Connect with Chris Howard on LinkedIn.
Check out Softeq on the Softeq website.
[00:00] Podcast begins - 5 types of capital your business needs
[00:47] Seeking support & encouragement with relationship capital
[02:39] Financial capital in four different forms
[05:14] Knowing your skills matter in intellectual capital
[06:46]] Human capital & the importance of a good work environment
[07:55] Building a better network with social capital
For Chris, family has always been a guiding light and a supportive push for business success. As much as entrepreneurship can seem like a road you have to take alone, your family and your friends are an essential part of reaching your business goals. Relationship capital can be family, friends, and close colleagues that give you the care and support you need to prosper not only personally, but professionally. When you think about forging your own path, don’t be afraid to ask for a helping hand from the people who know your dreams almost as well as you.
“It's about getting support from your own network. It might be your parents, it might be an aunt or an uncle, it might be friends that are supporting you as you venture off into this new world of relying on yourself in order to generate your own income.”
When examining options for financial capital, there are 4 potential avenues that an entrepreneur can go down for their business. First, and perhaps the most obvious, is your own cash flow, including both your savings and the money you make from selling your products or services. Another is money from the relationships mentioned in relationship capital, friends and family. Venture funding and credit from a bank are two other options, but not all startups or entrepreneurial ventures can opt for funding or credit.
“If you can't get money from friends and family, if you don't have the savings to start your business, if you're not a venture type business that a venture capitalist is going to invest in, then getting credit might be the way.”
Knowledge and skills are at the heart of intellectual capital because intellectual capital shows that your business is something worthy of investing in as a customer. Ideas, skills, and innovative processes all fall under the intellectual capital umbrella. For Chris specifically, in the early days of his business, graphics knowledge and technical skills made his services stand out in comparison to competition and set him up for financial success and customer satisfaction.
“By intellectual I mean, what do you have to offer? You have some new idea, some new innovation, some particular skill that somebody will pay you for. What can you offer the world and get someone to actually pay for?”
Your team is only as good as your weakest member, and the same can be said for the staff you employ and the individuals you collaborate with. Human capital is being surrounded by good people, hard workers, and a prosperous business culture. Chris’ goal has always been to create a work environment that’s worthwhile and supportive to the people he works with. A good, positive work culture attracts human capital in its best form: people that care about the things you do and who want to get involved.
“Creating a great work environment is about how you build that culture in your business. You have the mission, vision, values that are attracting the right kind of people to your company, and you’re working together and creating that environment.”
Anyone in the professional world has already heard the saying: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. As cliche as it sounds, that phrase continues to ring true today, because social capital is a necessity for building prosperous partnerships and reliable customer bases. Taking advantage of who you know can lead you to your first customers, give you an opportunity to learn from fellow entrepreneurs, and provide your business with the much-needed supportive push to propel you to the level of success you want to achieve.
“It's all up to you to build that relationship with that business after the fact. You only get one shot, anybody can get in the door one time, but if you want to sustain a business over a long period of time, you're gonna have to deliver and build trust in your company relationships.”