While most entrepreneurs invest considerable resources to acquire the knowledge-based and functional skills needed to grow a business, not all entrepreneurs put as much effort into cultivating a personal entrepreneurial style to complement their business as it grows.
As a business leader, you owe it to yourself and your business to cultivate a personal entrepreneurial style that authentically complements your business and helps you set your products and services apart from the crowd. As you develop your entrepreneurial style, you will notice that your brand becomes more clearly defined. You become known for being a certain “way,” and people look forward experiencing this “way” every time they come into contact with you.
One of the greatest things about entrepreneurship is that you get to decide what you want to be known as and for. You get to decide what kind of personal entrepreneurial style you will have. Will you be sarcastic and outspoken with a wild sense of humor? Will you be soft spoken and more on the quiet side? Will you be the girl with a frickin' attitude? Here are a few things you can do to cultivate your own personal entrepreneurial style.
1. Be consistent with a personal touch
Pick 2 or 3 things to do regularly that add a personal touch to your business. It could be packaging orders with a personal handwritten note, labeling each product by hand or stamp with a number, date of manufacture and/or the name of the Maker, or including a limited edition sample in each order you ship. Or maybe you like to include a curse word in the title of nearly every single blog post you write. No judgement. It's up to you.
Consider Juniper Ridge, the company that creates wilderness perfume from oils they personally extract from native plant sources. The company includes a product harvest number on each bottle so you can see exactly when and where the oils in the perfume were extracted. Their entrepreneurial style is rugged and wild.
You'll encounter another unique style when you connect with our member, Danielle Vincent, over at Outlaw Soaps. There is nothing understated about her branding, which is reminiscent of all things western and, well, expletive-filled. You will never see anything demure, frilly, soft spoken or subtle about her products or the way she markets them. Her style is consistent, in your face, repetitive and very personal, and that's why people love her and her products. Each reflects and reinforces the other.
2. Create a mission statement
No business should be caught without a core mission statement. Your mission statement should capsulize your business goals and inspire people to conduct business with you. It also encourages people who work with and for you to conduct your business affairs in a manner that is consistent with your mission.
My mission for the Indie Business Network is:
To ensure that no woman would ever feel like she cannot support herself and her family by starting a business selling things she makes.
It's pretty simple, and it's at the core of every single thing I do.
You will find that your mission statement serves as a wonderful reminder of why you are in business and is a great way to help you maintain your focus. It becomes a part of your entrepreneurial style. If you ever feel like you are spinning your wheels, working furiously but accomplishing nothing, take a moment to re-align your activities with your mission statement.
Donna Maria, Indie Business Network
3. Host Fun-Filled Events
Whether virtual or physical, events give your customers a chance to experience you in ways that are not possible otherwise. Events facilitate the type of deep and meaningful relationships that help people continue the experience that started when they purchased something from you.
Of course, many of your customers may not be able to attend your events, but that's OK. Invite them anyway … everyone loves an invitation, even if they must decline. After the event, you can send photos to those that were unable to attend, or post them to your blog, Instagram and Facebook page so everyone can feel involved and engaged. Even people that weren't there will feel a part of the event simply because you thought enough to invite them.
There are lots of other ways to cultivate your entrepreneurial style. These are just a few to get your creative juices flowing. In fact, it's not important how you do it. It's important thatyou do it. Go!
What is your personal entrepreneurial style? How do you cultivate it? How does it complement your business? I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments below, or share on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.