Starting a new business can be one of the most exciting times for an individual, entrepreneur or even someone just trying to make a little extra money off their expertise. Everyone has a different path to success when starting a business of their own. However, one of the best ways to propel ourselves for success and to avoid beginner mistakes is to simply learn from others who have also gone through the process.
As an infographic marketing company that continually helps brands and businesses look better in the world today, we thought it would be a great idea to interview some top internet marketing experts and entrepreneurs to get their best advice on how to start a business today.
Here’s what 59 different content creation and marketing experts had to say.
What is your best entrepreneurial tip for anyone looking to get started with their own business?
Choose your battle. It’s just as hard to make $20/mo in one niche as it is to make $2000/mo in another niche. My first website was in the music industry, and I basically worked full time for a year and a half to generate just over $500/mo. Other sites I’ve created have generated 20X that amount in less than a year with less effort. Set yourself up for success by choosing a niche and product carefully.
Marcus Taylor – Website Hosting Insider
Go ahead with it. Just do it. Don’t think about it too much. Don’t plan too much. Don’t research too much. Don’t talk to people about your plans and dreams. Don’t wait for a better time. Don’t wait until you quit your job, or you have more time or you have more savings. Do it now. All the time spent talking and thinking about it is the time you can spend working on your actual idea and your business. It’s only when you actually get something out there that you will get real feedback from real people. One day out in the wild will teach you so much more than weeks spent thinking, reading, researching, planning or talking about your idea.
Marko Saric – HowToMakeMyBlog.com
The best tips for any business owner is to understand that the long term relationships you build are far more important than the quick dollar. Far too many businesses put short term profit before what makes sense in the long run for their business. For example, in real estate agents can be either a buyer’s agent, a seller’s agent or both in the same transaction. The latter is what’s referred to as dual agency. In the short term participating in dual agency can be a big win-win for an agent as they are getting paid double. The problem with this arrangement, however, is that both the buyer and seller lose an advocate in their corner. Dual agency is not a good situation for buyers and sellers. In fact, there are more lawsuits with this arrangement than at any other time in real estate.
Bill Gassett – MaxRealEstateExposure.com
Work hard on the things that you’re best at, but not too hard. Know when it makes sense to outsource tasks. Most people wait to outsource until they’re profitable, which makes sense, but this can take time. Entrepreneurship is about taking risks if there’s a high possibility for reward. So sometimes, finding a budget to outsource the tasks you don’t personally need to get involved with (like admin, research, etc.), can free up your time to build your business faster. And at that point, you’ll realize the return on your investment.
Maddy Osman – The-Blogsmith.com
Congratulations! You’re a brand new baby business. Of course, you have a site and you’re active on social media. But you might have already made your first mistake.
Social media is great for networking, and it can be a great source of traffic. But it’s not great to send people away from your website to Facebook or Twitter. Visitors who leave your site are unlikely to become the next client or customer for your new business.
So look at your site. Are there big, candy-colored social media icons at the top of every page? If so, consider reducing the visual prominence of those buttons, giving you a better chance of keeping the visitor around.
- Move the social icons to the footer
- Gray them out unless the visitor mouses over them
So get busy marketing. Publish your best advice. And be active on social media. But be careful about integrating with social media. Because where there is traffic, there’s hope!
Andy Crestodina – Orbitmedia.com
Have a good think about the channels that you’re going to be able to leverage to gain early traction. Don’t spread yourself too thin and try to do everything at once (maybe you don’t need that SnapChat account yet!).
Matthew Barby – Matthewbarby.com
Small businesses and large alike need to shut up and listen instead of using social media as an advertising and broadcasting tool.
They are too worried about who has more Twitter followers and about who has more fans on Facebook. They’re worried about who is getting the message out more consistently on those platforms rather than taking the amazing amount of market intelligence available to them by looking at people that are following them and reading what they are writing on their own pages.
Businesses need to spend less time tweeting and posting to Facebook, and more time reading, listening and understanding what it is their customers really want. They can’t expect to use social media only when it is convenient for them and expect customers to remain engaged.
