experts-weigh-in-whats-your-best-advice-for-entrepreneurs

Happy National Entrepreneur Day! Here at MyCorp, we wanted to know what was the best piece of advice entrepreneurs could give their fellow small business owners. We got the chance to speak with 90+ entrepreneurs from all walks of life about the tips, tricks, and sage wisdom that they would impart onto anyone who is pursuing the entrepreneurial road — check out what they have to say below!

 1. “For almost all businesses, the key to success is staff. Get the right people — those who have the right competencies, interests, and values — into the right seats and then treat them well to reduce turnover.” — Steven Rothberg, College Recruiter

2. “For any entrepreneur that has a wave of publicity that will significantly alter their business is, never say no. Make your motto ‘Yes We Can’ instead. Everyone on our team approaches everything that we do with this philosophy in mind. It drives us to be successful and when we face challenges we tackle them knowing that a solution is in reach.” — Michael Volpatt, Big Bottom Market

3. “Don’t like sales? Change the way you think about it! Instead of cold calls, think of them as warm connections. You’re letting people who need your services know about your services for mutual benefit—a win-win situation!” — Ann Kellett, Ann Kellett Editing

4. “Pay little attention to your so-called competitors and design your business to reflect your skills and talents. Your success will show the merit of these actions.” — Dr. Billie Blair, Change Strategists

5. “Invest, invest, invest in your business. Invest in your marketing, in your people, in your product, and in your processes today and the payout will be there for the long term.” — Nathan Yerian, LocalSignal

6. “Be plugged-in to current events and take advantage of travel opportunities. The battle of Waterloo was lost as a result of bad intelligence. Every entrepreneur should be spending dozens of hours a week just keeping current. I read five newspapers a day, 50 books a year, and countless journals, government reports, and magazines. I watch cable news, and see as many cultural programs as I can, usually one a week. Travel is also critical—even backward towns and countries have thought of things your hometown hasn’t. Half the value of any conference I go to lies in seeing the place the conference is held in.” Dan Biederman, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures Corporation

7. “The #1 thing entrepreneurs need to remember is to focus on revenue! Did money come in today? It doesn’t matter how good you are at doing what you do…if you don’t generate revenue, you won’t be doing it for much longer.” — Jason Kanigan, Sales On Fire

8. “The number one cause of death among startups is lack of cash. Treat your cash preciously, plan ahead, be modest on expenses until you are cash flow positive.” — Mike Scanlin, Born To Sell

9. “Delegate to elevate. To build a successful company, you need to work yourself out of a job IN the business so you can focus on working ON the business.” — Jen DeVore Richter, Rock My Image 

10. “If you truly believe in your idea, give up excuses and doubt, surround yourself with a trusted and talented team, bulldoze forward and DON’T. LOOK. BACK.” — Lori Cheek, Cheekd 

11. “As your company is growing, it feels like things are moving incredibly quickly, so make sure you clearly articulate the company’s priorities and guiding principles. People will be looking to you for a solid vision, and it’s key to have this understood throughout the team.” — Rashmi Melgiri, CoverWallet 

12. “Remember to sleep! When you forget to take care of yourself and fail to sleep, mistakes will happen, anxiety will set in, and your productivity will dwindle.” — Kim Sutton, Sutton Strategic Solutions

13. “Surround yourself with great mentors. People often think that just because you are the leader you have to do everything yourself and have all the answers. That’s not what is going to make you a successful CEO. It’s surrounding yourself with great mentors, coaches and people who you can learn from that will provide guidance and help you be your best self in leading others as a CEO.” — Arthur Tubman, D4Y Brand Builder

14. “The best way to succeed at being an entrepreneur is to be yourself. Fulfillment and success for both you and your clients comes through authentic engagement.” — Carrie Seibert, Soap Commander, LLC

15. “Don’t spend a lot of money trying to advertise and convince people to buy your products. Instead, look to serve, especially the media and their audiences. In doing so, you get your name out there, you become an authority in your field and become trusted. You’ll save yourself a lot of precious money, get exposure for free, and people will naturally become interested in buying what you sell and endorse.” — Josh Elledge, SavingsAngel.com

