On May 5, 2022, Ross Buhrdorf, CEO and founder of our partner ZenBusiness, joined us for a discussion on conscious entrepreneurship and how Ross grew his company to the success it is today. Here are our top three takeaways from this conversation to help entrepreneurs and growing businesses to thrive.
1. Focus on your product first.
For any business to stay in business, it has to sell its product or service and make a profit. For that reason, Ross’s first piece of advice that he shares with entrepreneurs and business owners just starting out is to make that a sole, core focus.
“Any early entrepreneur should be focused on one thing and one thing only and that’s getting that customer to buy their product or service. That should be their singular focus. All of the other issues—issues with scaling and marketing and all of that stuff—should come later on.”
As a young entrepreneur, Ross put this into practice himself, remarking that it was challenging to ask himself the tough questions to ensure people would want to buy his service, but it ultimately helped him refine his offerings and led to ZenBusiness’s immense growth and prosperity.
2. Solicit and respond to feedback.
In addition to asking hard questions of himself, Ross’s advice is to also get feedback from your stakeholders, both internal and external, in order to “dogmatically go after seeking the truth,” as Ross put it.
When ZenBusiness was founded, and still to this day, Ross and his team would deploy surveys to early customers to get their thoughts on what they liked and disliked about their experience. Whether it was mostly good or mostly bad, someone from the ZenBusiness team would then follow up with each customer to thank them, provide assistance, or get more information.
That’s where you really get the direct feedback … the answers just lead to more questions, and then you get more answers.
Ross says, “That’s where you really get the direct feedback … the answers just lead to more questions, and then you get more answers.”
3. As the company grows, don’t forget about culture.
Ross sees culture as part of an equation that ultimately results in trust. His personal formula is: “Culture + people + product = brand … and brand = trust.”
A valuable take on Conscious Culture in action, Ross ensures that the ZenBusiness workplace is a space where employees and customers can expect to be respected by their peers, leaders, and staff, and where they can expect honesty and transparency from the top down.
This transparency from leadership ultimately helps his employees make well-informed decisions for themselves and the company, which helps them take care of their customers, too: “We have a firm belief that this open environment … empowers people. Information is empowering for the employee base to make decisions on their own and to know what we’re up against and what our challenges and opportunities are.”
To get the full presentation from Ross, watch the recording.
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