No matter how you look at it, starting a business is hard. One of the hardest things you may ever have to do. There’s the business plan to think over, a name, government policies to consider, how it will affect your family, finances and the list rolls on from there. Some hardened entrepreneurs suggest spending a long time thinking about if that’s really the path you want to take. If so, there is plenty of advice floating around to help you with the grueling journey. Entrepreneurs are always willing to lend their words to the younger generation of business seekers and give them assistance when the time comes. Below we have asked entrepreneurs for their #1 tip to be successful business.
#1- Be well capitalized at the start
My #1 tip to be successful in your entrepreneurial journey is to be well capitalized at the start. In fact, you should have more capital than you think you’ll need. Why? Because when you take risk, which is what starting a business is, you need to allow plenty of time for your strategy to play out and to get your brand in front of potential clients. It takes time to become recognized in the market and then convert that recognition into revenue. The more time you give yourself to be successful, the more likely you are to be successful.
Thanks to Chris Hervochon, SOAR – a better way CPA!
#2- Have a “gambler” (#kennyrogers) philosophy
Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. Meaning: be flexible. So many entrepreneurs try to make a square peg fit into a round hole but sometimes you just need to look for the square hole. Don’t force it, you can’t be good at everything. You only have to be good at trusting your instinct on choosing good people. If you are the smartest person in the room, your ego has taken the wheel to the disadvantage of your brand. A friend once said, if you aren’t sure who the weak link is, it is probably you.
Thanks to Tony Breeden, b+b®!
#3- Believe in yourself
Why else would you go into business if you didn’t feel confident about what you had to offer? Remind yourself you are good at what you do – good at helping people, providing them with a solution that makes their lives easier, or getting them to move past feeling overwhelmed. Get clear and then excited about doing what you do. When you feel yourself wavering, turn to a mentor, your coach or a trusted colleague for support. That person will remind you of the gift you have to offer and your brilliance. So keep that in mind – believe in yourself and move forward.
Thanks to Debra Jason, The Write Direction!
#4- A successful mindset
The only thing necessary for success is a successful mindset – a mental atmosphere of success. If we think successful thoughts and feel success within our being, the manifestation of success is inevitable. All the choices, decisions and actions that occur are inspired and compelled by our state of mind. IF we assume we are successful then all of the ideas, resources and opportunities necessary for success will find their way to us. What we imagine to be so, becomes so.
Thanks to Robin Salter, KWIPPED!
#5- Treat your customers like gold
Create a customer service centered brand that makes people love you for how you treat them. Offer free consultations in the sales process, follow up with customers as they use your product/service, and go above and beyond when dealing with customer issues. When you put your customers first, you create loyalty that you can parlay into referrals further increasing your business.
Thanks to Connor Gillivan, FreeeUp!
#6-Get a mentor
No matter what you’re doing, somebody has taken that path before, and considering time is money, save some time, invest some money, and get somebody to guide you on your journey. It probably won’t be cheap, but the insights you’ll likely gain will be worth 10x or even 100x whatever you pay them. Now quit dreaming, and start doing!
Thanks to Jeff Lenney
What goes hand-in-hand with a vision? Perseverance! You’ll need the perseverance to keep moving forward. During those times when things get challenging, we have to commit ourselves to move forward, regardless of the discomfort and fear surrounding the next step.
Thanks to Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC!
#8- Understand that people matter most
After thirty years of doing what I do, I have learned that the #1 tip to succeeding in business is to understand that people matter most. Most employees are not loyal to their company or their leadership, because their company and leadership are no loyal to them. Too many people in business have become so shallow that they are merely transactional, not relational. The people on your payroll are not units of production they are people. They have dreams, goals, hurts, and crisis. If you fail them relationally, you will forever struggle in your operations.
Thanks to Dave Ramsey, The Dave Ramsey Show!
Don’t try to be a generalist and be everything for everyone.. There’s an abundance of niches and industries out there and all of them need an expert. The future of work lies in specialization and compartmentalization. By being the expert in your niche you can demand higher rates, gain authority and the work just gets easier and easier the more you do it. Bonus points if you really enjoy what you do, no need to have “work/life” balance because you will be able to merge both into one. You’ll have clients coming to you instead of having to go after them and beg for their money. It’s a win-win situation.
Thanks to Alan Silvestri, Growth Gorilla!
#10- Patience Before Profits
Many entrepreneurs want to grow as fast as possible. However, to truly succeed in business you must exhibit the skill of patience. Being patient allows your mindset to be more focused on meeting the needs of your customers or clients over the long haul by making decisions that have long-lasting effects versus short-term gains with scaleless processes. Entrepreneurship is a lifelong game, so be patient and let your business grow steadily over time.
