Have your profits bumped-up against a wall as a result of the economical downturn? Does it feel like you have turned over every stone to increase your customer base to no avail? There Is something you may not have considered that is getting in the way of increasing your company’s profits. That something is your mindset. The mindset of the owner or manager can have as much to do with success and failure of a business as any direct Influence can have.
Carol Dweck in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, explains that research shows how people with fixed mindsets hold themselves back from success and happiness while people with flexible mindsets have greater success and happiness. To regain profits and increase sales consider the mindset of your company’s leadership.
Using a bad economy as an example. a fixed-mindset person will see the situation in terms of doom and gloom. They will say things, such as “Nothing can be done. Blame the economy. The industry has changed. The customers have dried up. The economic climate is keeping customers away.
It’s the politicians fault. Told enough times, these statements become the reality of elder which the business operates. These mantras become self-prophesying when profits become stagnate or spiral downward. With repeated losses, the doom and gloom mindset becomes firmly planted in the company’s identity.
On the other hand, a flexible-mindset business owner, while recognizing a problem, will think of ways to overcome the situation. A person with a flexible mindset looks at problems in the eye, they make plan and move forward. They do not personally identify with negative situations that are outside their control. Neither does the flexible mind rehash old problems.
Flexible-minded business owners are open to solutions from any source and are not afraid to implement solutions even if the ideas come from other team members. They welcome advice and suggestions, and give their honest consideration. Flexible mindsets think outside the box. They do not give up; they are confident there is a way out any predicament.
Check your own mindset
Are you a business owner with a fixed mindset or a flexible one? To help you figure out if your mindset Is fixed, answer these questions. Do people refer to you as being stubborn and set in your ways? Are you easily upset when things do not go according to plan? Do you fed that your ideas and opinions are superior to those around you, and so never take the advice of others? Are you slow to make changes even if they are in the best Interest of the company? if you answered “yes” to most of these questions. you may have a fixed mindset.
Being honest with yourself about a rigid attitude is the first step to improving your business’ profits The next is to ask for help from a mentor, business coach, or from people on your team who have shown to be forward thinking. Read what other businesses in your field are doing. Think there are solutions and there will be.
When your company is in a difficult situation, do not make ice-break decisions regarding your business. The best thing you can do for your business is not to panic keep a level head. If its hard for many business owners to set aside their emotions when it comes to their business because they see it as an extension of themselves. However, you really need to do that in order to make good decisions for the business, which Is a completely separate entity from you Keep that idea in the forefront of your mind, your business has its own identity, and decisions need to be made on what is good for it.
So, with your new flexible mindset realize that the economy is never stagnant no matter how long a downturn is. The economy Is always moving and while tt is down now, It will cane back up. Use this time as a learning experience to get to know more what your business is about and look for other sources of revenue. Honestly approach the problems your company is facing. Make a list of them and begin to look for solutions. There is a wealth of Internet resources for business owners tap Into them. It is not easy to re-engineer a fixed mindset, but with honest self-reflection and assistance of a supportive team it can be done.
Build a Respectable Reputation
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you must be someone people can trust. You can’t and shouldn’t manipulate people Into trusting you, however. Let your actions speak for you. Conduct business in an ethical and respectable manner and you’ll eventually develop a reputation you can leverage into better relationships and better deals.
The pop-culture Image of a savvy businessman will often Involve a degree of dishonesty and double-talk. This is In flagrant disregard of reality — if an Investor can’t trust you, they won’t buy into your business. If at any point you are tempted to lie or mislead anyone, whether it’s a customer, a partner, or an employee, resist. Being tempted is okay and human. Giving in to the temptation is not. Even a small lie can serve as precedent for distrust.
Your Word is Your Bond
Be careful with any promise you make, because people are going to remember If you break it. Any forgotten or ignored commitments will quickly mark you as someone who cannot be trusted, whether It’s failure to meet a quota or to provide required services. For start-ups, your word is all people have to judge you. You don’t have the luxury of a line of satisfied customers and a strong brand to dissuade the idea that you’re untrustworthy. One broken promise can result in negative reviews spread all over the Internet, which can doom your company before it really gets started.
There will be times when you, for one reason or another, will be forced to break your commitments. Complications happen. What you should do in these instances is to inform all relevant parties ahead of time. While It won’t prevent all of the negative emotion, it will show that you’re upfront about what’s overlapping and you’re doing about it.
You are going to fail. The company night not fail, the project as a whole might not fall, but there will be little bumps In the road where you’ll trip and fall. Successful entrepreneurs will not only learn from mistakes, they’ll be able to admit that they made those mistakes. Mistakes can damage your reputation, but they won’t deal as much damage as being discovered as someone who covers up even ignores these mistakes. Take responsibility for them, as hard as it may be at times, and focus on solving the problem.
