Market Like an Entrepreneur
Seems you can’t swing a coffee stirrer without hitting an entrepreneur.
The barista who hands me my latte every morning is a CEO. “This coffee gig is just to pay the bills,” he said. “I’m launching my start-up in three months; I guarantee it’s gonna make the world a better place!” He also said something about “totally crushing it” that sounded vaguely threatening, so I left.
I admired his spirit, though.
I believe retail marketers should all be entrepreneurs, at least in our heads and hearts. It’s not about the size of the company; entrepreneurship is about attitude. It is a potent combination of an irrepressible need to create something and a relentless dedication to succeed. Entrepreneurs refuse to accept failure.
Extreme levels of confidence and ambition distinguish an entrepreneur from everyone else. The true entrepreneur is naturally willing – even eager – to assume risks in order to develop business ideas.
Does this sound like you? Here is a completely unscientific quiz to determine your entrepreneur-ity (entrepreneur-ness? entrepreneur-ocity?):
- Do you have unwavering faith that you can devise better, quicker and cheaper ways of doing things?
- Do you always having solutions in mind for any complexities, along with the ability to overcome challenges effortlessly?
- Are you optimistic about the prospects of your venture?
- Are you an independent thinker?
- Do you have high energy levels, unwavering mental stamina and internal motivation?
- Are you enthusiastic about living for and investing in the future?
- Are you willing to experiment and have a penchant for creative thinking?
If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you have an entrepreneurial spirit. (Or you are just humoring me, for which I offer my deep thanks.)
If there were a couple of “nos” among your responses, read on to discover ways to activate entrepreneurialism to amp up your retail marketing skills. (Because of their ambition, enthusiasm, curiosity and high energy levels, I assume the “all yes” people will keep reading.)
Entrepreneurial marketing is an opportunity-focused communications approach that brings together the innovation, risk-taking and creativity of enterprise with the market understanding and customer-orientation of traditional marketing. It is agile, responsive and fearlessly creative.
Here are eight ways to market like an entrepreneur:
- Move quickly and proactively with ideas, and be in regular and close contact with customers to understand their changing needs and preferences.
- Thrive on developing and launching new ideas using instinct and intuition.
- Test concepts live in the marketplace, using trial and error.
- Maintain an extensive personal network of contacts and use it to develop and adapt marketing activities. Make a major investment in building relationships rather than acquaintances.
- Use peers and business contacts to sound out ideas and gather information and knowledge.
- Understand the importance of informal conversation.
- Seek to be different and to differentiate through innovation. Seize and act on opportunities quickly.
- Build bold alliances to break into new markets. Don’t be afraid to collaborate with competitors.