16. “Be careful with your hiring, take a lot more time, look at a lot more candidates, check a lot more references and don’t just make a hire out of desperation. A bad hire is more painful than no hire. A mediocre hire can be the worst, because someone just doing the minimum and taking up space on the org chart and payroll is preventing a good hire from being there for years.” — Brian Gill, Gillware Data Recovery

17. “There is so much to learn when you’re starting a small company, and you can’t afford to hire people who already know how to do things. The most important thing you can be as an entrepreneur and business owner is an educator. Educate your customers and employees about everything, and enable  your team to educate each other.” — Steve Benson, Badger Maps 

18. “Growth and innovation almost always result from bringing quality people together who genuinely care about solving a particular problem. Then you have to give them the freedom and tools to collaborate to find an innovative solution to that problem. If you listen closely enough to your customers, they will show you the way. Find a mentor or group of advisers you can trust. Learn as much as you can from people who have tried and succeeded, as well as those who have tried and failed.” — Paul Sim, Solar Pool Technologies

19. “My best entrepreneurial advice is to not listen to every bit of information that a business owner gives. Every situation is different and every person will not be upfront and 100% real about how their success happened.” — Leon Bailey, Lasting Blueprint Productions

20. “If there’s any decision that’s critical to a company’s future, it is the decision of who you let join your team.” — Karl Sun, Lucidchart 

21.Don’t focus on the money. If you focus on building systems that solve problems for your customers the money will come. All successful companies are successful because of their intense focus on building repeatable systems that solve problems or provide benefits. Obsess over building scalable and repeatable solutions to your customer’s problems and you’ll never have to worry about being successful.” — Rob Hochstein, Contact Pro Group 

22. “Make sure you stand out from other companies. Attract top level job seekers by providing unique benefits that are difficult to resist.” — Sean Hall, TekBoost

23. “Hire people smarter than you are. The first thing entrepreneurs need to admit is they are not the expert in every field of building a business. If you are a great marketer, you need to find an IT person and a financial person who compliments your strengths. Traits to look for include motivated, self-directed, service minded, relationship oriented, attention to detail needed, team player, technical knowledge or an aptitude for knowledge, approachable and confident, has energy, and is willing to improve continuously.” — Marc Joseph, DollarDays International, Inc.

24. “Figure out what you are really good at and what you are not. Focus on what you’re good at and find people to help/advise on what you are not. Don’t try to do everything. Secondly, stay adaptive. It’s good to have a plan, but things change and when they do, often the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to adapt.” — Matt Herrera, Foiply 

25. “Stick to your dream and have confidence in yourself, your idea, and your vision. Move yourself forward one thing on the list at a time. The only sure thing is that every day will be an adventure!” — Natalie Sudit, SHASHI, LLC

26. “Trust yourself to garner experience through research and conversation, and lean on the expertise of others to help forge your path.” — Bryan Weinstein, Bar-B-Clean

27. “Be highly interested in self-development, and pair it with a strong willingness to grow through strategic advancement opportunities.” — Dr. Karlos Boghosian, SoVita Chiropractic Center

28. “Play an integral role in your brand’s recognition, committing yourself to being a true innovator and market driver in your industry.” — Jeff Huhtanen, Fix It Fast

29. “Don’t be afraid to try something that’s never been done. Experiment, observe and always embrace change.” — Michael Moorhouse, Mosquito Shield

30. “Never let your eagerness to succeed compromise your integrity — there is a place for both in business.” — David Ellenwood, Sunny Days In-Home Care

31. “Always be cognizant of how quickly business can change and embrace that adversity. Flexibility is a fundamental tool of business ownership.” — John Covilli, Dale Carnegie Training

32. “Be prepared to work harder than ever before, but know, once you get through the tough times, your success will be incredibly gratifying.” — Jennifer Strickland, River Street Sweets

