An owner/operator is the chief stakeholder in a business operation. He or she is the person who has typically put up the majority financial stake in the business and thus acts as the overseer of all operations and output from it. Typically an owner/operator is found in the small business sector, where sole proprietorships or simple majority ownership is common. The owner/operator may be in charge of businesses that range from retail stores to service-oriented businesses or restaurants and bars. While in some cases, owners of such businesses act as silent partners, an owner/operator most typically takes a hands-on approach to all operations of his or her enterprise.
As the person who oversees all aspects of a business, an owner/operator may find it useful to hire one or more managers to work in a position that directly reports to him or her. The owner/operator will normally look for individuals for this position who can augment and add to the knowledge in the respective sector that the business is operating in. Together with any hired manager or managers, the owner/operator will then typically recruit, hire, and train any other necessary personnel. Business procedures and systems will be developed and implemented by the owner and any managers he or she may hire as well. The owner/operator also will typically either hire an outside bookkeeper or handle the accounting functions of the operation.
Unlike many other jobs, the main requirement to be an owner/operator is simply the financial flexibility to act as a primary owner in a small business operation. While education in business-related disciplines and practical experience in the area of that operation will greatly assist the business to being successful, it isn't an absolute requirement. Most owner/operators do work long hours and maintain a fairly constant presence within their own establishments, however. Anyone approaching this career should expect to spend 50 or more hours per week at work.