By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
Disney has created an endearing plot — a hardened and seemingly detached bounty hunter is assigned to abduct an unnamed yet adorable life form referred to as “The Child.” Once his mission is completed, he delivers this “asset” to a person known only as The Client. The bounty hunter, the title character known as a Mandalorian, gets a bad vibe from the so-called client, so he decides to reclaim the little guy, unknowingly setting himself up to protect The Child at all costs.
On the surface, “The Mandalorian” series appears to be another saga in the expanding “Star Wars” universe. Yet, entrepreneurs here on Earth can learn a lot about business success from these adventures in the Outer Rim territories.
1. Being small can have a big impact
The Child is just a tiny thing who travels in a space-age stroller and doesn’t appear to have much to say beyond occasional coos and cries. Yet this adorable green life form leaves quite a big impact on those he encounters. (If you doubt, just Google “Baby Yoda ” to see the level of the public’s devotion.) He uses the Force to save the Mandolorian from the angry mudhorn, throws fire back at stormtroopers, and projects his healing powers to save Greef Karga.
You probably don’t have the Force, but as a small business, you can have a big impact. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself as if you’re a big-name company. Remember, companies like yours make up the backbone of the U.S. economy, accounting for 99.7% of employers. Your company can be the one to supply the very thing that larger companies might need, ultimately impacting a lot of people. Over time, your small company can grow and thrive to make an even bigger impact on the communities you serve — and beyond.
2. Brand recognition is one of the keys to success
The inhabitants of the planet Mandalore are pretty well known, thanks to the signature helmets and armor they wear in public. Even other life forms that have never encountered one will immediately recognize a Mandalorian.
Even if you’re a small company, your marketing efforts can go big. Use the internet as leverage and get as much visibility as you can. Meanwhile, seek to broaden your local impact by investing in some cool custom products and distributing them at trade shows or other events. Your fans may even be willing to buy these products off your website. The more your name is broadcast, the bigger an impact you’ll have.
Use your marketing dollars wisely for memorable promotions to boost your visibility and see how it can pay off.
3. Know how to react in a crisis
The ability to think on his feet and take a different approach when needed is one of Mando’s greatest assets. Even if he doesn’t have an immediate solution, he’s able to adapt quickly and come up with one, thanks to his Mandalorian training and the skills he’s acquired.
You don’t need weapons and explosives training to survive as a small business, but you should have a good disaster recovery plan. These plans are not just for the big guys! Many small businesses are forced to shut down after sustaining damage in a disaster.
And in addition to planning on an organizational level, consider first aid, basic safety, or CPR training for yourself and key employees so your organization as a whole will be prepared for emergencies.
4. Build and nurture a solid reputation
Mando follows the strict Mandalorian Creed: “This Is the Way.” This philosophy serves as a blueprint for how he lives. It’s essentially a code of honor that he must adhere to if he wants to remain a part of society in his homeworld.
Your business ethic doesn’t have to be as rigid as the Mandalorians’, but you should develop your own code of honor. Your reputation will mean something — be sure you build it, then continue to nurture it.
Operating your business ethically shows up in different ways: You’re filling customer orders and paying your creditors on time. You want to build a good credit rating, to gain the trust of customers, clients, and suppliers. A couple of bad deals or missed payments can harm your company’s credibility.
5. Don’t be afraid to take some risks
In the finale of “The Mandalorian,” Mando escapes the sewers with The Child, Greef Karga, and Cara Dune — only to find Moff Gideon swooping down on them in a TIE fighter. That’s when he decides on a daring move, impulsively declaring, “I have an idea.” The idea in question involves a jet pack the Mandalorian Armorer had given him. He uses it to propel himself into the air, then employs a grappling hook to climb atop the TIE fighter and plant some explosives. His gambit succeeds and enables the four of them to escape.
You don’t want to make a habit of taking huge risks with your business, but strategic, calculated risks can pay off big-time: That’s the lesson of Episode 8. Imagine if Steve Jobs or Bill Gates had always played it safe when their small, garage-based companies were getting started. To find success as an entrepreneur, you must be willing to shoulder some level of risk.
An unemotional bounty hunter and an adorable little green guy with the Force seem like an unlikely pair — yet Baby Yoda and the Mandalorian appear to be in it for the long haul. Take some lessons from the stories of the duo’s adventures, and you’ll find your business can be in it for the long haul, too.