By: Jermaine Wright|
Most people are fascinated with the business of entrepreneurship. It would be hard-pressed to go to a business seminar or be tuned in to the business media and not be inundated with talk of profit margins, annual earnings and the big market cap.
However, entrepreneurship is not all about business. In fact, it is, in large part, about positively influencing and inspiring the community and the future generation to greater heights.
Entrepreneurs are resources in their own right. The weight of their importance cannot be measured in purely monetary terms. So are their responsibilities.
Entrepreneurs are responsible for everything pretty much, unlike the typical worker, who, in the typical 9-5 is just responsible for doing their jobs and collecting their paychecks.
Sure the business operation is paramount but a good entrepreneur’s responsibilities stretch beyond the business of the business.
Vikki Hankins, who owns and operates a multimedia company, highlights three key responsibilities that entrepreneurs should take ownership of.
Success in today’s world is mostly measured solely in monetary terms which has contributed to the moral decay of the society. It would help if people who are looked up to in the public domain such as entrepreneurs have a strong character that can be a beacon of hope and a positive influence on the younger generation.
One particular entrepreneur sees positive influence as her biggest reward from entrepreneurship.
When made the fateful leap into entrepreneurship almost a decade ago with a vision looking to bridge the gap she ran into some challenges as all entrepreneurs do. But she had some fulfilling rewards. One of which is the reward of inspiring others.
“The greatest thing for me is the reward. Obviously, I’m in business for profit but greater than that is putting smiles on my customers’ faces, the fulfillment, making dreams come through and inspiring people. There is no better feeling as an entrepreneur than seeing the positive influence I have on my clients and customers
Like the caretaker who first has to take care of their self before they can properly take care of others, in order for entrepreneurs to inspire, they themselves have to be inspired.
“I inspire others but I too need to be inspired so in order for me to be happy and keep going I have to find ways to inspire myself. I make sure I exercise, listen to some good music or listen to other successful entrepreneurs for inspiration and to keep myself motivated.
Motivating your team
Speaking of motivation, the workers need more motivation than business owners especially if they are not shareholders in the particular company.
In this society, no incentive can lead to little to no motivation which in most cases lead to little to no work and a lot of headaches for entrepreneurs.
Keeping your team motivated is quite but it has to be a major priority for your business to succeed.
People work harder and are more motivated when they are passionate about something. Thus it is the responsibility of the entrepreneur, yes not some manager or supervisor, to make sure the team is being led towards a common goal.
Operating in an honest and transparent way will go a far way in making them feel valued. Perhaps even more than honesty and transparency, providing incentives to your team members motivates them even more.
There are several other motivational techniques that typically work but these are the two main ones that do the trick for Hankins.
“It is very important that an entrepreneur finds ways of keeping their team motivated through incentives and sharing with them some of the inside things that are happening.”
If you are an astute entrepreneur it’s likely you have seen or heard the cautionary tales of companies and entrepreneurs who ultimately failed because they failed to evolve.
Innovation has claimed its fair share of victims, who were either too slow to appreciate the magnitude of the oncoming change or too blinded by past successes to look to the future. Blockbuster, Kodak and MySpace are a few that stand out.
According to Charles Darwin: “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”
Darwin made that statement almost two hundred years ago when he observed how species evolve and it still applies to this day.
Technology will continue to change and set the pace for industries so companies face evolving with technology or going extinct.
Hankins, an experienced entrepreneur is fully cognizant of that.
“Over the years what I’ve found is that as an entrepreneur you’ll constantly find yourself, especially if you are growing, developing more areas of your business and improving your systems. So keeping up with the trends, particularly with technology moving as fast as it is is crucial,” Hankins informed.
So what is the key to keeping up with the trends?
Research research research, according to Hankins.
‘Self-directed learning’ is crucial for entrepreneurs especially those who run SMEs (Small or Medium Enterprise) and can’t afford R & D (Research and Developments) departments like the big Fortune 500 companies.
“Research should become your middle name. Keep doing test trials to see what works and what doesn’t work, what people want and don’t want. Finding gout which software, which cloud or payment service is best….whichever phase you are in your business it critical to keep abreast by doing extensive research.”