33. “Launching your own business can be a scary thing. But not pursuing your dreams can be even worse. If you want it, go after it. Don’t live wondering, ‘What if.’ Make a plan, find those who can help advise and inspire you, and go for it. If you wait for the ‘right’ time, it may never come.” — Michelle Garrett, Garrett Public Relations

34. “My advice for entrepreneurs is to have an outlet. The outlet is whatever special activity that you love to do alone that not only makes you happy but clears your mind and helps you release. Whether golf, gym/combat sports, or sitting outside sipping a nice 15-yr Scotch. Make sure your outlet is also readily accessible with limited planning (golf clubs in car, punching bag in office, etc). Basically, when the stress kicks in or something goes south, go to your happy place.”  — Walt L. Jones III, SEQ Advisory Group 

35. “Divide your day into four bits — 25 percent each. 25 on networking. 25 on operations. 25 on business development/marketing. 25 on volunteering. After two years, you’ll be doing 50 percent in networking, 0 in operations, 0 in business development, and 50 percent volunteering.” — Rodger Roeser, The Eisen Agency 

36. “When I think back, I realize there are so many unknowns when starting a new venture, and it’s impossible to pinpoint just one thing I wish I had known before I started. Sure we made mistakes and could have done things better, but the fact that we’re still going shows we haven’t made any lethal mistakes. My best advice as an entrepreneur is to make sure that you can learn, adapt, and grow as your business progresses forward. A business should be constantly evolving as technology and the world around us advances.” — Brandon Welch, Ph.D., Doxy.me

37. “Follow your passion. You have to be obsessed with the project in order to overcome the emotional rollercoaster of starting a business. You will face fear of failure, and many tasks that you’ve never done before. It can be overwhelming, but if you love and believe in the concept, you will find the way!  Cultivate a #ladyboss support group. I find that networking with other entrepreneurial women has been a wonderful and motivating experience. Stay positive and find people who get the struggle and cheer you on. Plus, you’ll be surprised how many people with strengths that are different than yours will be willing to lend you a helping hand.” — Erin Vaughen, Vinley Market 

38. “Be proactive about cash flow issues in your business. When the revenue is not there, don’t rack up more debt, address your expenses quickly. The best way is to keep a simple cash flow model that will help you see where you are headed. Remember to begin with the end in mind when it comes to your budget. When bright shiny ideas come along, be careful to not take the bait and stay with your plan. Yes, we can all improve and new ideas will come along. Most will be of you and your customers making and not something that pops out of thin air unrelated to your core business.” — Ken Yager, Newpoint Advisors Corporation

39. “Life is a giant networking session. Speak to everyone you meet — your next investor, client, or marketing lead could be standing next to you right now.” — Rachel Delia, Flask Brands

40. “Create a simple editorial calendar to make it easier on yourself to provide consistent communication and value to those interested in your products or services.” — Jessica Pantermuehl, NTP, CHHC, Holistic Entrepreneur Association

41. “Embrace the setback or temporary failure. Don’t run away from it. Face it head on and conquer.” — Melanie Williams, GURU Public Relations Events & Concierge

42. “Surround yourself with the smartest people you know. Surround yourself with the people who have your back no matter what. Then ask them for advice and listen carefully. If their advice jives with your mindset – follow it. Your inner circle will never disappoint you. At the end of the day you have to make the final decisions – but listen to your most trusted advisors and your gut.” — Kate Coffey, Chocolate Twist

43. “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that something isn’t possible in business.  Surround yourself with a team of people who can help make your vision happen and support your creativity and ingenuity.” — Erica Hornthal, Chicago Dance Therapy

44. “Before launching your business, conduct thorough market and competitor research and strategize how to position your brand. Learn what keeps your target audience up at night and effectively communicate how your products/services will solve their problems.” — Melissa Foteh, Republic One Exhibitions

45. “Be clear about the purpose of your business. Be able to answer the question concisely: What concern are you serving?” — Kerry Walls, The Coaching Collaborative

