The Beauty and the Beast remake has been a big hit across the globe with young and old alike. It’s truly a tale as old as time, as the narrative is a story we know so well. One we’ve always known and understood and possibly even hoped for.
In all of our relationships, we strive for the depth and authenticity that Belle manages to have with both her father and the Beast. In our professional lives though we can learn from this magical story too.
As an entrepreneur, we need to nurture our working relationships too. This could pertain to how we network, the relationships we build with our service providers, and how we interact with our future employees. The lessons from any old fairy tale often sound outdated, but not so with Beauty and the Beast.
Here are the lessons that every entrepreneur can and should learn from this epic story of beating the odds, being the underdog and standing strong no matter your circumstances.
Just because you look good doesn’t mean you are good
A pretty logo, a great slogan, and some gorgeous advertising won’t get you very far unless you have an attractive value proposition to back it up. If what you’re offering is weak, ill-prepared for your marketplace, or you’re not ready to deal with your customers yet then you will fail.
Just like Gaston. He is a bully but he looks good, everyone thinks so. However, he has very little to offer other than his looks. He pushes everyone around but because he cannot substantiate why he’s so wonderful, he fails completely in his efforts to woo Belle.
Kindness in your customer service
The Beast locks Belle in her room to try and force her to agree to have dinner with him. In trying to win Belle over, he treats her aggressively but she only agrees to see him when he’s kind to her.
When it comes to how you treat your clients or potential new customers, being aggressive won’t help you.
There are far too many companies just like yours who will make their customers feel valued. And customers will be persuaded by this more than by better pricing, or a flashier brand.
In today’s business landscape, customers value interaction and communication. They want to have a relationship with their chosen product or service providers. They want to be acknowledged and treated with respect.
Find your Mrs Potts and listen to them
Mrs Potts is the little enchanted teapot who has been dealing with the Beast since he was a young boy. When Belle finally listens to Mrs Potts, she gains a better understanding of how to handle the Beast.
Similarly, the Beast accepts the wisdom of Lumiere the candlestick who advises him on how to romantically pursue Belle. And as a new business owner, it would be smart to find your Mrs Potts to advise you on breaking into an aggressive market or a Lumiere who can offer you pointers on attracting the right target market to your offering. Find your mentor and listen carefully to what they tell you to do or try.
Be an academic like Belle
Belle and her books are how we are introduced to this character. She knows what’s up in the real world and that simply settling to marry Gaston won’t take her very far in the world. So she reads continuously because she knows this is how she will learn.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be like Belle. You might know everything about the industry you’re entering but what do you know about running a business?
In order to become a success, you’ll need to have a keen understanding of business. Sign up for part time studies that will help you become a success. Most business owners should consider signing up for marketing courses, human resource management studies and financial management courses.
Stick to your deadlines
Even if the deadline is far away, make sure it’s always in the back of your mind and you’re constantly racing to catch it. The Beast knew there was a deadline but because finding a woman to love him felt like such a challenging task, when Belle arrives he is not ready to handle her or what she represents.
Your most important deadline is your launch date. You’ve likely advertised your launch date to your target market, suppliers and investors and you cannot afford to miss it. Also, by remaining focused on this deadline, if the opportunity to launch earlier arrives you want to be ready to grab it with both hands and make a success of it.
Of course, life is no fairy tale and your business will operate in the real world. But the key messages in this long-standing story are valid and worth a second thought for every entrepreneur.