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Executive Coaching
Entrepreneurial Business Practices
By Ken Wisnefski, President,

Are you presently or thinking about becoming an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs exhibit particular characteristics in relation to customer relations.

Do you want to be an entrepreneur?  Of course, most of us would like to be our own boss, but there is a tradeoff - those starting their own businesses are usually the hardest workers in the workforce.  Entrepreneurs put in the hours, know their industries, and know how to relate to customers. The following will discuss how you can relate to customers in order to build a successful business.

Be available

It may be difficult to meet and greet every customer, but it is vital to know how to make your presence prevalent in your business.  Be available to your customers - be more than the "boss," become the personification of your company's values and vision.  This means answering phone calls, meeting clients, checking on employees, and becoming a regular fixture around your company.

Be an equal

An entrepreneur's position may not be equal to others in their company, but that does not mean they have to act superior.  Successful entrepreneurs remember one of the reasons they started their own business was to be their own boss.  They understand that bosses can stymie worker performance by eliciting a negative, ostentatious attitude. You have to know how to relate to your workers as well as your customers.

Go beyond

Exceptional entrepreneurs underestimate in theory, and then exceed expectations in practice.  Customers need to feel that their satisfaction is of paramount importance.  If they are expecting to get a delivery in five days and get it in three, they will feel the company has taken the extra means to make sure they not only met their promise, but exceeded it.

Ask permission

One must always have respect of others in mind.  Whether that means using informal names, providing information on other companies, or divulging business information, one has to think before they act.  An entrepreneur's actions are a reflection on their company.  This often means being a role model in and out of the office.

Listen to understand

A good businessperson knows to look at situations from all angles.  They don't forget to empathize with their customers.  They listen and make sure the customer's true feelings and intentions are understood.  Feedback is desired and used to increase customer satisfaction.

Make sure your vision is shared

Companies orchestrate vision and mission statements in order to make sure their values are shared by all employees.  It was aforementioned that an entrepreneur's actions are a reflection on the business; employees' actions also speak for the business.  Establishing policies and procedures is important in relation to managing a business.  Customers make assessments based on every interaction they have with a business.

Be knowledgeable

It pays to be knowledgeable about your industry and related markets.  A customer may need a referral and will appreciate a diversified insight.  A successful businessperson is not wholly concerned with the immediate present and making a sale now; they know that if they provide for the customer, the customer will return.

Be a student

You need to remain a student to your industry and to business in general to succeed.  Look for trends and opportunities to augment your business and its practices. Talk with other owners (especially those in your industry) to gain insight and to learn from their experiences.


A good businessperson knows that contact does not end with the sale. They are always looking for ways to improve their products/services and customer relations.  A big part of improvement comes from the feedback and continuous interaction with the customers.  Analyzing the behavior, patterns, and habits of customers can directly be applied to improving future sales and marketing strategies.

Kenneth C. Wisnefski is the president of, an online business to business marketplace that connects business consumers with pre-approved vendors in over 150 different categories. has over 5,000 vendors in their Approved Vendor Network and processes close to 10,000 requests per month from businesses of all sizes.

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