Way too few companies are empowering their employees on social media, seeing it as a threat instead of a benefit. Entrepreneurs need to recognize that their best advocates are their employees. Empower your employees and they will power your brand.
Ted Rubin – Tedrubin.com
I would recommend spending a lot of time on your pre-launch process and initial startup costs. For more individuals, bloggers and content creators, they are likely going to start a business around the concept of selling their expertise. This can often be accomplished without the need to spend a ton of money or even hiring a designer, programmer or agency to get everything up and running. Invest some time and research in others who have walked this path and see how they found their best results. This roundup is a great example in itself, as everyone listed here is getting free exposure, simply for sharing their expertise. There is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to the same.
Brandon Johnston – Blog Reign
The best tip I can give anyone starting their own business is to begin with the end of mind. This is strongly recommended in Steven Covey’s book the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Naturally, every new business owner wants to be successful but what does that mean to you exactly?
Success can mean different things for different people. Some may think of success as making millions of dollars, for some it’s about lifestyle balance and for others it could be about making a difference is other people’s lives. You have to know what success looks like exactly in order to make the right decisions along the way.
Avoid big costly mistakes
As a business coach, one of the most common mistakes I see people making is that they don’t plan for or budget for marketing properly. They may have great products or services but if no one is checking them out what good are they?
How do they expect to reach their target audience if they don’t have the resources to put themselves in front of their target audience? Having a website doesn’t mean people will just automatically find you. Make sure that your business plan includes money for marketing. Then decipher where your target audience is spending most of their time and be there. For example, if you’re targeting millennial shoppers then you need to be on Pinterest. They are the largest audience on Pinterest and they are there to shop.
Anna Bennett – Whiteglovesocialmedia.com
Do the math. Find out how much you REALLY need to live, how much you REALLY need to get started. Write it down and then rip it up and throw it away. Plans are guesses and if you’re waiting for a “bullet-proof plan” then you’re just procrastinating in the end.
Jeremy Rivera – Jeremyriveraseo.com
Follow your passion. Profits follow passions. Get your practical tips from successful entrepreneurs. Fuel your entrepreneurial journey with your love.Follow your fun. What do you most enjoy doing? Build a business around that love.This makes the work the reward. Everything else like earning profits and gaining clients is extra, or icing on the cake. This is the foundation upon which to build a thriving business.
Ryan Biddulph – Bloggingfromparadise.com
One of the biggest problems that many entrepreneurs have is that they don’t manage the trade-offs between their cash situation and their priorities very well. You have to have a very strong sense of your cash situation, and what time frame you have to get to the next stage of your business. For example, if you have sufficient cash for the next 6 months, what do you need to get done during that time in order to have enough cash flow going forward, or be able to raise more money?
There may be many potential things that could fit into meeting that goal, and you don’t necessarily know which ones will work the best. Let’s say you have 10 potential projects you could take on, but you know you can’t necessarily do them all. Break it down to the 5 most likely to succeed ones, and then lay out a solid schedule for taking them on. If one of these projects appears to not be working out that well (maybe it wasn’t as good an idea as you originally thought), then dump it, and move on to the next one.
The efficient management of working through your best ideas, getting things done, dropping off the failing ideas, doubling own on ones that work, and getting it all done with the time frame dictated by your available cash resources – that’s what makes for a successful entrepreneur.
Eric Enge – Stonetemple.com
My number one piece of advice would be to work on your mindset without question, but in a more radical way. I don’t mean ‘surface’ stuff like believing in yourself or focusing on ‘success.’ Those things are obviously important.
I am talking about deeper transformation. You must see yourself for what you really are. And that is a powerful creator who can influence your outer world by the way of your inner world. You must realize your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs shape your entire reality and when you get things right in that department, things come together in a way that is much easier.
You don’t have to ‘work hard.’ You don’t have to ‘suffer’ to get what you want. You realize you are deserving of money and success simply because you ‘are’ and not because of what you have ‘done’ or ‘contributed.’
