There’s nothing like a really great Ted Talk to give you a new perspective and inspire you. As small business owners, this constant learning helps us grow as professionals and entrepreneurs. Here are five inspiring Ted Talks for small business owners, and what you can learn from each of them:
Simon Sinek’s classic Ted Talk on having a company “Why?” and the Golden Circle is the essential Talk for small business owners looking to grow. Starting your business with why you do what you do, and now what or how you do it, changes your business from just profits to something that stands the test of time. It’s scientific, and it’ll actually help you sell your product. When you sell to emotion and empathy, you’ll get better results than if you sell to logic.
If there’s one thing many entrepreneurs know, it’s that often they took the leap to start their business when things were at their worst. Bailey Richer’s Ted Talk discusses taking that leap, when to do it, and how to stop putting it off because we don’t know enough and just do it. It’s a good reminder that when it seems your life is “over,” it’s the best time to start.
Kurt Haanaes discusses that tricky question: how do you run your business well while also constantly reinventing it and innovating? Often we get into a comfortably successful spot with our business, especially a small business that took a lot of effort and years to establish. We are often afraid to rock that boat. But Haanaes encourages listeners to keep innovating -- because if you don’t balance exploration and exploitation, you won’t be in that comfortable spot forever.
Branding is an important task for any small business. You want your business to stand out, and the branding should stand for what your business is. It should reflect what you are and what you could be. Jonathan Bell leads listeners through what makes a great brand name specifically -- did you know there are only seven types of names? He also gives some practical advice, because we know branding isn’t all fun names and colors.
Although this Ted Talk is from 2003, it shows that some basic principles never change. Don Norman talks about good design, and how designing for people’s emotions works better than designing for “function.” We can apply this to our websites 16 years later, thinking: do we like looking at it? Do we like using it? And do we understand what it means? Because we know that designing pleasing websites -- ones that actually give people a good experience -- will bring in more customers than if we don’t.