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 best business advice.
#1-You can’t do everything on your own
It took me a long time to realize that I can’t possibly do everything. When you’re passionate about something and you feel that others wouldn’t understand, you tend to do be on a mission to get everything done. A better approach is to invite as many people to listen, discuss, critique your ideas and approaches. It can help refine your approach and also find some great allies. Some (or a lot) of people wouldn’t share your enthusiasm. But the ones who do will be invaluable.
Thanks to Abhii Dabas, Webpuppies Singapore!
#2- Get a business mentor and mastermind team
My best business tip would be to get a business mentor and mastermind team around you who buy into your vision and can help you execute it. A mentor can help you shortcut your journey and point you in the right direction and show you new opportunities that you may not of knew even existed within your business. When you have a mentor and a mastermind team around them it saves you feeling alone and gives you someone to bounce ideas off, give new ideas & insights and really help you grow your business. I have had 3 mentors for the last 4 years – 2 who are exceptional at business, business growth and finding opportunities within a business and a third mentor who runs a far bigger digital agency than I do who is sharing his experience within my sector. Without these I never would of experienced year on year growth both in the business and personally.
Thanks to Craig Murphy, ALT Agency!
#3- Save before starting a business
When starting a business the last thing you want to worry about is how you are going to pay your personal bills. If possible save up as much money as you can so you are not reliant on your business income. This will allow you to focus on your business's growth and not add to the stress of a first-time business owner.
Thanks to Kelan & Brittany Kline, The Savvy Couple!
#4- You learn from clients as well
When we started Potenza on the heels of the 2008 mortgage crisis we literally had no idea what we were doing, which was the best thing that ever happened to us. We had to rely on the needs of our clients to tell us what direction we will take our company. and since we were in the middle of a recession it was the perfect dust storm for us to emerge from. We would get a client and give it everything we had. Then get another client and we continue to give that client the same treatment. It took us five years to even figure out what Potenza was. And I spent the next five years reinventing that definition.
Thanks to Frankie Russo, Potenza Inc.!
#5- Prepare your day
To succeed in entrepreneurship, you need to accept that not everything is going to get done. You can’t spread your focus and energy across a dozen different tasks. Instead, take time each night to prepare (not just plan) for tomorrow. Preparation requires reflection on the day that just happened. Write out your highlights of the day, times you felt like you were at your best, times you felt unrest, and figure out one way you can improve tomorrow. Then, strategically prepare your day, so you’re getting the most important things done first. Chunk your time, keep your phone in a drawer, and focus on getting the most important things done well each day. The most important things often include priorities outside the office, so remember to take care of your personal relationships and health, too!
Thanks to Katie McIntyre, Monk Manual!
#6- Find a burning need in the market
My best tip to succeed in entrepreneurship is to find a burning need in the market (ask your target market first what they need most desperately), come up with a solution that fulfills that need, and at a price they are more than willing to pay for. That is the guaranteed recipe for entrepreneurial success in any market.
Thanks to John Lagoudakis, Web Agents Brisbane!
#7- Make data-driven decisions
In this day and age where data is freely collected, analyzed and shared, there is no reason NOT to make data-driven decisions whenever possible. By measuring and analyzing the results, you are dramatically increasing your chances of success and eliminating the need to guess.
Thanks to Kamyar Shah
#8-Remember your Why
Keeping success at bay is the best motivation. Money, freedom, that new Lambo, it doesn't matter. Whatever your why is that got you on this difficult path, remember how bad you want it. Almost being there will give you the drive to stay motivated. Set many small reachable quantifiable goals, and by reaching each of them you know you are one step closer to your why. This keeps us motivated! Quantifiable measurable progress towards your why.
Thanks to Jerryll Noorden, WeBuyHousesInConnecticut!
#9-Work when you are wired, sleep when you are tired
As an entrepreneur you have one very big privilege. You get to work the hours you want. In my 25+ year ride as an entrepreneur, I’ve taken advantage of this great opportunity by focussing on getting more done when I am dialed into the issue, and putting the computer away when I’m not. So often we wake up at 3am with what I call, ’the rattles’. You have ideas running around in your head, you have a buzz of all of the things you need to get done the next day, and you toss and turn trying to get back to sleep before you have to get up and do them. Just get up and do them! If you have the flash of genius, the next big idea, the answer to the problem you know you’ll have to solve the next day anyway, then just get up and fix it! With the problem solved, take a mid-afternoon nap when you run out of steam the next day. Work when you are wired, sleep when you are tired. It helps me be far more effective and efficient.
Thanks to Troy Hazard
#10- Your Network is Your #1 Resource
Establishing and growing your professional network is my number one tip for success in entrepreneurship. As a military spouse-owned virtual company moving frequently, I viewed each move as an opportunity to build a diverse network, and in turn build my business.
Thanks to Melissa St. Clair, Paper Chaser!
#11- Practice patience
One of the best tips to succeed in entrepreneurship is to be patient. It’s unlikely that you’re going to see explosive success in the beginning, and even after you get going, new business initiatives at times take time to gain a foothold and start to bring you significant results. During this time of patience, continue to work hard, stick to your goals and objectives, and ultimately, things should work out well for you.