Take actions from a place of inspiration, not force, control and manipulation. Follow your intuition and only follow the advice that resonates with you, and discard what doesn’t. Focus on ‘giving’ in the form of value and not ‘getting.’ You will still ‘get’ but it will be in a way that is much more pleasant and satisfying.
Be authentic and your people will find you; it will lead to attracting the best clients and customers, the ones that really connect and resonate with your philosophies, approaches, and ways of doing things.
Realize you have access to the best business partner there is–the good old Universe. If you hold up your end of the bargain by cultivating the energy, and the belief it is set up to work for you, it can help you in ways you could never do on your own. You enter into a wonderful relationship of co-creation, and things just come together so easily it can seem like magic.
Kelli Cooper – Life Made to Order
Focus on Your Strengths, Outsource the Rest
Often new business owners try to do everything even if they aren’t good at it. This comes at a huge opportunity cost (time). You should use that time to focus on what you’re good at instead. If you are a perfectionist like me, then it’s always good to remind yourself that done is better than perfect.
Syed Balkhi – WPBeginner
Cash in your passion.
It may be cliche for many people who wants to get started with online/offline business. But the truth is, if you don’t love your work, just because you follow the trend that you think allows you to make money instantly, you will eventually lose. As a business owner, it takes perseverance, courage, and hard work – wherein you need to put extra time (~4 additional hours every day) just to make your business sustainable and grow. It’d only be feasible for you if you love what you’re doing.
Venchito Tampon – Sharprocket.com.ph
Having been in the internet marketing industry for 20 years now, I’ve seen a lot of success stories come from out of nowhere and build into some really amazing things. The consistent factor across most of these success stories, was that they were able to build a platform and following for whatever it is they have to offer. This is something I personally did in 2007 when I launched my blog and decided to no longer be just an affiliate marketer in the background. Through the blog I was able to build a massive following by offering value to my audience and being real in the process. At the end of the day, this core value is something that will always help a new business grow into much more over time. Always make your audience and customers number one.
Zac Johnson – ZacJohnson.com
Believe in what you are doing. If you are just in it for the money, you’ll be miserable. Money is good. It can buy your way out of misery to a large degree. The only exception is if what you do to make money is what’s making you miserable.
So don’t look for a profitable niche. Look for something you enjoy doing, then find the best way to make money from it.
If you are lucky, you enjoy doing many things. You have options.
When I say to do what you enjoy, I don’t necessarily mean to turn a hobby into a business. You might have heard it said that you should “Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Some people still love their hobby once they turn it into a business. But others have found that what they liked about their hobby was that it was something to do other than their job.
Do you like to cook? Great. But would you like to cook several hours a day, making what other people order? If so, open up that supper-catering business. If not, find something else you like to do.
I love to write, so guess what my business does?
David Leonhardt – THGMwriters.com
The biggest piece of advice that I would give an upcoming entrepreneur comes in a package based on the little things that I have learned over my career as a designer. These would be perfect for someone just starting out: Don’t undervalue your work. Seek criticism, not praise. Always keep learning & don’t be a static learner: do this by reading books, magazines, blogs and by practicing. Collect & share things. Teach others. Never give up. Keep practicing. Again, keep practicing.
Jacob Cass – Justcreative.com
Work hard. That’s it. Plain and simple. You need a great idea of course. But great ideas come along all the time. What I see less of is the gumption required to make great ideas work.
Marcus Miller – Bowlerhat.co.uk
It’s all about sales! – Many first time entrepreneurs spend so much time perfecting their product. They feel so much pressure to have the “perfect” product that they will push back selling it. That’s actually the worse approach you can take, you should start selling your product as soon as possible. If you aren’t slightly embarrassed about a few parts of your product when you start selling, you waited too long. When I first started marketing HealthJoy.com in 2015, the product was far from perfect. We knew it at launch but it didn’t matter. The thing was that the product, even in its rough state, provided value to customers. With sales came real user feedback, so we could incorporate it and improve our product in a meaningful way. We also used the sales to fund more developers to make the product better and better. Don’t wait for perfection, start selling as soon as you can!
