March 23rd is #NationalPuppyDay (honestly, though, if you're like us, every day is National Puppy Day)! Whether or not you're a dog person, we can all learn some valuable things from man's best friend. Not only do our pups aim to please, but they never stop trying to build bonds and make their humans happy. These qualities are critical for a successful business. Read on for the best advice we've learned from our pups!
1) Greet Everyone With Enthusiasm
As a small business owner, you know the ins and outs of your company. You know what it's all about and what it has to offer--you live it every day. Maybe the crux of your business has even become unextraordinary or unexciting to you. A good pup (all of them--all of the pups are good pups) knows that enthusiasm and spirit go a long way. To you, one gig/sale/contract/etc. is just a small portion of your work. However, it may literally be 100% of a client's experience with your business. Even though a video shoot is essentially just any old work day for us at Angela Wolf Video, we know that that is far from the case for most of our clients. Whether or not small business owners realize it, customers and clients are investing in us when they approach us regarding a purchase/service. It's easy to get bogged down by the minutia of the process and lose interest in individual interactions. Regardless, we need to approach each event, sale, and/or client with excitement and open arms. Meeting clients where they are--matching their enthusiasm and sense of novelty with your company or brand--can make all the difference.
2) Take Time to Sniff
If you've ever taken a dog on a walk, you've probably had the experience of trying to pull them away from something they've buried their nose into. We know first hand that our pups are curious and determined to get the details--even if those details happen to be messy or mundane. While curiosity may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of strategies for your business to succeed, it's a huge indicator of open-mindedness, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Research even suggests that curiosity is as important in business as intelligence and ambition. You can't be quick to dismiss anything--new opportunities come in different forms, and they need to be approached with willingness and given a chance. The other important part of slowing down to sniff is practicing mindfulness--taking time to slow down and soak in what's around you. Even if it's not a new business opportunity, new experiences are important, too! Dedicating time to enjoy things in your personal life can help your business succeed by relieving your stress and grounding you in your values.
3) Learn New Tricks
Contrary to what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks, learning truly never stops! It may be tempting to think that once you've really got your business off the ground, you've mastered--or, at least, learned--all the skills you need to know for your company to succeed. However, continuing education can bring your brand to a new level. Doggos know how to prioritize learning from their humans for a worthwhile reward (like pats and treats)--we need to do the same! Prioritizing taking the time to explore resources, opportunities, and new skills is a worthwhile investment. Thankfully, there is a wealth of resources for learning new tricks. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential business mentoring, workshops, and online courses. Joining networking groups, such as The Chamber of Commerce, also helps to connect small businesses with resources, mentoring, and support. Even without an agency or organization, opportunities to learn and sharpen your business skills are everywhere--you just have to stay enthusiastic and sniff them out!
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