Before you launched your startup, you may have had amazing ideas about how you would improve on processes and activities that you have seen in previous salaried or contract positions.
While you certainly want to improve in feasible areas, the reality is that many successful companies have spent considerable time and energy refining their processes and operations over the years. With this in mind, you do not necessarily have to recreate the proverbial wheel when launching a new startup. Here are some valuable lessons from the corporate world you can use in your small business.
1. Choose Your Associates Wisely
Some entrepreneurs try to wear as many hats as possible to keep overhead low, but there is true value in hiring skilled, highly educated workers to join your team. You may have numerous applicants to choose from, and you should narrow down the options based on education and skills as well as on passion for what your organization is focused on accomplishing.
Remember that it is acceptable and even beneficial to hire new associates who are smarter than you in key areas, and this is because you can benefit from their expertise.
When hiring new employees, find team members who have the ability to think independently and creatively. Ideally, these individuals will have the confidence to share their great ideas with you. Each member of your team should inspire and motivate others in different ways rather than create negative energy.
2. Learn from Failure, Not Only Success
An entrepreneurial or professional failure can seem like the end of the world in a way. Some people take it as a sign that they simply were not cut out for this line of work or that they do not have what it takes.
However, the most successful entrepreneurs in the world today have each experienced failures at some point. Look at these failures as lessons and learning opportunities. Rather than beat yourself up about failing, find the silver lining.
Now you know what does not work and why, and you can improve on your effort with your next attempt. More than that, your failure may help you to build confidence and character, and these are valuable traits for an entrepreneur to have.
Each failure can teach one or more unique lessons. For example, some lessons may teach you how to better manage your funds. Others may teach you how to be more compassionate or confident. They may help you to eliminate fair weather friends or those with a hidden agenda and find those who are truly supportive of your efforts. These are only a few of the many ways that failure can improve your future efforts.
3. Be Open to Challenges and Changes
When you examine what successful corporations have done over the years to reach new levels of success with their efforts, you will find that the most successful companies have not mimicked the efforts of others. Instead, they have been bold and creative enough to try a different approach, innovate new features in products and more.
Remember that what worked for a business a decade ago may no longer meet the changing needs and desires of your target audience. Therefore, while you may learn how to successfully operate, innovate products and more, remember the benefits associated with going a step further and bringing beneficial change to your own efforts in thoughtful ways.
One excellent example relates to retail businesses. Retail businesses have had to adjust to online shopping in various ways in order to meet the needs of today’s consumers. This online shopping strategy even relates to the antique business and collectibles, an example of a rather traditional and even stagnant business model. However, the reality is that successful antique shops now offer online shopping in the same way that other retail stores do. Traditions are changing. Make sure you’re not falling behind.
4. Your Attitude is Half the Battle
Focusing on the efforts of entrepreneurs with product innovations and processes is important, but you also should focus on their individual mentalities and thought processes.
Successful entrepreneurs and business owners have historically been very positive and upbeat. Even when the going gets tough, they remain positive and level-headed.
All businesses have ups and downs, and the most successful business professionals understand that this is simply the nature of business. They roll with the punches rather than allow their emotions to get tied to the roller coaster of business activities and operations.
If your stress level rises and you begin to show signs of negativity, this can relay to your customers, clients and employees. Essentially, you can foster ill will that can negatively affect sales, motivation, productivity and more. In this way, your attitude may actually further contribute to the downswing that your business is currently experiencing.
The best idea is to focus on your goals and avoid letting minor dips bring you down. Be bold and decisive with your efforts. Always focus on being proactive rather than reactive so that you can steer your company to success. Furthermore, do not let the emotions of a downturn or dip prevent you from thinking big and moving forward with your grand vision.
As you can see, the lessons that you can learn from established corporations relate to your operational and management style. You certainly do not want to precisely mimic a product or service that is already available in the marketplace. However, you can incorporate successful managerial styles, hiring strategies and more to promote the ultimate success of your venture.
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Michelle Laurey is a freelance writer who enjoys fitness, relaxing in the fresh air, trying to live a healthy life and daydreaming about visiting new places (and actually visiting them). Her best ideas and problem solutions appear while she’s riding her bicycle. You can reach her via Twitter.