Rick Ramos – HealthJoy.com
You must be patient. This is my answer without a doubt. Until I heard, “blogging is a marathon, not a sprint,” I was extremely impatient for both traffic and income from my blog. After I became more patient, I became less frustrated. Eventually, both the traffic and money came. Solopreneurs became frustrated when they don’t see immediate results. Too many quit and websites go abandoned. If they quit too early, they will never see the website traffic and money they seek. How early is too early? Nine months is realistic. I had heard I’d know in a year. I knew in nine months I’d be able to grow my blog.
Janice Wald – MostlyBlogging.com
Talk to people. Figure out what you want to do, make the game plan – and then talk to people. Talk to your family about it, talk to people who are doing it, talk to people that have done it and moved on. Find out what the pros and cons are.
You’re going to be seeing it through rose colored glasses, but it helps to figure out what the other side of the gig will be so you can figure out how to avoid the pitfalls.
William Harris – Elumynt.com
Don’t think you are just going to build something and be successful overnight.
Think about the long game. Realize that you are going to get up to bat many times, and most of the time you are going to strike out, but if you keep going, eventually you’ll connect.
So, get out there are start swinging and don’t worry about results–results will come.
I’d also say that you need to be persistent and consistent. Get up every morning and do what you need to do whether you feel like it or not.
Keep going and pushing on and eventually, you’ll get there.
Finally, I’d highly recommend building your business by building an audience first.
Don’t just think you are going to create a product and sell it. Instead, create good free content, whether that be blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts or another medium, and use that to build up your audience. Once you have a niche audience, you’ll have plenty of people you don’t even have to market to, because they want to buy whatever you create.
It’s a long-haul, but it’s worth it. You can’t put a price on freedom.
John Sonmez – Simpleprogrammer.com
Use the MVP method. Read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and be extremely diligent about setting a cap on money/resources and time spent. Don’t overdo the MVP, get real feedback from real people and focus on cash flow. Once the cash is coming in and you taste it, game on.
Arman Assadi – Superhumanlabs.us
I am sure everyone knows this, however, I haven’t found a better answer than this. These are truly golden words by Steve Jobs.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
It’s really important to identify the passion and follow it vigorously. If you will do the work which you love, you will not be ever in dilemma of work-life balance.
Manish Dudharejia – E2Msolutions.com
Do your research on the market, define the problem first – not later, talk to people about your business and take note of all the feedback, then build a minimum viable product as soon as possible at a low cost, get it out there. Build a beta tester group, and manage them as they will be your ambassadors for growth if you can successfully build and grow your business. When you start, remember to never run out of money so you need to figure out how to make money fast and know what gets people to buy your product or service. If you cannot make money, you need to consider funding options via investors, crowdfunding or grants depending on what business you are in.
Andrea Loubier – Getmailbird.com
The best entrepreneurial tip I have for those who are looking to get started with their own business is to be prepared to work long hours.
Running your own business is tough. There are many aspects to it!
From writing blog posts to newsletters to emails, from accurate book-keeping and following your government’s taxation laws, from acquiring new customers and keeping existing ones, from being active on social media to promoting your goods and/or services, IT IS A LOT OF WORK!
Sure, you can hire others and outsource some tasks, but the smooth operation of your business depends on you and your own efforts!
During the early months, it is particularly difficult to find a good work-life balance, too. However, I use the tips and the planner presented in How to Find a Good Work-Life Balance (+ a FREE Workbook/Planner) to help me remember to stay calm, cool, and collected at all times.
Good luck to you, new entrepreneurs! Your journey will be rewarding!
Lorraine Reguly – Wordingwell.com
If you want to build a successful business you need to:
- Dare to hope and believe in your own strength and skills. Set your goals for the next 1-5 years. Commit to yourself and in front of others. Don’t let yourself discouraged if your friends and family don’t support you in the beginning.
