Bryan Zmijewski - How to Build Trust With Clients and Teams


Interested in starting your own business but know what the odds are stacked against you? In this episode, Bryan Zmijewski dives into his advice on being a successful business owner. After 25 years of experience working on his own business, he has a lot to share. Read the article below for his tips on what it takes to be a successful business owner and how to support your team and clients in a way that builds trust. Listen to more of Bryan’s excellent advice in the full episode!

🔥 Step into the flames of business ownership.

Face daily challenges with determination, understanding that you are the point person to help put out the fires as a business owner. Accept mistakes from your team and find growth opportunities along the way!

📢 Guide your team and your clients.

Collaborate effectively with clients through feedback loops and an open-minded approach to challenges. Build trust with your team and clients by dealing with issues effectively and honestly.

How to Build Trust With Clients and Teams

In episode 50 of The Product Design Podcast, Seth Coelen interviews Bryan Zmijewski, Chief Instigator at ZURB,where Helio was created and a product design company that has been in business since 1998.

During our chat, Bryan shares how ZURB was created and his approach to running a business for 25 years. Bryan gives his point of view on what it takes to be a successful business owner for several years, how he builds trust with his clients and team, and the steps he takes to gain clarity so he can lead the direction of a project effectively. This episode is filled with tips and tricks for anyone already running a business or those who want to get started and would like to understand more of what goes into running a business in our industry!

Bryan Zmijewski and Seth Coelen on The Product Design Podcast

This article will focus on Bryan's advice on becoming a successful business owner.

Embracing the Flames: What It Takes to be a Successful Business Owner

Bryan has collected a ton of valuable advice on being a successful business owner over the last 25 years. He has learned the importance of facing challenges, reducing ambiguity through clear communication, and leading with compassion along his career path as a business owner. During this episode, Bryan shares his advice on how to find success through careful consideration for your clients and team.

🔥 Push yourself into the heat!

As a business owner, you must be willing to step into the fires and keep putting them out daily, no matter how small the fire may seem. From accounting, team management, client support, and everything in between - as new emergencies arise, you will be the point person to help put out all of the fires. Having the determination to keep doing this daily is critical for any business owner.

💡 Embrace problems and mistakes.

Accept and embrace that struggles, problems, and mistakes will happen. Use these moments to learn, grow and find ways to create something meaningful as you learn to be a better leader for your team and clients. Creating a culture where your team is ok with making mistakes and learning from them will give them the confidence to try new things and fail forward.

“The question is how much can you adapt? How fast can you work through those struggles? I'd say a good agency would know how to adjust, and a good company is open to the possibility that you're not trying to get everything perfect. You're trying to work through a relationship in which you can produce better things.”

📢 Lead with honesty and integrity.

There are no shortcuts to becoming a successful business owner, you must learn how to lead your team to best support your clients. Building trust takes time and effort, but if you want to find long-term success, it is critical. To build that trust, demonstrate to your team that issues will be dealt with effectively and honestly, and give your clients peace of mind by facing their concerns and working towards resolutions right away.

👏 Collaborate effectively with clients.

Collaboration with clients is necessary for successful engagements. Establishing an effective feedback loop with your client is vital to the collaboration process and will continue building trust with your clients during a project. A feedback loop will also ensure that goals are aligned, and expectations are clear for the client and the team. Always strive for an open-minded approach and be prepared to accept negative feedback from your clients. Learn how to adjust and adapt to the challenges posed by your client. Understand that it is not about trying to get everything exactly right, but the goal should be to strive for better outcomes.

Bryan Zmijewski
“In my mind, that's the nirvana of what I do - being able to create new spaces for people to operate in and work in, and be able to visualize things that they couldn't.”

Thank you so much, Bryan!

Thank you, Bryan, for joining us on the show and discussing your advice on becoming a successful business owner. Congratulations on 25 years of leading your business and teams! What a huge accomplishment! From how to inspire and guide your teams to working with clients and establishing long-term trust, your advice will definitely help all of our listeners who are either thinking of starting the journey to owning their own business or those who have a few years under their belt and need the motivation to continue forward!

Listen to the complete episode on The Product Design Podcast, which includes a peek behind what inspired Bryan to start his own business and a deep dive into mistakes companies make when looking for a design partner. Don’t forget to follow Bryan on Twitter, and LinkedIn, and also check out his product Helio, which is a rapid way to test and get answers to your creative ideas.

Where to find Bryan

Additional Links:

📨 Get each podcast delivered to your inbox. No spam, we promise!

📬 Newsletter

Subscribe and get info about
our new episodes

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Share the Podcast