Startup CEO: Roles and Responsibilities

Being a startup CEO is one of the most demanding and mentally draining job. It is not just a fancy title to acquire and show off. It is the most important role to have in a company, and also the most challenging one. Understand what it means, and how to fulfill the title. Because the decisions that a CEO makes not only decide the future of the company but also of the team. Also, be ready for constant pressure, long work hours, no sleep, and exhaustion. However, it is also one of the most amazing experiences to have.

If you are going to be the CEO of your startup, and are wondering what your role and responsibility would be, do not worry. We have laid it all down for you.

startup team

Skills required to be a good startup CEO

Being a startup CEO is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. You need to have a diverse skillset and somehow know the basics of everything. Whether it is how to get investors on board, or something as simple as making the coffee machine work. You need to know it all. The main skills required by a startup CEO are;

  1. Have a clear vision
  2. Team Management and motivation
  3. People skills
  4. Creativity
  5. Number skills
  6. Patience
  7. Resolve
  8. Ability to learn and adapt fast

It is better to know and then delegate, rather than hiring people to perform tasks you have no idea of. When you know how to do something, you know how long it should take the others to do it. This keeps the team efficient. Above all, you have to learn something new every day. You do not have to be an expert on all matters, but you need to be familiar with them.

What does a startup CEO actually do?

Being the CEO of your startup means you will have to oversee everything at the company. You will have multiple roles at a time and a myriad of responsibilities. Let’s take a look at the main ones.

team working

Set the vision

First of all, the CEO is responsible for defining the company road map and strategy. Not a short term vision, but a long term one. You will decide where you want the company to be in 2 years. Or the goals for the next 12 months. Also, the strategic plan you need to implement to achieve that. As a CEO, you need to plan ahead. You decide the direction of the company.

Building and leading a team

group of people using laptop computer

As you develop and grow, building a great team is essential. A startup CEO is responsible for getting the best people on board and keeping them motivated for maximum productivity. Above all, you need to be an effective leader and create an environment and culture where the team can be successful. Moreover, you need to believe in your team and rely on them to do what you hired them to do.

See: Creating a startup team

Manage Cash Flow

As CEO you have to ensure that the company does not run out of money. You need to keep the expenses in check and come up with strategies to maximize revenue. In addition to that, you manage capital from external sources. In order to ensure that the business grows consistently, you need to effectively regulate cash flow.

Investor Management

In order to grow and scale you require investment. This brings in investors who become shareholders of the company. Keeping them informed, up to date and happy is the CEO’s job. This is important because this ensures future success. Hence, the CEO has to keep the investors’ interest in mind.


Brand Management

Building and maintaining a brand goes a long way. It increases your credibility in the eyes of the audience. As CEO, you will be doing exactly that. You will have to speak at various conferences, shows and events. You will have to be active on social media and move around in the industry. Certainly, this helps to establish the company as a brand.

While these were the main roles you have to take as a startup CEO, you will be dealing with a lot of other things as well. These include creating and caring for company culture, dealing with compliance, defining employee salaries, and creating partnerships. Remember, your business is a part of you. Be prepared for long hours and uncertainty. Above all and most importantly, enjoy the process.

See: Refine Your Online Presence And Marketing Strategy

Sarim Siddiqui
Sarim Siddiqui

Sarim is the founder of PACE enterprises currently comprised of two divisions, PACE events and PACE Business. He is a certified Digital Marketer and works as a Digital Consultant, Content Strategist, and Search Engine Optimization specialist.
He is passionate about educating on business and startups, as well as helping small businesses achieve their digital goals.
You can find him on Instagram @sarim112 or LinkedIn, or reach out to him at

Articles: 58

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