Thinking Like A Business Owner, Even If You Don’t Own The Business, Propels Enterprise Success
Several years ago, I made the transition from business owner to employee of an enterprise organization. I quickly learned that while some aspects of working in a large enterprise were different, much of what I learned launching and growing my business applied well in my new day-to-day.
One aspect of my previous experience that applied exceptionally well was my ownership mindset. Even though the enterprise wasn't my own business, treating it similar to how I treated my own business was highly advantageous for the organization and me as an employee working within it.
Several years into my tenure with the company I continue to leverage an ownership mindset to propel success. In fact, having an ownership mindset is one of the biggest factors I attribute to my strong track record of success. Here are a few ways I approach each day using this impactful state of mind.
Treat Every Dollar Like Its Your Own
As an entrepreneur, you have "skin in the game", meaning you have made a personal investment of your own money in the company. Having your own money at stake makes investment decisions more thoughtful and personal. Clarity around where to invest is often guided by where you'll get the most return for your dollar.
Investment decisions within an enterprise shouldn't be any different. Even if your personal money isn't at stake, every decision should be as thoughtful as if it were. Return on investment should still be your guiding light. Frivolous spending on nice to haves and pet projects should be avoided. Encouraging others to also invest wisely should be a top priority.
Think Lean To Do More With Less
Premium technology and resources are often not affordable options for business owners. Instead of investing large sums of money on top tier products and services, business owners find ways to get the same result as premium options at a fraction of the cost.
More expensive does not always translate to better. Explore cost effective options and compare them against the premium options. You'll often find that there is an affordable option that meets your need and doesn't break the bank.
Focus On The Result, Not The Effort
Results matter when you’re a business owner. While it's fun to work on growing your business, it's important to continuously achieve results or you'll quickly be out of business.
As an enterprise employee it can be easy to get caught up spending the majority of your time working on the things you enjoy most. To avoid this misstep, set goals and timelines and be disciplined to achieve target outcomes; then move on.
The great part of continuously achieving outcomes is that you'll always have something new to take on, keeping work new and fun.
See Challenges As Opportunities
In a services business, client's challenges are an opportunity to assist and delivery value. Without the challenges clients encounter it would not be possible to grow your business.
Challenges in an enterprise should be viewed from a similar perspective. Rather than see challenges as annoying or frustrating, treat each challenge you encounter as an opportunity to learn and demonstrate how else you add value in your organization.
Think Beyond Your Role and Function
The impact of decisions is clear in a small business. Good and bad decisions create a ripple effect across functions that directly affect the performance of the business. Business owners quickly learn to assess the impact of their decisions across functions.
While the impact of decisions across functions is not always visible in an enterprise, a similar ripple effect occurs. To ensure your decisions enable positive outcomes, assess the outcome of your decision beyond your individual role.
The Clients You Know By Name Are Your Best Clients
It's great to win new clients, but it's important not to lose focus of your existing clients in the pursuit of new ones. As a business owner, I learned that by prioritizing the clients you already have you reinforce your revenue streams and increase sales through repeat business, faster than the time it takes to win new clients.
Enterprises are fundamentally the same when it comes to growing the business. Place a priority on the organizations and people that you serve and work hard to add new clients in parallel. Just keep in mind that your existing clients are your most important clients.
Adopting an ownership mindset is a great way to propel success in enterprise organizations. Even if you don’t have your own money invested, treating decisions as if you do sets you and the enterprise up for success. Regardless of if you have previous experience owning a business, you still can adopt these important principles.
Treat every dollar like it’s your own to invest intelligently. Do more with less to create lean infrastructure and operations. Focus on the result, not the effort, to consistently deliver value. See challenges as opportunities to demonstrate the many ways you add value. Think beyond your role and function to make the greatest impact. Treat existing clients as your most important clients to bolster loyalty and the bottom line.
Adopt these powerful principles and you will achieve massive success in your enterprise organization.
Ask These Questions
- Are my investments lean and material to priorities?
- What are the results I need to achieve?
- What client challenges offer opportunities?
- How does my decision impact each function?
- Which client relationships are highest priority?
About John Fildes
I grow the bottom line by connecting marketing to business strategy. By leveraging powerful positioning, content marketing, and client insights, I help CEOs drive qualitative and quantitative results at scale.
I've built an amazing network of incredibly talented people over the years. What I've appreciated most is those who have invested in me, mentored me, and helped me become the talented professional I am today. I pay it forward by doing the same for other high performing professionals and entrepreneurs.
All views are my own and not those of my current or prior employers.