March is the month of celebrating women and last week on the AgTechXChange we featured facts, information, and resources about the challenges facing women entrepreneurs. However, you don’t need to be a CEO at a startup or one of the first employees at a quickly growing business to apply the thinking, strategy, and creativity of an entrepreneur. The hallmarks of an entrepreneur - business acumen, strong leadership skills, an ability to innovate and engineer new ideas – are also gender neutral.
So, how can you apply entrepreneurial thinking to your job regardless of title, rank, gender, or the size of your organization? Here are some tips from the AgTechXChange team:
Know your customer: Your customer is a critical driver of your business’ success. After all, they decide whether or not to purchase the products and services you are selling. You might think you know them – but do you really? Take some time to read about your customers, to understand any data and information that has been collected about them, and to visit the places where they shop.
Ask for input: You know that phrase “two heads are better than one”? Entrepreneurs understand that they don’t know or see everything, so they ask for other perspectives, engage their colleagues, staff, friends, and family about their ideas, and integrate inputs that make them even stronger. So, follow suit: know what you don’t know, and crowdsource the information from trusted colleagues, friends, and experts (especially if they think differently than you!).
Focus and prioritize: We’ve seen dynamic entrepreneurs and CEOs get distracted by developing new product lines before existing ones take off. Spreading yourself too thin over too many big projects can get in the way of doing a few of them really well. As an employee, make sure your projects fit within the needs of the company by talking to your supervisor/boss and asking for input from her/him, and other colleagues, along the way.
Manage your time wisely: Often, longer term projects with higher overall value to your organization’s bottom line can be sidetracked by urgent, one-off tasks. While you can’t stop doing those tasks, you can prioritize giving dedicated time to the most important ones.
Get inspired: New ideas spring forth from even the most unrelated of activities – from picnicking in a park to visiting a museum. So don’t forget to nurture your hobbies: you never know how they will inspire a new or better idea! Read articles from outside your sector and make an effort to make friends with people who are different than you!
Let us know how it goes! Do you need inspiration? Check out these tools for getting to know your customer and improving your communications, time management, and more!