I’m fairly new to the field of Entrepreneurship. In fact, it wasn’t until this summer that I started to bridge the gap between purposeful work and creativity. I am passionate about investigating social mysteries which I guess is something that would describe all sociology majors. Something that a majority of people don’t know about me is that my experience in applied social research has given me the tools I need in order to succeed in the business realm. A majority of that stems from the fact that I am good at reading people and cherish the moments when I am able to predict their business patterns, consumerism, and ability to fall into standard trends.
Here are some of the things that we can learn from social science that can allow us to become effective and successful entrepreneurs:
- Understanding People
- Studying people is one of the most integral parts of entrepreneurship. If an entrepreneur cannot identify certain people that fit their brand or target market, then consumerism is unlikely to happen. Knowing motivations of others and offering solutions to their problems is a sure sign entrepreneurs can make a lasting social impact. Examining past social scientists, philosophers and researchers can give us the tools we need in order to understand others. In fact, both Louis de Bonald (1754-1810) and Joseph DeMaistre (1754-1824) suggest that in order to know about society and demand for products we have to understand man at his core.
- Understanding Need
- Rather than studying people, studying the environment and context around oneself is the best way to establish need for a business, non-profit organization or social enterprise. When we understand both need and the people around us, we can build a successful business model that will not only generate revenue but will serve the community around us at large. In my experience working for non-profits, social enterprises, and grand franchises of the United States, I noticed that each company I have worked for started out with one simple statement—“What do we need and why do we need it?” A lot of entrepreneurs aim to answer these questions and seek to build businesses that will address a need, but an interpretation of need could stem from simple sociological factors that we ignore on the daily.
- Understanding Resiliency
- What causes businesses and entrepreneurs to make a comeback when they are knocked down? Resiliency! Not only do we need to understand people and their needs to be successful entrepreneurs; we need to understand the power patience and overcoming failure. The social sciences suggest that resiliency is not based on intelligence, nor is it a genetic feature. Resiliency is a learned trait that gives not only entrepreneurs but all individuals the ability to bounce back from unexpected situations. Adaptability and flexibility to the demands of society are both very important factors to becoming successful when building a start-up company.
Use these three sociological tools to engage in stronger practices in leadership and entrepreneurship, and you will not be misguided at all. Although these sociological suggestions just graze the surface, they serve a very crucial part of understanding the marketplace and target demographics.