Starting and running a business is no easy task. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult things to execute and maintain consistently over the years. It takes a lot of failures and lessons along the way to figure out how to operate successfully.
A lot of entrepreneurs and business owners have received help and tips along their journey from mentors and personal contacts. We asked thirteen business owners to share one piece of advice that they received in the past they felt added value and helped them along the way. Hopefully their suggestions can have a positive impact on your journey as well.
1. Always lead with growth in mind.
“Make decisions for the business that are based on growth and advancement, not based on personal choices. Sometimes you have to make moves that you don’t like to do, but they are the right move for the company. It needs to come before personal feelings always.” — Bill Auer, Founder of Tampa Bay Air Charter
2. Stay focused on profits.
“Focus on profits. So many startups and business founders are focused on employee head count, or total revenue or other metrics. Maximizing profit and focusing on doing things that turn a greater profit ensure you can survive and thrive – eventually without reliance on funding sources.” — Shawn Schulze of HomeArea.com
3. Don’t become overextended.
“Don’t overextend yourself. Not every business is going to be a rapid success. You have to think logically and pace yourself. If you spread yourself too thin you are going to make mistakes, so pull the breaks a bit and focus on small meaningful gains. Over time this leads to solid growth.” — Ari Evans of AAA Handbags
4. Follow your passion.
“Always follow your passion and not the money, because this is how meaningful businesses are created. When you build something with your heart and it provides value, then the money will often follow. If you chose the money first you often won’t be doing something you love every day.” — Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
5. Focus on your job.
“Just focus on your job. That simple advice has lead me to the place I am now. It cleared away the noise and opened me up to realizing what I was good at. When I find myself in the weeds I remind myself, focus on the job and it has taken me more through those moments leading me to continued success.” — Shawn Freeman, Founder and CEO of TWT Group
6. Get a coach or mentor.
“The best piece of business I have ever received was to get a coach or a mentor. Bill Treadwell, my coach and mentor, has been amazing in the way he has helped me and my company grow and mature. Without Bill the company would not be where it is today.” — Ben Walker, Founder of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
7. Create around what you love.
“Build a business around something you love, because of the time and involvement it takes to be successful. If you have a business related to something you don’t absolutely love you won’t want to spend the time and effort on it that is needs. It will require all of your time, so decide wisely.” — Tom Munroe, CEO of RugStudio
8. Stay in your lane.
“Stay in your lane. Stay laser-focused on the things that I do well which is asbestos litigation and bring in the best people possible to handle the jobs and tasks that are outside of my scope and that would take time away from my core competencies.” — Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP
9. Build relationships.
“Focus on networking and building strong relationships, because relationships will result in sales, along with a constantly expanding group of resources to help with just about any need you may have along the way.“ — Sean Christman, Founder of Slamdot
10. Understand failure can happen.
“Be prepared and willing to fail. While it might sound negative, the reality is that many businesses fail. You have to be willing to fall down a few times and get back up each time and try again. There are very few one hit wonders.” — Jim Epton of Dom Huga Ltd
11. Get things in writing.
“When doing business with someone for the first time, always get the work being performed agreed to in writing. Be clear with expectations from the beginning and never be afraid to ask questions or for references.” — Marc Webb, Founder of Real PDL Help
12. Just get started and get to work.
“Get to work. Sometimes we can overthink, over plan, etc. Sometimes you have to just get started. You’ll learn a lot along the way and encounter obstacles that you never could have planned for. Learn by doing.” — Matthew Kolb of All High School
13. Always lead with honor and integrity.
“There are always going to be opportunities for shortcuts, but there is no substitute for hard work. It’s not always easy, but when you do things for the right reasons things will tend to work out better in the end.” — Andrew Tran, Founder of Therapy