Be on Time
Punctuality is the most basic representation of dependability. If you can make it to meetings ahead of or on time, clients will come to realize that they can rely on you. It doesn’t stop at meetings — deliverable could be sent out on time and within the agreed budget. Talent and charm can only go so far. After a few late deliveries you’ll find your company bleeding customers. Plan to arrive ahead of time for meetings Spend that time composing yourself by having a drink or going to the bathroom. You can even use that time to start conversations with other meeting-goers.
Mind Your Language and Tone
As with all things, you must choose your words carefully. Profanity and foul words have no place In a professional settings. Use of such language presents you as someone who lacks sell. control. At worst, it an present you as uneducated and can undermine any respect or trust that people may have.
Give people no reason to refuse to work with you. If at any point you find your temper getting the better of you, excuse yourself and leave the situation. They’ll know you’re angry, but that’s okay. You’re not trying to hide your emotion and you are likely angry for a good reason. All you want here is to express it in the proper manner.
Learn to Handle Conflict
Conflict Is inevitable, but you don’t have to be a jerk about It. Entrepreneurs are often strong-willed individuals, and that kind of personality lends itself to clashes with others. Customers are going to start fights, employees are going to have complaints, and partners will disagree with certain aspects of the business. How you handle all of these will show them who you are, and you don’t want them to view you as an enemy.
Maintain your composure
Don’t let anger get to your head. Focus on solutions instead of expressing yourself. There will be time to decompress later. Solve the problem and if you can’t, admit it. Who you are makes an impact on your success as an entrepreneur, whether you like It or not. If you already have the honesty and integrity rewired to run an ethical business, just make sure that you don’t stray from the path. If you think that you give into your unethical urges and emotions often enough, then you have some work to do.
Making a Massive Community
One of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur is to build a strong and loyal community. These are the people who’ll comprise return business and give your start-up a consistent revenue stream, so you’ll want this to be as big as possible. Here’s few pointers…
Give Your Company Personality
Take a look at YouTube. More often than not, the most successful chamels are personality driven. Sure, they may have gotten their start from a clever video that went viral, but if she personality that made people subscribe and watch other videos Corporations both large and small can look like cold, faceless entities who are just looking to make a buck off their consumers
Avoid that problem by giving your company personality. This can be done a number of ways, from making sure that the start-up’s branding is relatable to putting your face out there as a representative of the company. Make everything about your company seem warm. How you do that Is a discussion for you and your marketing team.
Set High Standards
Growing a large community isn’t enough — you most make are the majority of the community comprises of the right people. Setting high standards is a great way to help make that happen. Get moderators to handle the online aspect of your communities and customer representatives who can that with your fans
Tell them to hold your customers to a lighter standard, which means making sure that everyone behaves This will make sure that you keep the cream of the crop in your community, which is important as they’re the people who’ll give you word-of-mouth marketing.
It’s tempting to go for the lowest common denominator and just include everyone you can, but in a way your community represents the kind of company you are. Hold the people in your community to a high standard and you’ll help create a group of people who are polite and welcoming. Let everyone in and you may end up with a cesspool of bullies and jerks who alienate everyone who tries to join, which can result in limited growth.
Have your representatives focus on making a friendly and trustworthy community. That means paying attention to the language they use, as well as keeping a close eye on how the community behaves. That doesn’t mean having to walk away from every conversation that might be controversial -it just means being aware that comfort is a priority.
Engage Their Senses
Growing a community involves more than having a great product and communication. It Involves engaging every sense that you can and immersing them in the value of your product. If you running a cleaning service, make sure that your offices are nice and neat Food business? Give the customer every opportunity to taste and smell your products so that they’ll remember them long after they’ve left the building.
You an even bring this to your online community. Publish videos revolving around your product. If you’re a food service, show people the tastiest part of food preparation. Focus on the sound of the pan frying a steak or have the narrator focus on how delicious it’ll be. Make them feel like they’re right there, waiting to be served. Immerse them In the product. Naturally, you won’t be able to apply all of these immediately. You’re an entrepreneur and there’s a lot to do. Start with the one your company can handled with the least amount of effort and work from there. Before long, you’ll have a community other start-ups will envy.
Collaborate with the Community
As an entrepreneur, you have to be aware of your limitations. You don’t know and can’t do everything, so you hire employees who can fill in your weaknesses and fulfill roles. Here’s the thing- first of all, people don’t have to work for you to give you good ideas. Secondly, there’s no one who can tell you what the end user wants than the end user himself.
So start collaborating with the community. Ask them what they want to see. Have discussions and votes regarding your product, and what direction you can take. The sky’s the limit — you can also have discussions on what your product can theoretically do and then see If it’s actually possible. This gives your community a sense of ownership over the product, which Increases their loyalty, and can attract more people into the fold because they want to be heard.