Here’s Why Every Entrepreneur Should Study Psychology – Forbes

Ryan Hornby, Founder of Hornby Property Ltd., a property investment, development, and management … [+] company

Ryan Hornby

Salespeople have used psychological principles to increase their sales, as well as customer satisfaction, for decades. 

Yet when it comes to entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses, they’re far more likely to pick up a book on product development or marketing than they are on psychology. But why aren’t more entrepreneurs including psychology in their research when it could significantly help their business?

One serial entrepreneur, Ryan Hornby (founder of a technology start-up, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland), is working to change this. He’s studied psychology extensively as he’s grown his businesses, which include IAM, a model and creative agency, Hornby Property Ltd., a property investment, development, and management company. He now also owns Ryan Hornby Consultancy. 

I spoke with Hornby recently about how understanding psychology can help other entrepreneurs as they’re starting, running, and growing their companies.  

Shama Hyder: Can you talk about the connection between psychology and building a business? How does psychology apply?

Ryan Hornby: “If you want to sell it, they have to feel it.” Modern psychological and behavioral science studies have made it abundantly clear: emotions and instincts drive our decisions. Although we consider ourselves to be rational beings, particularly in business, how we make our decisions—consciously or unconsciously—will often come down to how we feel. 

This is why the biggest companies on the planet pump billions of dollars into advertising campaigns that don’t necessarily showcase the full capability of their products. Instead, they focus on evoking emotion in their audience. 

Hyder: How can entrepreneurs in the early stages of development use psychological theories to help pull customers in?

Hornby: Imagine your brand is a car. In your business strategy, marketing is like the gas that goes into the car and business development is the location where you plan to take the car to sell it. Many businesses prioritize these things in the wrong order, they focus first on marketing (the “gas” that makes the brand go) and they negate the importance of the quality of their brand. Unless …….


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