If you are building an entrepreneurial company, you need to build an entrepreneurial culture to go with it.
One way to create a culture of entrepreneurship is to treat all the employees as co-owners. Let them learn all the parts of a company and how it really runs. Share some of the profits of the company with all employees. Give them the same level or responsibility and accountability that the owner has, too. Everyone will begin to be excited about growth. Everyone will start to treat the company like they own it.
In 1986, when I was running one of my first companies, I came home from work one day and started to get upset, and my dad said, “What’s wrong?” And I said, “All of my employees (who were also my friends) are starting to hate me.” And he said, “Why are they hating you?” And I said, “Well, they think I’m making too much profit.” And he said, “Why do they think that?” And I said, “Well we have these sales targets every month and we go chasing after these revenue goals, and I think they feel that that’s how much money I’m putting in my pocket.” And he said, “Well don’t you show them your expenses?” And I said, “No. If I showed them my expenses they’d know how much profit I’m making!” He said, “Well they think you’re making more than you are. So show them your expenses as well. Besides you aren’t making any profit yet so what can it hurt?”
I listened to my dad.
Right away, my employees started to see the business differently. They no longer felt like I was taking advantage of them. In fact, they were rather nervous that they might be out of jobs if the company didn’t start making more money fast. That impacted profitability and was tied to that cultural aspect of being an entrepreneurial company.
For more information on this topic, check out: Building a World Class Culture.