How we can align team, investors and customers to achieve entrepreneurial goal?
Most entrepreneurs start with a vision or a dream which are often too big and exist in his or her mind. The dream requires clarity and simplicity which can be achieved by consistent working on it and gaining maturing with regards to execution, strategy, and leadership. Stake holders (employees / investors / customers) are very smart people and very hard for entrepreneur to convince them to join in his or her mission. Unless there is great leadership in place, employees often will be disengaged with work; and entrepreneur might not get product or service what expected. Investors will not be convinced to put his or her money in project. Customers will be reluctant to put their money and trust on a new chap.
In this situation, entrepreneurs first create his or her credibility among stake holders by engaging with them. Doing tones of mistakes in handling these people and working towards aligning them for a common bigger goal to change the world. He or she learn psychology of stake holders and try to convince them, sorry inspire them in their language. It takes time but it’s possible only when entrepreneur understand stake holder psychology and inspire them to join his or her mission. Entrepreneur need to grow through self-assessment and analysis to obtain next level of maturity. Entrepreneur have to be master in his or her skills of leadership and execution to align stake holders.
For some entrepreneurs, it happens fast but for others, it can take hell lot of time before even they realize his or her mistakes. I am one of those later learners, who took over 8 years to even understand what’s going wrong and how to fix it. Here is some of my learning
Employees core goal: Goal: Safe, respectful, good salary, and good career growth
Employees are our main customers and therefore give respect and value (of course after RIGHT selection)
Take bold decisions (on long run higher power or god will take care of all my decision)
Stringent selection process
Know on how to discuss serious concerns with employees/customers through proper channel
Respond to customer/employees/investors asap (max 2 days)
Deliver on promises
Don’t promise emotionally which you will regret later
Don’t go down and react emotionally when someone criticize you or offend you because your work will make you great not critics
No back – biting about one employee to other employee
Focus on Employees/Investors/Customers growth and prioritize their profits over our own.
Not get harsh to employees even when you are frustrated but rather chose right solution
Don’t feel victim but rather become a front running servant of god and take control to fix problem.
Keep thick skin and do not react when someone criticize you or do bad-mouthing about you or your brand
Party and have fun for even a small success
Learn every day and read books
Feel, behave, act and communicate like great leaders
Go under employee’s skin and keep empathy for their goal in life
Not all employees are entrepreneurial mindset, and they are more into getting better job, better home, promotion and better position etc. and help them to achieve that.
Empower your customer and employees to go to next level in their success
Customers core goal: maximize value gain from technology/services and minimise cost
Value yourself and your product otherwise some customer can manipulate you (NDA etc.)
Work on customer’s benefits first without thinking money
Be in contact and make them like you
Position yourself at first place with strength and expertise (First impression important)
Demonstrate value proposition but leave them on neutral rather than pursuing to purchase because it can backfire.
Don’t use word contract, purchase, payment during discussion.
Talk to economy buyers in parallel to technical buyers.
Deliver what promised otherwise inform situation or don’t promise at first place
Spend more time to ask questions to understand their problem and do dialogue (not monologue)
In discus, focus on why you are in market not what product you have
Speaking less is always desirable because every sentence we say make either positive or negative point in customer brain.
Try to go under customer skin and understand what they are trying to say (even though they are not saying verbally)
Don’t work on changing mindset or opinion of customers, but rather work on serving them. Educating them is good but not trying to changing their views.
Create Trust: Provide contact of existing customers or some other market credibility
Investor Pitching Skills
Investors core goal: Minimize risk of losing investment and multiplying investment in short term
Talk value proposition in term of dollar
They are interested in how much they have to put and how they can multiply
Create credibility or track record of generating money
Make one slide to convince them that they will not lose their investment and clear their internal doubt about team, expertise and track record
Inspire your investor to join a greater cause or mission and ultimately make much more dollar than their initial expectation.
Co-founder / Partner is crucial for investor perspective
If they know other investor putting their money, then that make path easier and they also interested to see if founder will put his own money
Show them urgency to join the game
Show why we chose that investor than other investment firm or individual
Speaking less is always desirable which omit the option of saying something which give negative point or doubt in investor mind.
Of course this list which I found is not complete. It would be great to hear from some other entrepreneurs on what he or she have learnt or even contradicting with my assessment above.