In a previous blog, we wrote about The Consumer Mindset. Now it’s time to turn around and focus on the mindset of a business owner.
Two of the more important elements in operating your own business are: 1) Remembering why you’re in business in the first place; and, 2) Remaining focused on your customers at all times. Having a valuable product or service, strong management, and exceptional customer service are significant as well, but everything else usually falls under one of the two more important elements.
You probably got into business for several reasons. Filling an under-served niche market to meet a consumer demand or need may have been one of them. Having an impact in the world and making some money might have been the reasons. Some people start a business to fund their retirement or to create an enterprise for their children to take over. There are those who merely want to say they did it and they had the world in the palm of their hands!
Whatever the reason you started a business, or are thinking about starting one, take the time to stop and think about that mindset once in a while. Every six months is a good benchmark for taking the time to reflect on your purpose for doing what you’re doing. If you need to make changes, weigh your options. Think deep about whether it is a change that really needs to be made.
A quick transition to another owner, a fire sale, or a bankruptcy can be traumatic and devastating to your employees, your customers, and to you and your reputation. It is best if you can take the time to think through and plan a transition that benefits everyone involved in the change. Consultants such as Brand Irons can assist with these transitional periods and smooth the waters.
What is also important in the business owner’s mindset is having a mission that is clear and conveys the vision of the company. Owners have an obligation to portray their vision to their employees, their customers, and the public on a consistent basis. That takes constant, open and two-way communication with team members, along with the insistence that the same level of communication is shared with customers and potential customers.
It’s also about setting objectives and striving to accomplish them. It involves being able to make tough decisions without emotional attachment. It means being confident and assertive without being offensive or demeaning. Praise in public and criticize (we prefer instruct) in private is a valuable approach. A pat on the back goes further than a kick in the pants.
Be open to suggestions. An employee on the front line may have an idea that could make you millions. Be generous and share the credit. Herb Kohl, former U.S. Senator and owner of the Milwaukee Bucks, reportedly paid each of the employees of the facility where his team played $500 for their dedication to the team.
When your purpose is clear, your service to your customers also has clarity.