You might recognize Mike Lindell as the inventor of MyPillow, the popular pillow brand that manufactures quality products in America.
Lindell has actually run multiple businesses throughout his entrepreneurial journey. He’s also dealt with various issues ranging from addiction to faith throughout his experience.
Through all of those ups and downs, Lindell has learned many valuable lessons that could also help other entrepreneurs better shape their own ventures. He recently spoke with Small Business Trends about the factors that have led to his own entrepreneurial success along with tips for other business owners.
Tips to Success
Here are some of his top tips.
Keep an Eye Out for Deviations
Even for successful entrepreneurs like Lindell, it’s important to be constantly learning. One of the best ways to learn as a business owners is to pay close attention to anything out of the ordinary.
Lindell says, “If there’s a deviation, you need to learn from it, whether it’s good or bad. Any time you notice something different in your sales numbers or anything outside of the norm, you better find out why it’s happening and then adjust or react to what those numbers say.”
Learn from Others
In addition, Lindell recommends getting a mentor or asking questions of other business owners. This can be especially relevant for someone buying a business — Lindell recommends sitting down with the previous owner to really dive into the details.
He says, “If you’re just getting into business, learn from someone who’s been there that you trust. By grabbing that information from them, you don’t have to make the same mistakes and you can accelerate your growth.”
Get Legal Advice
Additionally, he recommends sitting down with a legal professional to get advice on the compliance issues that your business may face. They can also provide you with contracts or document templates that could help you protect your company.
Running a business is inherently risky. So if you’re uncomfortable with risk, you may need to eliminate the backup plans you have in place.
Lindell says, “Some people are so afraid of taking chances. I didn’t have something to fall back on. And a lot of people don’t want to go out and do something for themselves when they have something safe to fall back on.”
Collect Customer Feedback
Lindell says this is especially important for product businesses. If you go to trade shows or fairs, make sure you collect feedback from potential buyers that could help you shape your product going forward.
Have Passion for Your Brand
Money may be an important factor for your business, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY factor. When you actually enjoy your business and believe in your product, Lindell believes that becomes apparent to customers.
“I went all-in with MyPillow,” he says. “You better like what you’re doing and what you’re selling, because if you don’t like it then it shows through to your customers.”
Hire Passionate People
When you get to the point where you’re ready to grow a team, they should also have some level of passion for your business and for their role in it.
Lindell says, “Pay special attention to the people you surround yourself with. When you have passionate employees who have your back, that’s really important.”
Keep Communication Lines Open
From there, you should be constantly talking to your team and make sure they can come to you with any issues or deviations they notice so you can make proper decisions.
Lindell says, “Anything that goes on in your business reflects on you as the business owner. Even though my business is bigger now than it was when I first started, I still run it the same way. Most of my workers have my direct phone number and if they notice a deviation they let me know.”
Make Sure Everyone Is Valued
You also need to make sure that your entire team and everyone else who surrounds your business knows how important they are.
Lindell says, “Treat every employee like they’re your only employee, treat every customer like they’re your only customer, treat every vendor like they’re your only vendor.”
Manufacture Products Domestically
One of the major noteworthy features of MyPillow is that it’s manufactured in America. And that’s something that Lindell feels very passionately about. He acknowledges that there are some situations where domestic manufacturing isn’t possible, like when the materials you use are mainly cultivated in a specific region outside the U.S. However, if you’re just looking to cut costs, Lindell believes that those minor savings are not worth the headaches that can come from outsourcing your manufacturing overseas.
He says, “If you rely on overseas, it’s usually 120 days from the time you order the product before you receive it. And now your money is tied up and by the time you get the product, it may be not up to your standards. This makes it hard to do projections, and what if you get busier or people need it sooner?”
Image: Mike Lindell
Learning is key. And so is creativity. Put that together and you can come up with something great.