8 Traits of Extraordinary Small Business Owners
As a social media management company we encounter our fair share of ordinary business owners and a few extraordinary small business entities that continue to thrive while others barely survive. For example, it’s not uncommon to receive a request for more information from a business owner searching for new and exciting ways to connect with clients but the questions and comments that take place during the course of an initial conversation say a lot about each prospective business. It’s often those differences which make the most difference in the long run – differences that show up in the bottom line. Today we are going to talk about 3 traits of extraordinary small business owners and how social media marketing is the perfect fit for this new generation of entrepreneurs.
A New Breed of Business
For ever new technology, a combination of luck, timing and originality must all be in place. The same could be said for business owners; there is a time and place for different modes of marketing, different managerial styles and even different mindsets. Today all of those have converged to create one of the most radical transformations in the way business is conducted, marketing and valued in the minds of clients, staff and investors alike. Especially in the social media management field, it becomes abundantly clear which business owners have adapted to these 8 traits and which haven’t:
Trait #1 – View business as an ecosystem not a battlefield. The new breed of social small business owners don’t have an “us versus them” mentality but rather tap into the full potential of their very best branding techniques…the voice of the consumer. Rather than relinquishing clients to the sidelines, the use testimonials, teams and reviews as organic methods to grow interest and increase exposure.
Trait #2 – View the company as a community not a commodity. This is a big concept that is beginning to gain ground among consumers; the idea that business has a social responsibility toward clients, the community and the entire of creation. More and more people are voting their conscience by spending hard earned dollars with companies that represent their beliefs and values. Likewise, business owners that understand the client as part of a shared value or interest system will provide better choices in information, access and collaborative exchange among clients. To build a better company, begin by building a better community…and there isn’t any place better suited to start than social media marketing.
Trait #3 – View leadership as a service not ego trip. Long gone are the days when a manager or leader simply sat on the sidelines dictating their wishes to peons below. Instead, staff members are urged to take ownership of various departments in order to solve problems and interact with clients in a more meaningful manner. Likewise, managers and leaders are increasingly held to higher levels of accountability by media and clients alike. For example, it’s not uncommon to see a letter from Amazon.com CEO Bezo’s whenever a major initiative or other item of interest to the overall community is released. Interaction at all levels inspires clients to feel closer to the entire company and increases the likelihood of positive association and sharing.
Trait #4 – View of the future vision rather than past problems. This is an especially challenging area for many small business owners especially after a tough economy but extraordinary small business owners are forward thinking visionaries inspired by opportunity rather than limited by the fear of the past. Yes – sometimes mistakes are made but rather than allow those mistakes or the fear of the unknown to immobilize progress, use a vision of the future to inspire and motivate instead. It’s perhaps one of the most important differentiations between business owners that invest heavily in social media marketing during tough economic times versus those that sit on the sidelines waiting for things to get better before they commit. One is proactive and the other is reactive. Which are you?
Trait #5 – View change as an opportunity not source of pain. What is your reaction to change? Some people thrive on it while others despite it. One thing is certain – change will come whether you are prepared for it or not. Unfortunately, the tendency for most people is to wait it out until others pave the way…of course, the early bird gets the worm especially when it comes to new trends. For example, Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social media site on the Internet yet only a fraction of small business owners have taken the initiative to make their mark. Despite the potential to get in early on a highly popular social media site, most have instead opted to wait…often the very same people that lament not having taken the plunge to position their business on Facebook earlier. Remember, change = opportunity not pain…but only for those that are prepared. Those that fail to plan and prepare often encounter pain when FORCED to finally change and only then because of a lack of choice, planning and preparation.
Trait #6 – View technology as empowering not a necessary evil. All too often there is a tendency among small business owners to balk at the idea of harnessing technology to handle many of the most mundane tasks especially related to social media marketing. It’s often a question of skill or the perception of technology as being hard to master and difficult to understand. While that may have been the case in the early days of the Internet, automation has come a long way since then. There isn’t any reason to fear being taken advantage of, not being able to understand the automation or other problems commonly encountered in the past. In fact, automation is a great way to reduce costs and increase outreach.
Trait # 7 – View staff as assets not expendables. Allowing workers to do what they do best inspire fun, great idea and a sense of pride in the entire environment. Whether full-time, part-time, independent contractors or some other arrangement, great bosses tend to work collaboratively with others rather than establish a me/them mentality.
Trait #8 – View work as fun or meaningful not a life sentence of drudgery. As a social media management firm, we caution every client on the use of proper communication…how you feel about a client, company change or other situations is likely to show up in the most unexpected ways! If you don’t view the job, your interaction with clients or other facets of business as fun – don’t be surprised to find people less than enthusiastic to interact with you online!