It is an invaluable asset to you, as the employee, the business owner and the business if you think like a business owner. By owning your current position and thinking about the business as a whole, builds your business acumen, puts you in a position where you can develop new skills, aligns to the business vision so you feel more connected and assists you in understanding and accepting business decisions.
When businesses are filled with leaders and team members who think and act like owners, work is more meaningful, rewarding, and enjoyable.
This will avoid the surprise when it is announced there are no bonuses being paid due to company financial results, or even worse hearing there are pending retrenchments, as not only would you be aware they are coming, you could probably play a role in avoiding these drastic business requirements.
How can you think like a business owner?
1. Learn about the business
Read through the company website, google the business, read the marketing material.
Ask managers and people who have been working at the business for a few years about how the company started, and how it has evolved. Know where and how the company started and where it is headed so you can play your role to get it there.
2. Know how the company makes and loses money
You contribute to the business’ financial results. There are consequences to slacking off. When you start to think like the owner of the business, you begin to value time and how slacking off impacts on the business and, at the end of the day, your job.
For example, throwing away unused inventory, (e.g. salt packets in a restaurant) accelerates the need to buy more. Arriving 10 minutes late to work can result in one or two missed sales. Every action by every employee matters.
3. Think Long-Term
A business owner is constantly thinking ahead about the future of their company: Should the business put more of an emphasis on one product than another; are there any potential industry shifts on the horizon that could affect the company’s prospective customers and how they should be marketed to?
In your current position, you can begin to think long-term: How will my decisions today affect the business tomorrow? This kind of thinking will allow to make good decisions and to present valuable ideas to your superiors.
4. Get better and better
Business owners are notoriously researching their industry, reading up on changes to the industry, and what their competitors are doing, and then making the necessary decisions to changes and be better.
Read up. Educate yourself. Learn about your industry. And make the necessary changes to the way you work, the way you think about your job and the business, and add value.
5. See the bigger picture
Being able to see the bigger picture allows you to step outside of your personal situation and problems, and to look for solutions. People are motivated by values and outcomes. Being able to see the bigger picture provides clarity: you know where you are headed and your actions are aligned with the business goals. This allows every decision you make, and every action you take, to be considered in light of how it supports or hinders the business.
Thinking like a business owner is a selfless thing, and it means that you put the business before your immediate needs, ensuring that the business runs smoothly and efficiently. It also affords you the opportunity to think about how you can better retain current clients, gain more customers and sales, be more self-efficient and show more commitment to your job, have a greater appreciation for the running of a business, and feel empowered by knowing that you an invaluable asset to the continued success of the business.