Pasco Economic Development Council | 16506 Pointe Village Drive, Suite 107 | Lutz, FL 33558

5 Ways Being an Entrepreneur is Like Being a Dad

June 13, 2014

Fathers and entrepreneurs work hard every day. You may think they don't have much in common, but here are five ways entrepreneurs and fathers are very much alike: 1.)    You have to keep their interest. Toddlers basically give you three seconds of attention before they are on to the next shiny toy they see. Customers are the same. Always looking for a better deal or a newer gadget. When you are an entrepreneur you have to learn to keep their interest on your product before they leave and shop elsewhere. How do you do that? Be interactive. For example, when someone window shops it is easy to see a product you like and be able to walk on by, but the minute you walk by the kiosk that is selling helicopters and they let you fly one, your engaged, and its hard to say no. Who doesn't want to fly a helicopter? So, interacting with your customers, showing them how your product works, and letting them see it in action, will keep their interest. 2.)    Your constantly chasing after them. At about the age of two, once your kids begin to walk you get your own free workout program as a parent! That’s right, you are constantly chasing after them. Entrepreneurs do the same thing, whether you are chasing down customers or venture capital, you are running for sure. Sometimes entrepreneurs are chasing after so many avenues they miss customers that are right in front of them, or resources they may not know about. It is important to take a step back and look around, reevaluate your course and see if there are customers you could be missing. If you need financing, find out what local resources are available. Maybe there is an alternate route you can take like crowd-funding, or a microloan. 3.)    It’s your job to guide them to make the best decision. Kids go to school and learn from their teachers, but it is the parent’s responsibility to ultimately guide them to make good decisions in life. In the same way, entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be that guide to help customers make a good decision about purchasing their product. It starts with educating your customer. Teach them about your product, but also about your competitor’s product. Help customers understand why they should buy your product or use your service over one from another company. 4.)    You need to gain their trust. Middle school is a tough time for parents. If you haven’t earned your child’s trust by the time they hit 6th grade, you are in for a rough course. In business, it is important to gain your customers trust so that they keep coming back to you. Do that by being honest with them. Lay out all of the advantages and disadvantages of your product or service compared to others. And by all means, treat your customers with respect.  Once you have their trust, you've earned a customer for life. 5.)    If you do all of the above, they will take care of you in the end! As we get older we often wonder if our kids will take care of us in our old age. In business, we wonder if we can keep the loyalty of our customers and if we can grow the business to a stage where it will survive for several years. If you do all of the above chances are your customers will be loyal to you. Like parenting, owning a business isn't easy, its a lot of work. William Shakespeare once said, "It is a wise father that knows his own child."  So to all of the entrepreneurs out there, get to know your customers, interact with them, guide them and gain their trust. And, while you grow your business, Pasco EDC, your local economic developer, will be there to support you. Happy Father’s Day! For more information on Startup and Small Business Programs in Tampa Bay visit

Jennifer Lachtara
Jennifer Lachtara
Marketing/Communications Coordinator
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