Thanks to Zach Pittman, OrionsGuard!
#11-Do NOT listen to your friends and family
The best tip I could give you to succeed is never listen to your friends and family. Why? Because most of them don´t believe in you or your idea until you have succeeded. And this is a fact. People tend to not believe other ideas before it is materialized. Maybe they know you too much and don’t believe you are capable of doing it. If you believe in yourself do it and show everyone that they were wrong.
Thanks to David de Ponte Lira, FullMusculo!
My number one tip to be successful is focus, and what I mean is less is more. Too many entrepreneurs have lots of ideas and are always chasing those new ideas only to see very little success from them. The constant chase of new ideas will ultimately leave you burnt out. If you are to focus being really good in one area, you will see more success than always introducing new services or products into your business. By being really good at one thing, you can become an expert and can become known for that. People will pay for that. It’s easier to have clear marketing, testing tweaking and refining your marketing to continue to make improvements and so on in other areas of the business.
Thanks to Sara Lingenfelter, Virtual Biz Partner!
#13- Implement an idea that is intentionally unsustainable
There are moments in every business in which you have the opportunity to do something you know isn’t possible once you grow. Ask yourself: What’s something that I would love to do today, that I know I can’t do once my business reaches the next stage? How can I delight my customers, and deliver the best possible product or experience? How can I improve the emotional connection between those I work with, and those I serve? By implementing ideas you know you can’t do in the long run, you’ll start to uncover your focus and authentic purpose—a critical piece for driving your entire business forward. Take what you’ve learned and create a foundation on which you can scale, and ultimately, stand out in the market.
Thanks to Paula Chang, Tinkering Monkey!
#14- Be organized first
My number one tip is to – organize myself first before I seek to organize others. I spend 30 minutes every morning in a quiet place so I can plan my day to be as efficient and effective as I can be. Its a difficult position to be asking others to, ‘go faster/ harder / stronger / better’ when you are not working at your peak yourself as a leader. I set my day up so I can focus on the things I can change, not the things I can’t. And I day part the day so I can move through tasks quickly and efficiently to show the team that it’s not that hard, if you focus.
Thanks to Troy Hazard, Gettin’ Down to Business!
Don’t give up when you fail. When I first started, I was thinking I needed 18 months before my business would succeed. I later heard someone say Give it at least 5 years before you quit. Later still someone else told me, Give it 10 years before you quit. On my first project I lost $90,000 of my cash. I felt demoralized and wanted to quit. But, I kept remembering what others had said – I needed to be persistent and keep trying. It was one very expensive learning lesson. If I had quit after my first failure, I would have remained the same person. Instead, I was able to identify some of my own personal weaknesses. I learned to see them when they show up and I learned to overcome them in future projects.
Thanks to Robert Taylor, The Real Estate Solutions Guy!
#16-The secret to success is others
Business is the business of people not products or services. Tell your compelling story and people will naturally want to help you succeed. If they can not help you then they might know other who can, and after seeing your success they will feel apart of your
journey. And don’t forget to sit down…& be humble. Say thank those who helped you along the way.
Thanks to Dr. Jacqueline Darna, NoMo Nausea!
#17- Three tips
Promote, promote, promote. Always keep promoting your business. Social is big. Do not underestimate the power of social media, so do utilize its power to communicate, promote and respond. Use size to your advantage. A small business’s biggest advantage is its ability to react quickly and to be agile and nimble while working with customers. Cash flow rules. Managing cash flow is perhaps one of the most important aspects of running a small business, as cash is always tight.
Thanks to Rema Deo, 24By7Security, Inc.!
#18-Make time to work ON your business, not just IN it
When starting your entrepreneurial journey, you will more often than not find yourself wearing many hats: Marketing, sales, production, customer service; I certainly did. This work ethic can be great to get your business off the ground but to truly grow your business you need to allocate time to work on the business and not just working in it. This means strategic business development tasks that will take your business to the next level and not just technical tasks that fill up time. I’d suggest starting by drafting up an organizational chart and finding contractors to take some of the menial tasks from your schedule, which will then free up more time for strategic development as well playing to your unique strengths. You might think that you’re saving by doing those menial tasks yourself, but you should be focusing on growing your business and creating jobs in the process.
Thanks to James Dimovski, Gallant State!