46. “Don’t lose faith! When you first launch your startup, you’re all fresh and rosy-cheeked with excitement. After a few months, though, that glow wears off and the realities begin to set in of just how hard you have to work to be a success. But rest assured, this happens to all entrepreneurs. Trust in your vision, and keep working hard. Success will come, I promise you.” — Beth Carter, Clariant Creative Agency

47. “Incorporate solid business practices from the beginning. For example, hold out some of the pay you receive from clients into funds to pay taxes, give yourself paid time off, cover overhead expenses, and perhaps even create a giving/pro-bono fund. THEN take a paycheck out of what remains.” — Beth Beutler, HOPE Unlimited

48. “Learn and practice daily habits to shift from acting like an employee (doing administrative and technical tasks) to operating like an entrepreneur who, by delegating and managing, focuses on building an empire. I spent many years not knowing the difference, which delayed my success.” — Shirley George Frazier, GiftBasketBusiness.com

49. “Do what you do best and don’t worry so much about trying to compete with everyone else. We hire the nicest people and attract the nicest guests and we love what we do!” — Heidi Lamar, SpaLamar.com

50. “Have a realistic financial plan with enough money to execute, and constantly watch every penny. You have to make sure to pay close attention to your cash reserve and cash burn, that’s the only thing that matters when you’re starting up.” — John Lie-Nielsen, One Park Financial

51. “Focus on building your courage. Courage is your ability to do what you think is the right thing, even if it’s hard, scary, or you’re not sure you can get it done, and is the most important thing to focus on, because you’ll be faced with so many things that will seem impossible, and courage will keep you going.” — John Turner, QuietKit

52. “Don’t count on others to know what’s best for your business. Make some time, sit down with Google and/or YouTube, do some research, watch tutorials, and try to teach yourself how to do it yourself. Even if you end up not being very good at it and ultimately hiring, having made the effort will pay off because it will help you find the right people, and you’ll know how to make informed decisions.” — Robby Sorensen, Finger Puppets Inc.

53. “Do what you LOVE!” — Greg Antonelle, MickeyTravels, LLC

54. “Up and coming business owners tend to start out by being hypersensitive to feedback, despite whether it is good news or bad news. Keeping your emotions in check and having a long term mindset has got to be one of the best ways that I’ve learned to disallow my emotions from getting caught up in the day-to-day.” — Kornel Kurtz, WebTek

55. “Innovate. Innovate. Innovate. In order to grow your company, you must be willing as an entrepreneur to get out of your comfort zone. Learn what is evolving in your field and adapt early on to be ahead of the game.” — Maria Martin, Optime Consulting

56. “Think big and be bold. Work on the business rather than in it. Establish key advisory networks. Build a public profile. Evaluate financing for expansion.” EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women

57. “As entrepreneurs we can be very tough on ourselves so I try to remember that at key times too. Stay calm and you will get through the tough times. Don¹t panic. Pause, breathe, reflect and be patient so you do not do anything brash.” — PaigeArnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls

58. “Get to know your customers. Who they are and what they want are not always what you expect.” — Antonia Townsend, Enclosed

59. “In the new digital world, never underestimate the power of connecting in reality. Nothing beats an in-person meeting.” — Jonathan Pritchard, Like A Mind Reader

60. “You can’t win a race if you don’t start it. A lot of people become paralyzed because they think they are not good enough, not qualified, or because they are afraid of failure. However, just as a child learns to walk and then run, so must a business. That was taught by nearly every professor I had and is something that has become very apparent as gone through life.” — Michael Heath, 1903 Studios

61. “Remember the big picture. Successful entrepreneurs always have an endgame in mind whenever they start their businesses. By keeping your overall goals in mind, you can create the most focused and efficient plans to help you get to where you want to be.” — David Adams, HomeSuite

62. “Do something you are passionate about-not just for the money. If you put your heart and soul into it the rest will come.” — Betsy Thagard, B. toffee

