We’ve all received bad entrepreneur advice in our lifetime. To save you the trouble, we’ve interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs and selected the best pieces of advice for you. We wanted to know what was the best piece of advice entrepreneurs could give their fellow small business owners. This week we’ve spoken to business owners 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!
Entrepreneur advice for college graduates
Go for it!
“Go for it! This is the best time in your life to pursue being an entrepreneur. Yes, you might have student loans, but as the years go by, your responsibilities and obligations will only grow. Take your tenacity and flexibility and use it to pursue a small business. With the help of a mentor, you can get on the fast track to success. Someone who has been successful in small business can help you avoid the traps and pitfalls that cause so many small businesses to fail.” — Allen Michael, Founder, TheStickVacuums.com
Have a side hustle.
“If you want to start a business, try starting it as a side hustle first, alongside a part- or full-time job for two reasons. One, capital is not guaranteed and you are going to need some foundation to support you that way and, two, if your side hustle takes over your job, you know it’s a viable business and you can keep growing from there.” — Steve Dolson, Founder, BenchMRK Digital Agency
Get a mentor
“Get support in your professional and personal development by finding an experienced mentor. This entrepreneur advice is extremely important. Utilize your friends and family network or you can use online services. Having someone knowledgeable to bounce ideas off early on can really help to avoid common pitfalls and sharpen business plans.” — Al Rose, Owner, Today Testing
Resilience & Failure
“Understand how important resilience is. It’s likely that you’ll fail repeatedly before you succeed, but nothing is ever a failure if you learn from it. When you fail at something, learn what went wrong so you can avoid making the same mistake again and continue moving forward with your business. Persistence is what wins in entrepreneurship.” — Ron Stefanski, Internet Marketing Consultant, JobsForTeensHQ.com
Entrepreneur advice before you start a business
Get help from your local Chamber of Commerce.
“Take full advantage of the resources provided by your local Chamber of Commerce. Today’s Chambers are full of resources, tools, information, and technology specifically earmarked to help local businesses be successful.” — Taiisha Bradley, Celebrity Publicist and Creative Strategist, Taiisha Bradley
“My entrepreneur advice would be patience. It’s easy to get discouraged or impatient when you put in the work, do everything right, and the results trickle in.” — Alan Lafrance, Marketer, LawnStarter
Keep updated financial records.
“Keep meticulous records of finances. There is no right system. Ask friends, meet with professionals, and do what is right for you. You can track finances with an Excel spreadsheet or software, but start with a plan and stick to it. Have a plan for bills, paperwork, and receipts. Change it if something does not work. I file every two weeks and put everything that needs to go to the accountant in a separate file system with different color file folders. Having my finances in order provides peace of mind and allows me time for the more creative side of my business.” — Libba Durrett, Founder, Sparklers Online
Sometimes, you lose people along the way.
“People you depend on will leave you. There it is. The best advice I could possibly give you. Your friends are about to leave you. If you didn’t pick your spouse correctly, he or she is about to leave you, or come really close to it. Your sanity is about to leave you as well. You have to be crazy to believe in a future that only you can see.” — Antonio T. Smith Jr., President and CEO, ATS Jr. Companies
Entrepreneur advice – Inspiring
Work within your passion.
“Do what you LOVE!” — Greg Antonelle, MickeyTravels, LLC
Hire the right people.
“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
“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
Think ROI before you invest.
Have a cash flow.
“Take this piece of entrepreneur advice. 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
Just be you.
“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
Keep your integrity.
“Never let your eagerness to succeed compromise your integrity — there is a place for both in business.” — David Ellenwood, Sunny Days In-Home Care
“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
Entrepreneur advice – Always be thankful
Be grateful for your team.
“I spent the majority of the year living full time at Boston Children’s Hospital with my 5-year-old son Ari, as he awaited, and then received a heart transplant and worked from the hospital when I could, but my team covered everything with skill and grace. I couldn’t be more thankful that I work with such amazing people.” — Mike Schultz, President, RAIN Group
Appreciate your clients.
“I am incredibly thankful for my clients. This year I acquired bigger clients and tripled my revenue from last year! I am very excited to see what 2018 brings and hopefully, I can say I tripled my revenue again!!” — Ameet Khabra, Online Marketer, Ameet Khabra Marketing Inc.
Enjoy your freedom to the fullest.
“I am most thankful for the freedom to create a work schedule that works for me. It makes a huge difference in my overall mood and productivity to work when it makes sense for me. I am also thankful for an amazing growth year in just my 2nd year in business.” — Michelle Perez, Owner, Michelle Perez Events
You own a business. That’s pretty awesome.
“I’m grateful for the roller coaster ride that is owning a business. If I didn’t experience lows both professionally and personally, then I wouldn’t appreciate the highs. This year, I surpassed my prior income level from my professional career before becoming a business owner, which would have never been possible, if I hadn’t learned from my mistakes and bumps along the way.” — Catherine Wood, Executive Coach, Unbounded Potentia