1. It is so cheap to become an entrepreneur these days… Technology makes it possible to work from wherever you want. Mirko Borsche, graphic design/media, Munich. With mobile broadband and an inexpensive laptop, you can now do some of your work at your clients’ offices. Showing a client what it is you actually do makes it more real and tangible, inspiring trust and loyalty. Mobility also enables you to service clients much further afield. Could you take your business overseas? Don’t underestimate working at cafés either. A different perspective, white noise, good energy and movement can really kick-start the creative juices.
2. I realised we had lost a sense of community in cities… I had no idea if it would work. I just wanted to talk to people… I love … getting to know my customers. Motoki Ito, Motoya Espresso Express coffee vans, TokyoYour ability to open your front door, genuinely connect with your customers and relate to them as people is probably your single most valuable sales tool. It applies as much to dentists as it does café owners. Being part of your community helps grow a loyal clientele and build trust through your actions – something that’s hard to do with PR and marketing alone. And remember, your community might be a collection of like-minded but dispersed individuals located around the world.
3. Sometimes the artist wants to show pieces that are impossible to sell, but it’s important for the gallery to have a blend of more conceptual and more saleable stuff. Eduardo Leme, Galeria Leme, contemporary art dealer, Sao PauloSuccessful business owners understand that it’s not just about making money. If you base all your decisions solely on the bottom line, you’ll end up with a one-dimensional business. Would you choose to work with a business whose sole interest is making money?
4. The beauty of running a small business is that there’s transparency here. Patrick Grant, Norton & Sons, tailors, LondonNo business can survive without trust and respect. From customers to employees and suppliers, transparency (openness, authenticity) is the prerequisite for building trust.
Want more articles like this? Check out the work motivation section.
5. Our interest in the craft motivated us… We definitely didn’t think of it as a business. Rebecca Gilbert, Brian and Eric Bagdonas. Stumptown Printers, OregonYour passion for what you do makes learning and improvement effortless. It keeps you motivated through the tough times. Most importantly, it is the very basis of the invaluable emotional depth of your brand. Enthusiasm is a powerful attractor. Customers want to work with someone who cares deeply about their craft.
6. We’ve never deliberately sought to grow. Paul Owen and Stuart Vokes, Owen and Vokes architects, BrisbaneI have met many business owners who think they ”should” grow their business. Growth needs to be considered carefully, not accepted as a matter of course. Diverting your energies from the passion that led you to start the business may negatively affect the sustainability of both your business and your happiness!
7. Passion and playfulness are absolutely key. If you don’t have those don’t do it. Gun Novak, Face Stockholm, cosmetics, SwedenBusiness is hard work. You may as well have some fun. Why start a business doing something you don’t enjoy? Playfulness is also critical to innovation and creativity. Without playfulness – and the attendant temporary suspension of rules – there can be no new ideas. No what-ifs. No “Wows”! Serious businesses often come across as seriously boring!
8. I only sign artists I think I can become friends with. Simon Raymonde, Bella Union Records, LondonOne of the joys of being a soloist is the ability to pick and choose your customers. Do you actually use this gift? Life is so much easier if we only work with people who “get” us. The work flows naturally and the outcomes are better. And that leads to great word-of-mouth referrals. What’s not to like? Got an inspirational business quote that you come back to again and again? Inspire all of us by sharing it below.
Reference: Monocle, November 2009, Issue 28, Volume 03]]>