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5 Entrepreneurship Takeaways from Santa’s Workshop

Don’t let the red suit and white beard fool you, Santa is a very clever entrepreneur. Here’s why…

Every year Santa is making his list, checking it twice,… you know the rest. What you may not know, however, is that Santa is technically one of the most successful founders of all time. Here are 5 takeaways from the North Pole that you should apply to your business model.

1. Think big

When Saint Nicholas first started traveling the countryside, helping the poor and giving to the needy, he had no idea what a revolution he was starting. Over the years, his desire to help others and bring cheer became the thing of legend. Likewise, his tiny one-man operation grew into a massive workshop with headquarters at the North Pole, responsible bringing joy to billions of families around the globe.

The important part is that Santa didn’t have the goal of becoming the world’s largest toy manufacturer and logistics service, but rather simply wanted to make people happy. A key lesson in entrepreneurship is to focus on how you are solving problems and eliminating pain points for customers.

2. EVERYTHING must scale

Clearly, Santa and his management team knew a thing or two about scaling operations. As the idea caught on, Santa’s desire to bring joy to the world needed a little acceleration of toy making capability. Over the years, his workshop grew from a tiny operation with a few close friends (elves), to a factory full of happy workers. Likewise, he’s upgraded from a burlap sack to a magic bag to fit all the gifts… and there are some reports that even then sleigh has had some special modifications.

Regardless of your goal, if you can’t scale it, you’ll never reach full potential. Finding out how to iterate more quickly and produce more effectively is a key lesson for any entrepreneur. Here’s a look at how Santa scaled his workshop over the years:

3. Reward your employees and make the office fun

Life at the North Pole can be incredibly busy and probably a bit overwhelming at times… much like startup culture. Luckily, Santa knows the keys to employee motivation, engagement, and productivity. Everyone in the office shares vision and sense of purpose towards a common goal, which makes work feel less like work. The elves are also pretty well known for their work hard, play hard lifestyle. Sound familiar to anyone?

Startup life can be a grind. Learn a few lessons from Santa about how to engage, motivate and inspire your teams to work together towards success. Clearly define the goals, the tools available, the metrics for measuring and the desired end-result. By doing this, everyone will understand their importance to the team and to the overall objective… and once everything is delivered to the customer, celebrate a bit!

Hint: Santa uses SalesScreen… maybe you should check it out too?!?!

Santa uses SalesScreen to keep everyone motivated and engaged. Check it out!

4. Branding is the key to success

Have you seen Santa on Coca-Cola commercials? What about Snickers, Twix or your other favorite candies? Maybe you’ve seen him doing appearances at your local mall or ringing a bell to raise money for Salvation Army? You’ve certainly noticed him on some sweaters lately. Santa sure makes the rounds these days and the simple mention of his name bring forth images of his mission and his likeness.

If you want to be truly successful, learn to be like Santa. He’s the perfect CEO… jolly, fun, and well known for his laugh, friendly personality and outgoing spirit. He serves as an image for what makes the holidays joyous and simultaneously is well-known for delivering on-time all around the world. His brand is known worldwide and still grows every year. Brand like Santa.

5. Customer loyalty is key

When it comes to delivering on time, every time, Santa is the image of customer loyalty. Despite insane logistics, skinny chimneys, and occasionally warm milk, Santa still comes through every year. He is consistent, reliable, and true to his values. In fact, he has become so well known for delivering on time that even NORAD tracks him.

If you want to grow a successful business, customers come first. He even reads letters from his customers to learn exactly what they want. Be like Santa and build yourself a reputation for timeliness, value and consistency and you’ll soon be needing to hire teams of elves to keep up with customer demand as well.

Remember, he knows if you’ve been naughty or nice.

About Author: David Smith

David Smith is the Chief Marketing Officer for Dogu, a Norwegian software startup that helps organizations to visualize data, track progress on KPIs and reward completion of key activities. The company now serves thousands of teams around the world. You can find his writings at The Art of Sales.

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