional sounding title that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be the singular owner of the business, managing director can be a great option.
For LLC businesses, owners are technically members. But to convey that you’re the one who’s actually in charge of decisions related to the business, managing member can be just a bit more specific.
For partnership businesses, managing partner lets people know about the structure of your business while also conveying your status as the primary decision maker.
For technical businesses, technical director can serve as a title that fits within your actual niche.
Similarly, creative director can be a great title for those who run creative businesses like design firms, fashion lines and art shops.
Administrator is a title that can work especially for office based businesses.
Director of Operations
Director is a title that can be especially relevant for businesses that want their industry or specialty included in the title. You could go with just the general director of operations title or choose something more specific like director of technology for a tech company.
Chief Accountant … or Chief Plumber
Similarly, you could go with something like chief accountant or chief plumber. This is a great option because it can work for everyone from blue collar business owners to financiers.
You can also go with something that’s a bit more creative if you want to convey that your business is fun and show a little personality. Anything from chief disruptor to coding ninja to director of toilet unclogging can work in this instance — just make sure that your target customers are able to interpret that humor as well.
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