How to develop a business mindset

We know that business success owes a lot to planning, putting your plans into effect and having the right support. But developing a business mindset is also essential to your business’ success.

A business mindset means you’re able to make decisions and respond to situations from a business-oriented perspective. It means you understand that your decisions should support your business’ objectives, vision and profitability.

We covered all this (and more!) in the first article in the series – ‘The importance of a business mindset’. So, today I’m looking at the vital next step – that is how you can develop a business mindset.

How to develop a business mindset

When asking yourself how to develop a business mindset it’s essential to focus on learning the necessary skills. Here are 10 steps you can take (though there are many others!) to get started.

1 – Ongoing education

Your first step when learning how to develop a business mindset is to look for opportunities to learn. This could be gathering information about the practicalities of how your business works or learning new strategies for leadership.

Whatever your industry or area that you’re focused on, read books, take courses and learn about business principles, strategies and concepts. Stay informed about trends and changes in your industry. Connecting with a mentor could also be key, to learn from their ‘real world’ experience.

2 – Set goals

Setting clear, achievable SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals for your business is important to having a business mindset. Defining your goals in terms of these elements helps you to make sure that you can achieve them within your timeframe. It’s also important to revisit your SMART goals often to track your progress.

3 – Embrace risk

Risk is a part of every business. Develop your awareness and skills in identifying, assessing, and managing financial, strategic and operational risk. This business mindset skill puts you in an excellent position to manage these risks if they were to come to reality in the future.

4 – Practice making informed decisions

Use data about your business to make informed, strategic decisions. Over time, this will become a habit. Making informed decisions with confidence is a skill you can practice and build from in your personal life – from planning a trip away with friends to ordering in a restaurant. 

5 – Network

Connecting with other business professionals is an excellent way to build your business mindset. You can learn from their experiences and apply those lessons to your own situation.

Networking also means you’re continuing to authentically connect with people who share your passion, even if they’re not from within your industry. These connections may lead to future work or opportunities to collaborate, learn or share your skills.

6 – Be customer focussed

To really develop a business mindset you need to always be considering your customer’s perspective. What do they need? What do they value? How can your product or service meet those needs? Actively seek feedback from customers to learn how your business can better engage to meet (and surpass!) their needs.

7 – Develop resilience and be persistent

Learn to see failure and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow. It’s OK to make mistakes. What’s important is that you don’t let them deter you. If you believe in your business, every mistake or obstacle eventually becomes part of your path to success. 

8 – Innovate

Constantly look for ways to innovate in your business, whether that’s in your products, your services, your processes or your marketing strategies. Remember that it’s not enough to come up with an innovative idea for your business – to truly innovate to develop a business mindset, you must transform that idea into reality.

9 – Value time

Learn to see your time as an investment. Prioritise tasks that add the most value to your business and be efficient in how you allocate your time. If you feel like there’s never enough time in your day, I’ve got you covered with ‘How to hack time and get an extra 90 minutes out of every day’.

10 – Financial literacy

Understand basic financial concepts such as profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheets. This understanding is crucial for making informed business decisions and will be of benefit to all aspects of your business.

Financial literacy is essential, even when your business is not in the finance industry. According to Harvard Business School Online, the benefits of being financially literate include increased success in:

  • Decision making.
  • Negotiation.
  • Leadership.

Remember your why

Developing a business mindset is hugely important to your process, but you don’t have to tackle every step all at once. Take a gradual, layered approach and add one step to the next in a gradual process.

As you work towards developing your business mindset, it’s important to remember why you do the work you do. Are you still in love with your business? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take the time to assess what you’re working to achieve, and whether you can delegate any tasks so you can build a little more joy into your day.

A business mindset is a skill you can develop. With consistent effort and an openness to learn, you can cultivate a business mindset that will serve you well in all your entrepreneurial endeavours. Let’s get started!

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Emma also has a podcast.