Let’s hygge-fy your business. What exactly does that mean? Hygge is a Danish word and Nordic ethos that evokes a cozy, safe sense of home -- and it’s a phrase taking the world by storm, for good reason.
In fact, this Nordic mentality might just be able to help you run a better business, solopreneur. Read on and prepare to be inspired.
How can you adopt the hygge mentality in business?
Hygge (pronounced “hooga”) translates most closely to “coziness” -- but a cozy, safe sense of home doesn’t have to be taken literally. Hygge is an ethos that can apply to life, home, business, selling, and more.
Here are a few ways you might use the hygge concept to inspire your business:
- Reach people where they are at their most genuine. How does your brand intersect with what people really believe? If you always appeal to people’s business side, rather than their personal beliefs, or vice versa, you might be missing out on some great customer relationships.
- Build an honest sales and marketing strategy. Try to get people to feel empowered about using your product or services, rather than bully or persuade them into it.
- Practice self-care. Knowing when to switch off and snuggle down brings hygge to our personal self. Your brand (and you) could probably do with doing this every now and then.
Sold on incorporating hygge into your business? Here are some other Nordic-inspired business mantras that might inspire you and your one woman shop:
The Nordic countries live very balanced lives. They advocate for local produce, natural products, and enjoy healthy lifestyles that allow plenty of space for personal growth and exercise.
This balance, both personal and professional, is crucial. Here’s how you might be inspired by it:
- Balanced lives make for better business decisions. Being stuck on a hamster wheel of stress makes for uninspired entrepreneurs and uninspiring products. Learn how to disconnect to reconnect. Thanks to their short summers, Nordics embrace their summer to the max and go out into the wilderness to play and relax.
- Sweden’s famous six-hour work day may be in trouble, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from the concept of doing less to achieve more. Working less can actually make you more productive.
- The Nordic aesthetic is all about harmony: balancing local materials with ergonomic design. Embrace this same simplicity in your product development – less is sometimes more. (Wasn’t it Coco Chanel herself who told us to get ready, and then remove one item?)
- Bring a dialogue with the natural world into your business. What green values can you get behind? Do you fully understand the materials you work with? Be explicit and open with customers about your choices.
Nordics know all about being a #girlboss.
Living in egalitarian societies, Nordic women are encouraged to stand up and speak confidently about their aspirations. Here’s how you might be inspired by it:
- Be brave and go for it (even if you’re scared). The biggest change comes from within. Focus on what you can do well, rather than what you can’t.
- Remember that seeking confidence is often a lifelong journey. Don’t become disheartened when you find yourself doubting and questioning yourself. Focus on shifting your internal monologue so that you aren’t putting yourself down, and remember to be kind to yourself in your quest for confidence.
The famous Nordic aesthetic is all about muted tones and textures. (Think: natural shapes and colours on a white, light-filled background.)
This aesthetic goes beyond just style – minimalism is a habit you can adopt to keep your life clean and decluttered. Here’s how you might be inspired by it:
- Keep your office and digital space clean and uncluttered. Being more minimalist will allow you to take back control of your life.
- Selling online? Design a store that fits a minimalist aesthetic. Customers will appreciate a high-end, streamlined design that gives your products more space. Shopify has some awesome Nordic-style minimalist themes; or, you could get a freelancer to make one completely bespoke for you.
No English equivalent exists for this Finnish word, but sisu is all about striving and succeeding against all odds.
Rooted in a stubborn and defiant mentality, embracing grit is something all entrepreneurs need from time to time. Here’s how you might be inspired by it:
- Dig deep when the time calls for it.
- Don’t get snowed under by other people’s expectations. Persevere and move through the hard stuff with style and grace.
- Sisu isn’t necessarily about being stoic. Sometimes it’s okay to admit that something is hard...but that you’re going to get through it, anyways.
Nordic communities know when it’s time to pool resources and knuckle down for the tough season ahead.
Embrace cooperation to make the most out of the people around you, and forge new collaborative relationships. Here’s how you might be inspired by it:
- Work with other business owners on joint efforts in order to maximize returns. Always keep an eye out for interesting collaborations and partnerships and embrace business events like networking with an open mind.
- Don’t always see other suppliers as outright competition. There’s usually enough space in the market for everyone. Conferences and knowledge days are a great way to get together and discuss industry trends.
- Share the love and you’ll get more back.Give back to the community around you with insightful emails, supportive membership groups (like One Woman Shop) and plenty of old-fashioned social media interaction.
Last, but not least: Quality
Quality over quantity is (sometimes) the way to go.
Nordics can’t compete on volume, so they tend to opt for quality instead. Here’s how you might be inspired by it:
- Focus on what you do best, rather than trying to frantically run after growth or new ideas. By refining your current offering (and perhaps upgrading it), you’re going to develop new products and business ideas in a much more cost-effective way.
- Build a VIP version of your product or service. Offering an exclusive version of what you do can encourage people to spend more with you.
- Focus on stating clear value propositions. It’s okay to be more expensive that your rivals if you’re actually offering more. Just make it clear to customers why (and what) that is.
Embrace the hygge mentality in business
Nordics have learned how to carve out successful societies in harsh, unforgiving conditions. When you feel like life or business is getting you down, connect with your inner Nordic spirit.
These values are for everyone and can be endlessly adapted. It’s all about taking something you connect with and making it work for your business.
Tell us below: What Nordic principles are striking your chords?
P.S. As we love to preach...business isn’t one-size-fits-all.
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