5 Lessons Vistaprint CEO Trynka Shineman Learnt from Small Businesses

Geschatte leestijd: 2 minuten 30 seconden

On our Ideas & Advice page, we typically share tips that help small businesses better meet their goals. We learn these lessons by listening to business owners and sharing what we’ve learned from the community that we serve. In addition, as I’ve talked to business owners I’ve also learned some invaluable lessons about leadership. I thought I’d share five lessons I’ve learned that inspire us at Vistaprint every day to act more like owners, and help us serve our customers to the best of our ability.

1. Put customers first.

As I’ve gotten to know the business owners we serve more directly, I have learned that one thing they do from the day they get started is put their own customers first. I’ve learned both the importance of that over the last decade, and also found tremendous joy in the success of our customers and our ability to meet their needs.

2. It is personal.

Being a business owner is not a part-time job, and it’s not something you can turn on and off. Our business owners create businesses that are often if not always an extension of who they are and what they are passionate about. They have a point of view, and they live this every day whether they are at work or spending time with their family. From this I have learned about the benefit of authenticity, of leading and showing up at work as a human being – the same person that my husband and kids see when I spend time with them (albeit not dressed in my pjs).

3. Take risks.

Starting a business takes tremendous guts – sometimes our customers are taking a risk financially. Others are taking a risk by bringing their point of view authentically to the world, where they risk rejection. Others are put in a position to do things that they’ve never done before, and have to make decisions in areas where they don’t have enough information or a lot of experience. I am inspired by this fearlessness, and try to emulate this in how I lead and the decisions that I take within Vistaprint.

4. We must learn & adapt.

One of the benefits of the business we are in is that we can see how customers position themselves and their business through the marketing materials they create. I’m often struck by how a business owner describes what it is they do, and how frequently they pivot as they better understand the market and what customers need. I think adaptability is key – listening to the market, understanding what is resonating, and being willing to adapt and pivot as needed.

5. Whatever it takes.

Our business owners every day do what it takes to deliver for their customers, and to run their business. At one minute they might be entering invoices into their accounting software, another minute creating a logo, and then they need to pivot and talk to a customer or pitch in for an employee who couldn’t get to a job. I think flexibility, willingness to support one another, and the idea that no problem is ‘someone else’s responsibility inspires me in how I lead.


Over de schrijver

Als CEO van Vistaprint spendeert Trynka veel tijd aan het proberen een diepgaander begrip te krijgen van ondernemers en van wat zij nodig hebben om te slagen. Met dit in het achterhoofd ontwikkelt Vistaprint de e-commercesite, innovatieve nieuwe producten en maakt Vistaprint hulpmiddelen waarmee het makkelijker wordt gemaakt om een onderneming te runnen, zodat eigenaren zich kunnen richten op het maken van impact.

Trynka heeft meer dan 20 jaar leiderschapservaring in marktonderzoek en -analyse, strategisch plannen, databasemarketing en e-commerce. Ze behaalde een bachelordiploma in psychologie aan de universiteit van Cornell en een MBA-diploma aan de Columbia Business School.

Gerelateerde producten

Hoe vertel je het verhaal achter jouw bedrijf

Onze CEO, Trynka Shineman, stelt voor om jezelf als eerst deze vragen te stellen om een authentiek verhaal te creëren.
Meer informatie

Schrijf je eigen elevatorpitch

Ontdek hoe je het verhaal achter jouw bedrijf in een tweet kunt vertellen en hoe je een elevatorpitch schrijft die klanten boeit. Extra: downloadbaar werkblad!
Meer informatie