- Invest in your personal and professional development. Go to courses and events. Network with other people from your industry. This way you can build valuable partnerships.
- Come up with a business model and work hard to succeed. Don’t chase the next shiny object all the time. It takes time, effort and perseverance to build a company.
Minuca Elena – Minucaelena.com
My biggest tip for anyone starting out on their entrepreneurial path is to make sure they look after their own well-being. It may sound silly but many entrepreneurs suffer some form of burnout at some point, we work long hours, rarely exercise and often pick up bad habits such as eating fast food due to our busy schedules or drinking and smoking to relieve stress.
So for me, I would have to say – make sure you plan in time off away from work to recharge your batteries, eat healthily, get regular exercise and keep off the cigarettes. A healthy body is the key to keeping a healthy mind.
Jamie Spencer – Makeawebsitehub.com
Action speaks louder than anything. An idea without action is nothing but a dream. Want to start a business? Do it. Sure you might fail. But as long as you take action and keep moving – you’ll bounce back and move towards success in no time. So… take action.
Jerry Low – Web Hosting Secret Revealed
My very best advice for people getting started with their business is to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. I wish someone would have told me this when I first started. The key to scaling your business down the road is having repeatable processes, so if you document everything from the start, you’ll be that much closer to scaling when it’s time. The process looks something like this:
- Document everything, especially your processes for getting your “work” done
- Document your iterations and improvements separately from other process versions (this will help you go back to better versions if your changes don’t work out, plus help you record the gaps/mistakes that you make as you progress)
- Once you have the BEST processes in place, you can serve your clients better
- Once you have enough clients/revenue to support more help/workers, find people who are very detailed and can follow your documented processes (continue documenting changes/iterations)
- Rise and repeat until you have a successful, scalable business
Brooke B. Sellas – B Squared Media
First, don’t be afraid of failing… because you will. Everyone fails. It’s part of the business of getting into business. That’s the bad news. The good news is that when you fail, you learn. You will learn how to reverse engineer that failure to turn it into a success. So, stop worrying about that.
Now, that you know you’re going to fail, you need to start working. Stop planning and waiting for perfection because it’s not going to happen. Yes, you should have a plan, but you should also make it a fluid plan with room for changes as they happen – because they will happen. Too many people talk about they want to do and never actually implement what they’re going to do.
So, now that your mindset is right, where do you start? I say you do two things, at the same time, if you can:
1.) Create a website. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Remember, people are looking at sites more on their phone than from a desktop. Also, you can create this for free if you are tight on money with a service that makes it drag and drop easily.
I think it’s important to have a website first because you need to send people somewhere. They need to learn about you and get your contact information on their time if your time isn’t convenient.
2.) Start making sales. Until you have an income, your business is a hobby. Put out as many feelers as you can to close some deals and actually get to work. You need to be marketing yourself as an expert in your industry and be networking, online and offline, to get leads that lead to clients.
My favorite form of marketing is through media exposure. Not only is earned media free, but it’s like a third party endorsement, so it’s worth three times more than an advertisement. Then, when you start becoming more well known, you will be making money and the marketing opportunities will grow.
Christina Nicholson – Mediamavenandmore.com
When you create your business plan and have a shortened version ready for when you’re introducing yourself and your company to others, whether it be at networking events, potential clients, or conferences. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you need one. Over time you will either tweak it or fully go in another direction. Once you’ve created it, always be prepared to update it. A business plan creates clarity in what you intend to do and helps you explain to others what you do, without creating confusion. When you introduce yourself or business, this shortened introduction makes you look polished to other businesses, as well as your clients.
I’ve met a lot of people who have introduced themselves and then stumbled badly over telling me what their business is about. This indicates to me that while they know what they do, they’ve not quite gotten their plan or short introduction down solid. When I introduce myself at a networking event or a conference and tell people about what I do, I say, “Hi! My name is Nile Flores. I run Blondish.net, where I design and develop WordPress websites that help convert visitors into buyers, subscribers, and social sharers.”