Thanks to Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers!
#12-Be nice and have empathy
It may sound counterintuitive to some but being a good, kind person and having empathy is crucial. In an age where reputation is everything, and word of mouth spreads faster than ever this is more important now than ever. Many business owners get swallowed up by egos and burned bridges along the way. Being empathetic, grateful and honestly is by far the most overlooked quality any business owner can have. After books like Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs, many entrepreneurs feel they need to be brash and headstrong. I can't stress how far being a good person and having empathy has gotten me personally. Never underestimate the power of being the type of person people want to be around. Treat everyone like they'll lead the next round of funding and reap the benefits of being a good person and attracting good people.
Thanks to Ryan Knoll, Civil Hair!
#13-Overcome the human urge to be defensive
I encourage feedback and one habit I have come to stick to over the years is always assuming the intent behind feedback is positive. It's all too easy for ego to get in the way of being a great manager, partner, or colleague, so–regardless of who I am receiving direct feedback from–I try to remain open to the sentiment and detail. If you can overcome the human urge to be defensive and respond without understanding, feedback can make a significant difference in your daily personal and business performance.
Thanks to Zlatko Vucetic, FocusVision!
#14-Make sure your email marketing is tight
The biggest mistake we were making with our emails was using company logic as opposed to customer logic. You really need to put yourself in the mind of your customer when crafting your emails. Run your email copy by friends , and strangers, Get feedback because its so challenging to get out of your own skin. Then , split your email up int micro conversions. Subject- Just get the open. Subhead- Peak their curiosity. Header, convert that curiosity into interest. Body – quickly point out what you re going to do for them CTA- Get them to the landing page. The goal of the email is to get a click. Do not try to make or close the sale in the email.
Thanks to Zach Hendrix, GreenPal!
#15-Promote forward thinking
Too often in companies, the boss is the one with the ideas and the employees work to get the jobs done. While a top-down approach is necessary and of course isn’t a hard and fast rule in most places. Too often creativity isn’t actively encouraged to the point where the employees can feel comfortable contributing to the concepts that can form a better workspace or better customer experience. Not only is it good business sense to promote input from your employees, but it also helps build a rich office culture.
Thanks to Nate Masterson, Maple Holistics!
#16-Do not relent in the face of adversity
The startups/businesses which succeed are not the golden geese or geniuses of the world, they're simply the ones that did not relent in the face of adversity. Know that you will face many obstacles on your journey, take solace in the fact that everyone does, it's not unique to your business. No matter how daunting or damning an obstacle may seem, there are many ways around it, you will get through it and you will take strength from knowing that you can surmount whatever is thrown at you. Embrace the grind and you will grow rapidly as a result.
Thanks to Robert Rodrigues, flo.ie!
#17-Give back to the givers
Because it sends a message to everyone else in the organization: You help us; we help you. It means if any other employee does an exceptional job of being selfless or helping someone else, make sure that everyone knows that, that employee is treated like a king.
Thanks to Michael Minter, Mintco Financial!
It may be cliché, but it's completely true as an entrepreneur. If you try to be who you think others want you to be, and you make your business what you think others want, you will never get the clients or the outcomes you desire. By being genuinely you in your marketing, networking, and relationships, you will attract your ideal clients and build your dream business.
Thanks to Jennifer Stewart, Gateway Productivity!
#19-Always talk to people
My one biggest tip to help entrepreneurs succeed is to always talk to people. Getting the word out there about your business is the hardest thing. The more people you can talk to about it the better. You never know who you are going to meet and what benefit they might bring to your new business; from marketing help, business ideas and customers.
Thanks to Cindy Jones, Colorado Aromatics!
#20- Learn and apply new answers
My single tip for entrepreneurs would be: “there’s no single tip to succeed so you need to always learn and apply new answers”. Just like raising a child, there are many different facets to starting and running a company successfully that you should be aware of. Now, being aware of such facets that are unique to your industry would be something I’d advise you should focus on so you can have an advantage. Sometimes people want to simplify things a little too much for the sake of convenience. There’s no singular tip to solve all of your business woes. Even if you divide a problem into smaller problems and focus on solving each one of them it’s not going to be a singular task. A problem has the potential to require different approaches in order to fix it. When you realize that the problem is only part of the real problem and so on and so forth down the rabbit hole, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The good news is you can keep learning and keep applying different solutions over time. Be persistent and you will develop your own unique philosophy of how to deal with problems as you progress on your business journey.
Thanks to Vlad Mkrtumyan, Logic Inbound!
#21- Two tips
The best business tip to me is twofold. One, don’t be afraid: of change, of risk, of failure. If you let fear guide your business-making decisions, you will remain stagnant and miss opportunities for growth. If you are looking to grow your business or brand, you have to be willing to accept change, take risks and be willing to fail to grow and make strides in your business, whatever that is. Two, you must keep your goals in front of you and be willing to change them if you have outgrown them or they no longer serve your needs. Business is ever-changing; markets are changing and needs change. If something no longer serves you, you need to move on from it, regroup and redefine what it is you want to accomplish. If you are willing to do that, you can meet any challenge that is thrown at you.
