They leverage their relationships with employees, customers, strategic partners, vendors, investors and their network.
They leverage their expertise by becoming known as the “go to person” for traditional media and new media.
They leverage their resources by licensing their intellectual property, leasing out unused office space, creating new revenue streams and otherwise ensuring that nothing goes to waste.
STAR Business entrepreneurs are creative. They believe there is no box to think outside because the box is simply an illusion. They are constantly looking for ways to be innovative. They lead businesses that would create an edible coffee cup like the one in this post — first you drink your coffee, then you eat your cookie! They develop a culture where they encourage innovation; they embrace failure as part of the learning process and they give their employees opportunities to contribute to the success of the business.
Yes, opportunities to contribute to the success — which means their employees know exactly what the vision is for the business and how they fit into the vision. They know what is expected of them each and every day. They know what is non-negotiable and what is open to discussion. They know how much latitude they have to make the day of their customers or their co-workers. The employees also know the door for innovation is also open for them to contribute.
Entrepreneurs who lead STAR businesses hire for the attitude and potential of their employees rather than relying solely on skill or education because skill and experience can be taught. These STAR entrepreneurs then tap into the potential of their employees, which not only creates better employee engagement but positively impacts the business so it becomes more attractive to customers, investors, vendors and strategic partners.
Resourcefulness extends beyond their employees though. STAR entrepreneurs engage with their customers in a genuine dialogue. They are consistently looking for ways to impress and engage their best customers. They ask for feedback. They ensure the customers are happy. They immediately fix anything that is out of alignment between expectations and what is delivered. STAR entrepreneurs leverage these positive relationships by asking for — and receiving — referrals.
STAR entrepreneurs also create more opportunities to sell more to their customers. They cross-sell and upsell. They add new products. They enter into strategic alliances with complementary companies so that their customers don’t have to go looking for solutions to other problems they have. Likewise, they offer their services and products to the customers of their strategic partners, which expands their reach.
STAR businesses are STARs because they put people first. They are Sustainable. They Transform lives. They are Attractive and they are Resourceful. They are also profitable, which — at the end of the day — is our primary purpose. It’s the only way we can continue to make a difference in this wonderful world.