Nile Flores – Blondish.net
I’d have to say that believing in yourself is the most important thing to do when starting a business, and it’s an attitude you should keep if you want to be successful, not only in business but in life as well.
There’ll be a lot of obstacles along the way, there are people who will make you doubt your own decisions, there are situations when you’ll feel defeated and lose faith in your own vision. These are all the challenges that happen to all of us, and it’s perfectly fine to feel this way, as long as you take these challenges to be something that will reinforce the power of your vision.
Even if you see negative statistics or negative feedback, you should always remember why you’ve started your business in the first places. Remember the reasons and that faith that kept you going in the beginning and remember that you have the power to overcome the challenges. Thinking in a positive way through even the darkest times means that you’ll have the strength to keep moving on and go ahead with your business. One challenge or one problem that slows you down doesn’t have to mean that everything is over. Consider the challenges as the way to learn more about your business and ultimately to learn more about yourself. This knowledge is priceless.
Albert Mora – Seolution.com
The one tip I have for anyone starting a business is to make sure they actually have the time to do it. In the early days, the first few years, you can expect to be working 7 days a week until you are really profitable and you have streamlined your business well enough to begin fitting around your own life. Too many people start a business thinking it will be get up late and finish early, but it is not like this, especially if you want to keep your business with just you and not employ anyone. Make sure you have enough time to put your heart and soul into it, otherwise, it will just not work.
Ian Spencer – Isdigitalmarketing.co.uk
Getting started is the hardest part. If you have never started a business, chances are that you are super excited about it. That’s because you have no idea how big of a mountain you have ahead of you. The most common mistakes I see new business owners make is that their ambitious optimism gets the best of them and they never realize how far beyond they are until it’s too late.
My advice: Don’t get tricked into believing that there is a hidden secret or tool that you are going to find that no one else knows about. New business owners try to avoid the hard work involved in getting started because it’s usually a shock to their system. Late nights and long weeks are not fun, but they are usually required for most start-ups.
If you’re a new business owner and you feel like you’re working too hard, chances are high that you are not. The barrier to entry in most industries is very steep. Don’t look for a magic bullet to beat your competitors. Just go to work and do the things that move the needle on your business.
As long as you are moving forward, your business will continue to grow. The businesses that take a chance on expensive shiny objects tend to fall far behind because the overhead catches up to them soon enough.
Andrew Fortune – GreatColoradoHomes.com
My biggest tip I can give everyone is that being an entrepreneur is NOT for everyone. I’ve mentored and taught hundreds, if not thousands of people, and for sure it’s not for everyone.
Now I’m not saying it’s NEVER gonna be for them but at that current time and place being focused on being an entrepreneur wouldn’t be a good idea. An example of people who shouldn’t look would be those that are not self-starters. One of the biggest reasons why I was able to retire from Engineering wasn’t the fact I was analytical. It was the fact I didn’t wait for someone to tell me what to do. I just did it.
Most people entering being an entrepreneur actually just want another job where their boss lays out what they are to do. As an entrepreneur, you gotta do all of that and then some. Waiting around for the perfect idea, traffic source, or process to land in your lap never really happens. It’s a series of starting, adjusting, stopping, checking, and then restarting your process.
Lawrence Tam – LawrenceTam.net
This one is pretty simple — create a business that offers a better solution than the competition.
There is actually more to it than that, but if you are going to create a business, you need to make sure you have a business model that works. At the same time, you also need to make sure there is a demand for your business and that it’s better than other options out there, whether it be through service, pricing or quality.
Once you’ve built a business that is ready to launch, make sure you have a few customers and testimonials in place before marketing widescale. This will help immensely over time.
Kristel Staci – Marketing Infographics
“Just do it” – If you’re confident about your skills and, most importantly, you like what you’re doing, just start converting it into money. Doing something (even if it’s not perfect, not the best available on market) is still better than doing nothing. You’ll improve over time, just don’t stop learning.
