Entrepreneurs are one of the most important engines of the US economy. New ventures are responsible for the creation of millions of jobs each year. The people who are most motivated to start new businesses have often been frustrated by the rigidity of corporate culture. Instead of celebrating vision, big companies can often stifle it. Many of the people who think and see ten years ahead must strike out on their own. The gift of seeing ahead, however, is an essential asset for a new business. One of the most challenging things for any entrepreneur is to keep that inventive spirit alive as a company matures.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to encourage a more innovative and forward-thinking company. A critical feature of any entrepreneurial company is the decentralization of roles. Employees should feel empowered to make decisions and provide honest feedback to leaders. It’s essential that everyone feels like they’re able to engage in a discussion. Open lines of communication are a feature of early-stage companies. It’s necessary to make that happen to keep a company fresh and adaptable.
Another critical way to empower all workers is to help them all learn to sell. Many people who don’t have “sales” in their job title don’t understand this role. They may even view it as having negative connotations. But being able to sell doesn’t have to mean being pushy. Understanding the enthusiasm for critical offerings and the willingness to ask for the sale is all that’s needed to be a success in sales. Helping all employees to understand the value of the services and goods on offer is the best way to make them comfortable with selling.
A more concrete way to encourage employees to invest in the business truly is to give them a stake in it. Paying people partly in stock gives them a reason to pour their hearts into their work. When a stock or stock options are tied to performance, it can be a great way to motivate workers to take things to the next level. This kind of reward shows them that upper management views them as essential and valuable to the business’s health.