Business Owners: What Do You Call Yourself (Job Title)?

Sorry if this has already been asked, but I did a quick search and didn’t see any recent posts.

I’ve owned my own business for more than 3 years now, and I’m starting to do marketing and advertising other than word of mouth. I’m ordering business cards and I realized I have absolutely no idea what title to list, if any.

Small business owners are modern day renaissance men & women, juggling a ton of different jobs. If you’ve listed your title on your business card, or in your email or mail signatures, what do you list? Founder? CEO? Owner? President?

I’m leaning towards no title to be a bit more professional, but sometimes customers get that warm feeling inside talking directly to the owner and seeing that title on the business card imparts that “personal attention” many people enjoy receiving from someone they feel is important (even if everyone in the company is essential or on pretty equal footing.)

So I was curious what others have done in the past regarding their titles.

Lot of people put CEO or Director.
I put Chief Operating Officer:)

We have a corporation, so I get to be “President”. When I was just a sole-proprietership, I was “Owner”. For our LLC, I’m “Managing Partner”.

Usually, I tell people my effective title is “King Geek”.

I don’t have a title on my business cards… not really a need for it in my opinion.

I dont have any business cards!
If someone really wants to know what my title is, it is: Technical Director.

I would probably use some kind of manager. It sounds high enough to make deals with customers but doesn’t scream Start Up! like ‘CEO’ would.

Tea maker and bottle washer isn’t going to impress anybody so I don’t tend to use a title. Seriously though, I just have my name smack bang in the middle of the card with the name of the company and what we do below. The trick with business cards is to go for as high quality as you can possibly afford and make a show of taking it out of its holder and presenting it. If you do it on the cheap and dig into your pocket to pull out a dog eared one they don’t have the same effect.

I have a BA in Philosophy and doing my MBA currently. I put “Chief Executive Philosopher” on my business card.

The only problem is I don’t have a business (as a legal entity) yet.

Anyway, people find this amusing and it starts a conversation. And I like telling about myself :slight_smile:

I call myself whatever the job calls for. My default though is Website Consultant.

Founder seem unprofessional, Owner seem informal, President sounds too regal. I don’t use such titles on my business card, simply “business coach”. :smiley:

Who doesn’t. :slight_smile: Only remember that it’s a two way street. Using the title as a conversation starter is a great idea, as long as it’s classy, like your is.

I don’t write a title anywhere. If I have to give one to fill in a form or something, I’ll just write “owner”.

I used to put “Chief cook and bottlewasher”, but when I wanted to go more professional, I didn’t use a title. If your business is a one-man show, I think even “owner” or “proprietor” is pompous. After all, if they call who will answer the phone?

I like Russ’s title of “Web Consultant”. I think if you’re going to use a title, make it define the work you do, not the position you hold.

Of course it depends on what kind of “one man show” you run… but for the most part I’m against titles. IF you provide mostly strategy and big picture ideas, and outsource the development (or just don’t provide the development) then you could put “Online Marketing Strategist” or “Social Media Consultant,” tailoring the phrase to your niche of the market.

But if you do consulting, design, development, and everything else just leave it blank. People in larger companies will laugh a little when they read it. Even in our company of 10 people, we have pretty well defined roles. If someone handed me a business card that said “Web Developer” I would instantly think XHTML & CSS. If it said “Programmer” I would think PHP, .NET. It goes the same with “Owner” or “CEO.” I don’t expect the CEO to be writing code or designing. They should be leading a company of people who do the work.

If you don’t want to get typecast into any one position, leave it blank.

I don’t really put anything because the business card usually explains myself…

I found out the answer this morning. Turns out that it’s my 21-month-old who will answer the phone.


Mark Zuckerberg had “I’m CEO, *****” on his business cards for a long while. but i guess as the worlds youngest billionaire you can get away with that :stuck_out_tongue:

I have Internet Developer on my cards. Its what i do, and for those outside of the IT realm its a good conversation starter…

Of course i could always get Christian Bale on you and slash you up in my apartment for having a better business card…


Off Topic:

It could be worse. Last night on TV I saw a man who’s cat types and sends out e-mails. :lol:

I keep my company pretty light. HGIC Head Geek in Charge.

Considering my company name is Mutant Logic, folks are pretty accepting of it.

In my business cards, just Web Designer - Photographer, as I´m that. Not sense in use Owner or another title, since is not too explanatory about my job… besides, my company only have one worker: Me!