#19-Be Willing To Adapt
Since I left Google to launch my own ad agency and focus on my DIY Digital Strategy Blog, I learned that it’s critical to be willing to adapt. For example, as I’m fully into entrepreneurship, I’ll test new opportunities to drive revenue growth and quickly get data to what works and what doesn’t work. Based on the feedback, I’ll quickly adapt and focus on what’s driving the most business impact. With this approach, even if you test something that doesn’t pan out as expected, it’s not at a loss as you gained learnings to further hone your business. For example, when I advertise, I quickly identify tactics that work, and tactics that didn’t work. I then take action on this data to focus on what’s most successful.
Thanks to Ben Lund, DIY Digital Strategy!
#20- Work hard
There have been lots of little tips and advice I have utilised to help grow Tatry Group to what it is today. However, easily my number one piece of advice is ‘work hard’. No more watching Love island. No more parties with your friends. You need to work hard, sacrifice and realise the level of sheer hard work that is required to make a business successful. Approach each day with a focused task list of the activities designed to have the greatest impact on your business. In my personal opinion, if you aren’t ready to commit to this type of work schedule, you probably aren’t ready to be an entrepreneur.
Thanks to Jonathan Sisk, Tatry Group!
#21- Understand sales and marketing
Many people start a business because of a particular skill set that they possess. For example, they’re an amazing cook, so they open a restaurant. Or they’re a great barber, so they open a barbershop. Unfortunately, they’re often lacking in one of the most important areas that affects the success of their business: an understanding of sales and marketing, and the ability to execute them effectively. However, just as it’s imperative to master the specific skills that are required within your particular industry, it’s just as imperative to master sales and marketing. You could be the best cook in the world, but if there aren’t enough potential customers who are aware that your restaurant exists, you won’t be able to sustain a full-time, profitable business. With any business, if you aren’t able to consistently and efficiently convert your marketing dollars and efforts into actual sales, then you’re wasting away time as well as money. So become proficient in this regard, or be prepared to hire someone who is. Determine which forms of marketing are the most effective for your business, invest the proper amount of resources there, and don’t relent even when your business is booming. Always be in a position to immediately replace clientele that falls off for any reason. Ideally, develop your sales and marketing abilities before ever opening your business. Whether it be working or interning at a company where it can be learned, or taking courses, it’s better to already have this in place than to juggle learning it with balancing all the other responsibilities that come with entrepreneurship.
Thanks to Cory Collins, Ample Opportunity, Inc.!
#22-Know better, decide better and succeed better
Today in any business industry, he will succeed most who holds the maximum amount of valuable information. Hence, to be on the top of the industry any business has to get relevant market data as much as possible and in well advance. The more and earlier you get different data related to your trade, more precisely you can analyse them to extract valuable market information which will let you know the exact market trends and status. After having precise market knowledge, you will be able to take the best beneficial business decisions which will help your business to succeed even in the tough times. Therefore, acquiring knowledge is the best way to succeed in business.
Thanks to Andrei Vasilescu, DontPayFull!
#23- Distinguish progress from work
I think a lot of business owners get stuck doing work that doesn’t really move the business forward. Every business owner has a million things to do or worry about. The problem or trap is that crossing a to-do off the list may not necessarily mean that you are moving the needle or making your business more profitable or better. Progress on the other hand is completing a task that pushes your business forward or work that directly affects your profitability or efficiency in a noticeably positive way in the near future. The key word there is near future. It is great to think long-term and you should do this however, don’t fall in the trap of investing time today that wont’ help you for a year when you can invest the same time to see an effect today. I’d challenge business owners to put a score of 1-10 next to any to-do or task they have on their plate right now. Ask yourself, How does this help me make more money or grow my business or work more efficiently TODAY?. If it doesn’t help you right now, it should get a score of 5 or less. If something will make a positive impact today, it should get a higher score. Now re-order your to-do list based on this.
Thanks to TylerWeinrich, W Properties!
#24-Know your strengths and weaknesses
The one thing most entrepreneurs need to do is an in-depth an analysis of their own strengths and weaknesses. Most entrepreneurs are successful and confident. This can lead them to overconfidence in some areas. Knowing if there is an aspect of your business that you do not excel in is an asset if you address it in the proper manner. Hiring others who have those strengths or contracting out when necessary can save a lot of headaches along the way. It is much better to do something right the first time at a higher cost than to do it yourself and do it wrong. You will later have to hire someone to fix the problems you created. This can be true for any aspect of operating a business; IT, Marketing, Customer Service, Pricing, etc.
Thanks to Mitchell Sharp, Workers Compensation Shop!