63. “Always keep moving forward. There are hard times and it is crucial to stay motivated and know why you started and ignite that fire again. Obstacles are hard to overcome at times, but when you do, it’s so rewarding. Buy a Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretzky poster to keep you motivated or subscribe to a business quote app. It helps keep the fire in you. (I have Mohamed Ali on my wall, the Greatest.)” — Rahul Alim, Custom Creatives

64. “Don’t be too busy doing work that you don’t monitor your income and expenses. You should have a profit margin goal and do everything possible to reach this goal. It doesn’t matter if you do $6,000 in revenue if it cost you $10,000 to do it. At the end of the day it’s about profits, not revenue.” — Graham Onak, GainTap

65. “Just because you’re not a Shout-It-From-The-Rooftops sort of person doesn’t mean that your ideas are any less valid or industry disrupting. Even though we live an era that cosmetically rewards the most upvotes, the reality is that the best ideas coupled with the hardest work will always pay dividends, even to people who could care less about headlines and blue checkmarks next to their name.” — Mike Catania, Promotion Code

66. “Get a mentor or business/life coach. One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs have is the bubble-like world they inhabit – something that only other entrepreneurs or consultants/coaches can effectively understand and hope to guide them through.” — Mike McRitchie, Critical Path Action

67. “To quote my father, Pete Pedone Sr., do the work. Out-work, out-think and out-sell your expectations. There are no shortcuts. Hard work pays off!” — MJ Pedone, Indra Public Relations

68. “Surround yourself with multipliers — people who are well networked and/or know how to lead areas of your business through delegation. It will help you scale faster and make the path to success a lot easier.” — George Georgallides, XO

69. “As a serial entrepreneur of nearly 20 years, I’ve become increasingly convinced that the single greatest asset any company has is their people. In a lot of ways, companies are formed for the sole purpose of solving issues—this could be internal issues or issues for your customers—but if you have the right team on board with thoughtful, creative, intelligent, and driven individuals you will embrace each challenge and come up with brilliant, out of the box solutions over and over again. That is what really makes a great company and creates a sustainable competitive advantage.” — Michael Krasman, UrbanBound

70. “The best entrepreneurial advice I can offer is to follow your passion. Work will take up a huge part of your life so follow your aspirations and enjoy your life. Not only will it motivate you to strive for success because you love what you do. Times will get hard and the only reason you will continue on your entrepreneurial journey is because of your passion.” — Lisa Chu, Black N Bianco

71. “Don’t be afraid to offer work for free if you can get something in return. When I first started I trained a SEO specialist in how to do his own bookkeeping and he trained me in how to manage my own SEO!” — Sam Boothroyd, Founder of Rymer Associates Online Accountants

72. “Remember that the dogs may not always immediately eat the dog food. And if that happens, don’t despair. Expect it and have a plan to tweak the dog food — be ready to test and iterate on the product until it’s right! Because you will rarely get it right the first time.” — Molly Kang, Floravere

73. “The most successful people I know, take actual action, and *way * before they truly feel ready to. Perfectionism can be totally paralyzing, and truly– you will never ever feel totally READY or cool enough, or smart enough to do the things you want to do in the world. No one is going to give you the permission you are probably waiting for. The people that can get over this fact quickly, and just DO and CREATE the things they want (even if it’s baby steps), are always the ones that seem to win in the end,  and at a much faster rate than those who get stuck by it.” — Sarah Adler, Simply Real Health

74. “Don’t compare yourself to others; instead, look deeper into their success and learn from it. It’s natural to doubt yourself when your business appears not up to par, but remember that success comes to everyone in their own time, and you can find your way there by learning from others’ journeys to success.” — Angelique Pivoine, Good Thinking Agency

75. “Fail forward fast. Put your foot on the gas, put a couple of nails through it, and hold on! Never give up. Never fear the fight. Always fight forward.” — Adam Hergenrother, Hergenrother Enterprises

76. “Make sure your idea is viable and scalable, then focus on the product and client experience. Get these central elements right, and the rest will fall into place.” — Gregory Dewald, Bright!Tax