Thanks to Kristin Lis Esq., Smedley & Lis!
#22- Don't just plan, act
Too many would-be entrepreneurs never quite reach their potential because they fail to act. They have a great idea. They plan, they strategize, they worry about all the things that can go wrong. But they never quite start on their idea. Just start. Put it out there. It’s going to be uncomfortable. It’s going to be awkward. You will make mistakes. But you’ll figure it out. As soon as it’s out there, you can start building it. Just do something and get it out there. You can execute a mediocre idea and it will be better than a great idea that you never deliver.
Thanks to Tom Kulzer, AWeber!
#23- Test and evaluate everything
When someone starts their new business up and running they might get complacent. Businesses are not static, they are dynamic and always changing and adapting to the market conditions. And while It's fun doing business cards, playing around with a website, buying office plants etc but your business will fail if you don't get customers. Therefore its imperative that you go out and identify the most important things you can do that will start getting your clients/customers and then keep doing them. Only through this will your business succeed. Ensure that you test and evaluate everything you are doing and if it's not working or it's making things overcomplicated, change it. Finally, cut away the fat! Any non-essential activities or services that you're supplying should be removed, don't be sentimental.
Thanks to Richard Walton, AVirtual!
Without a doubt, delegation is the solution to the age-old problem of working in vs. on your business. Delegation is critical to both the business' and the entrepreneur's well-being. When a business owner attempts to tackle every task, both product quality and morale of the business suffer, while the entrepreneur's wellbeing tanks. We all know how it feels to be micro-managed – if you don't delegate and empower your employees to work autonomously, you are condemning them and your business to an unhealthy company culture. The benefits of delegating – and, allowing your employees to independently tackle the tasks you've entrusted them with – are two-fold: you do more than uplift your employees and company morale. You free up your time and mental energy to take care of the challenges that only the business *owner* can.
Thanks to Reuben Yonatan, GetVOIP!
#25- Stay true to your passion
In many ways, it’s easier than ever to start your own business but many people quickly realize that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the CEO desk. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart! There is a lot of romanticized content out there (especially on Instagram) that makes it seem like a dream to be your own boss; from the #digitalnomads who claim to only work four hour weeks while traveling the world and blogging from the back of their camper van to the always perfect snaps of #workathome life, it can be tough when your reality doesn’t seem to match up to what you’re seeing online. My biggest tip for succeeding as an entrepreneur is to stay true to yourself and not compare your version of success to anyone else’s. Being an entrepreneur can be risky and unpredictable enough without feeling like you haven’t figured out the “magic formula” for success yet. If you’re bold enough to step out on your own, stay true to that passion and success will eventually follow.
Thanks to Kristine Neil, Markon Brands!
#26-Build your Business for Today and Tomorrow!
One of the best tips I can offer to entrepreneurs and owners is to build your company for today and tomorrow. It is about developing effective business processes that will allow you to be scalable, repeatable and efficient. In simple terms, it will help your business do things better which will result in an increased bottom line. Processes here means all processes that help you run your business. For example, it can range from how you capture sales leads, track employees time, pay your bills and report profitability. In my consulting business, the problems that my clients encounter are bottlenecks, delays and outdated information when their processes are not developed or improved. Ultimately, process development and improvement are a way for your business to become the best it can be.
Thanks to Linda Herron, SimpliProfit!
I believe that through listening you can learn from your customers, partners and employees. You learn what adjustments you can make, what is a priority for others and where the marketing is going. You can learn how others are thinking about your business, the industry and the economy. Taking the time to listen to others and be open-minded is my best business tip.
Thanks to Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation!
#28-Hire smarter people than you
My number one tip is to hire smarter people than you. Know that they are not going to take your job or push you as the CEO. If you own the company, hire the best public relations consultant, human resources staff, marketing person and sales team. Give them the best technology which will enable them to do a great job. Let them do their jobs, don't micromanage and you will be the best leader.
Thanks to Chris Carter, Approyo!
#29- Make sure you're covered legally
For service-based businesses, one of the best tips I can give is to make sure you're covered legally. This means consulting with a lawyer to draw up an appropriate contract that you can have customers or clients sign before you provide services. I can't emphasis enough how important this is to not only be as professional as you can be, but to cover yourself in the event of any legal issues. Never underestimate that it can't happen to you.
Thanks to Sherry Holub, JVM Design!
#30-Health then wealth
Entrepreneurs need to prioritize their health over their career and making money. You need to get a routine that can be anywhere from meditation in the morning, praying in the morning, exercising in the morning, something that is going to benefit your inner health before you start your work day. You cannot go to sleep and the first thing you do is go straight to work. It will keep you sane and helps clear your mind, so you can be ready for the day. Limit your mindless social media browsing can help keep your health in check as well.
Thanks to Claudia A Greene, Mayhem Entertainment PR!