I was lucky enough to grow up and hone my business skills in a very entrepreneurial environment. From my grandfather starting Jelmar in the 1960s to my father taking over in the 1980s to today, an entrepreneurial spirit has always run in my family. While I don’t have all the answers – no one does – there are some best practices I have learned along the way:
Be Your Authentic Self
Always aim to remain true to your own personality, character, and beliefs, despite pressure to do otherwise. Knowing yourself and what you stand for is critical for success in business. For example, no one should try to be an expert in everything, but being an expert in the things you’re passionate about will help you stay focused on success.
Lead with Confidence
Have confidence in yourself and your decisions. People will come with their presumptions and judgments about your capabilities, work ethic and success. Leave those comments behind. But most importantly, get rid of your own negative self-talk, or as I like to call it, “head trash.” All of that is holding you back.
Help Elevate Others
It’s important to help elevate the role of women in the business community. If you can help others build and grow, you are in turn helping yourself build and grow. Your help to others will come full circle. Joining women-in-business and peer groups are great places to start for mentorship, inspiration and support.
Listen to Your Customers
Invest in consumer research prior to making a big change. Your customers are the people who need to be happy with your company and offerings. Whether it’s packaging, practices, or partnerships and so on, take the time to hear them out on what they like and would like to see changed about your company.
Think Before You Hire
A new hire can make a big impact on your company, large or small. Take the time to make sure they are a fit for the company culture you have taken the time build. Consider your company values and goals when making your decision to hire. With this in mind, you’ll be likely to make a good decision that will pay off over time.
Jelmar has been around for more than 50 years and through three generations of the Gutterman family. You don’t hear that all too often. But through cultivating our own personal and company business growth and values, we’ve kept Jelmar thriving from one generation to the next. Running a successful business is difficult, but so rewarding.
Alison Gutterman is the CEO and President of Jelmar—the unique, family-owned cleaning products manufacturer of of CLR and Tarn-X products. She has brought Jelmar unprecedented success with her modern approach and leadership techniques. She is a member of six business peer groups and has most recently been named winner for the “EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Midwest” in the family business category. Read her interview on LadyBossBlogger here to learn more about her.
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