77. “Everyone is right when they say cash is king so think about how you can maximize your customer spend. For example, can they buy monthly from you or could you offer retained services or an after care support service, for example.” — Judith Hutchinson, Accessible Marketing

78. “Get an idea, test it, draw up a cast iron business plan and keep focused on the bottom line.” — Armin Hierstetter, bodalgo

79. “Communicate way more than you think you have to — with clients, with your teammates, with your partners (in life and business), and with any other stakeholders. It is incredible how challenging communication is, and what havoc miscommunication creates.” — Landon Ray, ONTRAPORT

80. “Clearly define your 1-3 big business goals and outline how you anticipate reaching your goals this year, in three years and five years. Periodically review significant milestones to ensure you’re on track and adjust as necessary. Even a modest plan can be used to evaluate the time and energy being expended against reaching your business goals.” — Jayne Heggen, Heggen Group LLC

81. “Always remember the core of why you started your business. At some point, you decided that you could make more money, create a better service/product, or create a more flexible working environment for yourself. Remembering this on a daily basis provides the foundation of your business mission statement, and should provide all of the motivation that you need when you are looking.” — Kelly C. Coughlin, Annex Communication

82. “Get some sleep and try to relax. When running your own business it is easy to work all the time, but there is a point where that is counter-productive. One must relax, spend time with family and friends or else you just become a slave to your business. Relaxing also helps spark new ideas, such as ways to become more productive!” — Matthew Behnke, Orthotic Shop Inc

83. “You are going to be scared to fail, and maybe even more afraid, to succeed. Don’t over think it. Obviously, form a great business plan and do your research, be as prepared as you can be. But at the end of the day, the LEAP of opening a business is the hardest part. Go for it!” — Sarah Jacoby, Studio 9

84. “Hire the best people. Better to take your time and find the best person for the position than to rush the process just to fill a void.” — Christine M. Hollinden, CPSM, Hollinden

85. “My advice would be to surround yourself with hardworking people who know how to effectively get the work done. I couldn’t create a successful business on my own; I need the help of my trusted team members.” — Jordan Barker, Sorenson Advertising

86. “Choose the people you actually enjoy working with. You will work with them every day, so may as well make it enjoyable.” — AJ Saleem, Suprex Tutors Houston

87. “Here is the best piece of advice for entrepreneurs … get help. You can’t do it alone when it comes to administration, finances, and making sales. One of these is going to be neglected should you take everything on yourself. Obtaining clients should be a main focus of our entrepreneurial business, so hire a virtual assistant or intern to help with the day-to-day operations.” — Richard Keller, Wooden Pants Publishing

88. “Isolate the problem and pain points you want to solve before starting a business. Every idea, in the simplest form, should be tested before investing tons of resources.” — Bianca Jackson, JAX Digital

89. “Small businesses starting out really need to get a handle on their office/space costs.  Watch your bottom line because the leasing cost per foot is NEVER your actual costs, you will have the NNN costs in addition as well as heat, electric, phones, lights, internet, wi-fi, VOIP and that’s just on Day one.  Then you have to build-out the space and leasehold improvements can be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.   Keep your space cheap, inviting, fun and leave the expensive design to the retailers and publicly traded software companies.” — Rich Patterson, Patterson Brands

90. “Consistency is one of the key traits that small businesses and entrepreneurs need to have in order to progress. Make sure that your service or products are constantly at a comparatively high level of quality as this both keeps existing customers and brings the new ones in.” — Alex Bar, Kind Locksmith Vancouver

91. “I run an online business and the one thing that LITERALLY TRIPLED MY REVENUE was starting an email newsletter. Instead of straight-up offering my ebook to visitors that had no previous relationship with me, I offered them free and valuable information in exchange for their emails (and only made my ebook pitch AFTER they’ve gotten to know me a little better).” — David Brown, Leanhigh

92. “Being focused and determined are key ingredients to start-up success, but don’t get caught in the tunnel vision trap. Listen to feedback and be open-minded when it comes to how customers will use your products or services or risk missing big opportunities.” — Michelle Mink, Navabiz