Embrace the Ownership Mentality.
“The owners mentality is difficult to describe. You either have it or you don’t (although you can learn to have it).”
– Chris Tingom, www.brainfuel.tv
Of course your graphic designers love to design, and your programmers love to develop, your copywriter loves to write, and your AE (hopefully) loves client communication! But do they all have the ownership mentality? It’s undervalued, and it’s what gives smaller studios an exceptional capability to stand up against those larger agencies. It’s not just one person taking the lead with this thought process- it’s everyone taking every fire drill seriously and going to extremes to make sure their end of the job is taken care of- all to satisfy the needs of the client.
Pride in getting something right should absolutely be the enjoyment of the owner of a small studio, but every owner would want to share that with his/her employees- everyone who touches the project and everyone who doesn’t. Knowing that you worked your tail off to get a project back to a client ahead of deadline, and then seeing how pleased they were with it brings out a satisfactory feeling, doesn’t it?
Some might say building that camaraderie in a small studio is more difficult, maybe because you all work remotely, or for whatever other reason. If you feel that’s how it is in your own studio, change it. Make it easy. Get to know your co-workers. Make them laugh. There are several things you can do to make those you work with feel more comfortable in their work environment (that’s an entirely different post!) but all with the goal of bringing out that owners mentality in them.
A great sense of responsibility within the employees of a small business (or any business, really) knocks over a line of dominoes that lands at a bigger bottom line for your company. Not that it’s all about money, but who’s going to complain about it? Encourage the ownership mentality in the people you work with daily. Certainly look for it in potential employees, and develop it as much as you can. It can only help you in the end.