The founders of some of the most successful companies in history have turned them into Fortune 500 companies. Entrepreneurs built American Express, 3M Boeing, Citicorp, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott International, Merck Marriott International, Marriott International, and Marriott International.
These retirees probably remember when marketing strategies were flexible and could be changed on a dime. Having four signatures, your firstborn child, or approval committees with hundreds of members wasn’t necessary to advance a marketing strategy. Small businesses still use this kind of responsive, agile marketing.
Small businesses in the US represent more than 80%, employ more than half of the workforce, and create 66% of new net jobs.
Know the Business Inside Out
Entrepreneurs are the best people to understand how businesses work.
They create a new product or service.
The market research team tests it.
They develop marketing, advertising, and PR plans to educate the public about their product or service.
Salespeople can convince someone to buy the product or service.
Their responsibility is to deliver the product or service (logistics packaging and customer service).
The satisfaction levels are measured (more research).
They create pricing plans, billing, and collection systems.
They know and see their entire operation and how each part affects the others. How many of us can see so deeply into our organizations? Would we be able to see so deeply into our organizations?
Entrepreneurs have a unique perspective on the world. Diverse perspectives encourage innovation. Many mom-and-pop businesses in a community have been successful at growing their business. It doesn’t have to be a business in your industry. It shouldn’t be. Find and work with these entrepreneurs.
Asking successful entrepreneurs to speak in front of your staff, executive team, and board is a great way to get them involved. Entrepreneurs are adaptable; they can quickly adapt to market conditions and know how to thrive in any situation.
Consider adding entrepreneurs to your board.
Include an entrepreneur in your mastermind group.
Bring them in to help you with a difficult situation and see what they can do.
Search for people with a proven track record of achievement. It’s fascinating to see what someone with “street smarts” but little knowledge of your field would do.
A Dose Entrepreneurial Spirit
In 1971, 16 colleges and graduate programs only offered entrepreneurship courses. Today, hundreds of universities offer entrepreneurship programs and majors. You can take a class to learn how to apply what you have learned in your job.