Growing up, we have always been told that attitude determines your altitude. Nowhere is this truer than in business. Almost everyone I know aspires to be an entrepreneur and desires to start something of their own. But most of us are never willing to do what it takes so as to start or succeed in business.
For my first article today, let’s talk about having the right attitude as an entrepreneur. This goes both to aspiring and those already in business.
Firstly, let’s look at procrastination. From having dreams and plans that are always pushed forward to a later date leaves none accomplished. We waste precious time and lose great opportunities by always pushing everything to tomorrow. Some of us procrastinate till a market is flooded whilst we could have been pace setters. Also as a result of procrastination, others lose vital networking opportunities due to lack of preparedness.
My advice to overcome this is to set and take small baby steps that together build up to a big goal. If you want to market your products on social media you could start by writing down your products list and pricing, next design a catalogue then thereafter come up with content and start posting your content. Breaking down goals into small steps lessens pressure on you and remember, the secret of getting ahead is starting.
Secondly, let’s look at the quitters’ attitude. We start something great, face challenges and then just quit. The business landscape is always challenging and every day comes with new complicated issues that have to be dealt with. It is at this stage that the urge to quit sets in. You start declining orders on the excuse of being “busy” and without noticing you run out of business.
To overcome this, set targets for the business that you have to meet. Holding yourself to set targets will motivate you to wake up early daily knowing what needs to be done.
Thirdly, let’s look at what I would like to call “the entitlement attitude.” This begins by thinking that the world owes you everything and everything must be about you. This, pushes your clients and stakeholders away, hence putting you out of business.
Bad service provision has become a cancer in the Zimbabwean corporate sector and entrepreneurs are slowly embracing it. Yes you are solving a problem, but do it in an efficient way such that the customer enjoys coming back tomorrow. The state of our economy has relegated good services to the side-lines as some business now regard clients as non-essential to their operations.
As a Start-Up and or SME never ever fall into this trap under any circumstance. Always treat each and every customer like royalty. One of the strongest marketing tool is word of mouth and that travels like the wind. Whenever I am searching for a service from a plumber to a cake supplier, I rely on reviews from friends and family. Now carry over this concept and make customers ambassadors of your brand because of the pride associated with them doing business with you. This will cost you nothing but goes a long way in building your brand. Another important thing to do is to consider yourself as a brand and carry yourself accordingly.
Finally carry yourself with professionalism and desist from ‘Musiyamwa’ tendencies. We have all heard this term and it carries with it connotations of poor quality and bad service. Run way from being labelled a ‘musiyamwa’ enterprise by offering good service. Where you fail to meet agreed timelines, communicate effectively with your clients and stakeholders. If you can not meet an order, do not lie but rather tell the truth and engage your clients in trying to come up with a feasible solution that works for all of you.
The right attitude will get you places in life. Act accordingly.
Till next week