For the entrepreneurial business, its culture begins from day one. The culture is a reflection of the values the entrepreneur brings into the business.
Culture is important for an entrepreneurial venture because it is the mechanism that institutionalizes the values of its founders. Culture serves to socialize new employees. It helps them understand how they should treat the customers, how they should treat each other, how they should act in their jobs, and how to generally fit in and be successful within the business.
If managed properly, culture also improves the performance of the business. Culture is an important part of the overall strategy of the business and helps ensure a growing organization will continue to meet the expectations of customers that were established by the entrepreneur during the early start-up of the venture.
For many businesses their success has been built on the entrepreneurial nature of the business. Since it is important to keep the entrepreneurial nature of the business, as that is what has gotten the business this far, it is important to create a culture of entrepreneurship.
"Building a culture that encourages autonomy, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial behavior is challenging," said Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. "For companies that want to out-think and out-pace the competition, an entrepreneurial culture isn't optional: it's an absolute necessity."
According to Prosek, the key to unleashing that creative energy is to create an entrepreneurial culture based on four pillars.
Sustaining an entrepreneurial culture starts with who you hire. It is essential to carefully screen prospective employees to ensure that they will fit within your culture. An entrepreneurial culture is also sustained by your reward system, by the autonomy and respect you give to your employees, and by consistent communication about your ongoing entrepreneurial vision for the company.
Creating an entrepreneurial culture creates a business that will continue to grow by adapting to change and by actively pursuing new opportunities in the market.
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