Kris Hoja – KrisHoja.com
Persistence is the most valuable skill anyone can learn. In creating a blog, we all want readers. Most people tend to quit within the first few months since they are not seeing the traffic that they desire. Traffic, in the form of loyal readers, takes time to build unless you go for a paid approach. However, this approach may not bring the targeted loyal readers that bloggers want and desire. So the best skill that bloggers can develop is persistence. Keep working through the dips and hurdles that may occur in order to reach the heights of being a noted authority in their niche.
Karen Evans – Startbloggingonline.com
There are gazillion things you need to think about when you’re just starting your business. That’s why it’s so important to focus on the right things. But anyone who’s ever started a business knows that’s much easier said than done. You have so many things to do and so many decisions to make. It’s easy to get sidetracked – and that keeps you from achieving your business dreams. So how do you ensure you keep focused and grow your business?
Here it goes:
Find your ‘why’. Why are you in business? What makes you jump out of bed every morning? You might say something like: “Money” or “freedom.” And those ARE powerful motivators… But they might not be enough. Your ‘why’ is something that keeps you going even when it gets tough. Something that you’re deeply passionate about.
In his book “Start With Why,” Simon Sinek outlines this theory. A brand has its ‘what’ (what is it you do?) and ‘how’ (how do you achieve it?). And then it has its why – and that’s why the business exists. For example, Apple is all about thinking differently. Nike makes us achieve more than we thought possible.
Get the gist? Now go find your ‘why’.
Camilla Hallstrom – Influencewithcontent.com
This extremely simple, yet revolutionary principle:
Spend the majority of your time on the $100/hr and $1000/hr activities. If you spend 90% of your day on the $10/hr activities, not only are you placing a very low cap on your income – but you’re probably not spending your time doing the work that you truly enjoy.
Regardless of what type of business you’re in, I imagine that the parts you probably enjoy the most are also the elements that provide the greatest ROI – the creative, strategic, and interactive aspects of your work.
Of course, you don’t have much capital as an entrepreneur – and it’s important to be smart with your money. But sometimes being financially savvy actually means that you should spend more money.
Your focus shouldn’t be to minimize costs, but rather to maximize ROI.
Cody McLain – SupportNinja.com
Fail quickly! That is the tip I’ll give anyone who wants to start their own business.
However, don’t treat your failures as a negative, instead, learn from them and grow as a person. When I started my first business, I failed miserably. I hit the market too slow. While I managed to get my capital back, I learned a lot from it. That lesson gave me the inner desire to move quicker in my next venture. Whenever I saw an opportunity today, I move quick! Some of you might have a different lesson, but the best part is you’ll learn from it.
Aaron Lee – AskAaronLee.com
My best tip for new entrepreneurs is to not get bogged down with negativity by fixating on the risks, potential problems, or hurdles. Every single business faces these and it is normal – the challenge (and fun) is in how you get over them and solve them. Recognize that there are challenges, but don’t let it stop you from embarking on your new venture. As the Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”.
Harris Schachter – OptimizePri.me
My best tip for starting a business is to move quickly and invest as little time and money as possible. You won’t really know if you have a winner until you start making sales. There’s a big difference between what people say they’ll pay for and what they actually pay for. Validate your business with sales as soon as possible. For example, if you need to spend a lot of money on product inventory, start with presales instead. If things don’t work out, you haven’t invested much and it will be easy to pivot. Remember you can always tweak the details, like a perfect logo, later.
Casandra Campbell – CasandraCampbell.com
My best tip is that you should do a market research and write a business plan. Even if you already work in the industry you are getting started in, find out if there is enough demand for the goods or services you want to bring into the market.
Most young, new entrepreneur find writing a business plan boring and unnecessary. You should think of a business plan as a SatNav or a map, guiding you through roads you are not familiar with, on a journey to a destination you have never been before. A well-written business plan will help guide you and your business to success.
Evgeniy Garkaviy – HopeSpring.org.uk
My tip would be to cure the “shiny object syndrome”.
In the beginning, everywhere you look, you’ll see things like “How to start making money with your website 5 days”, “How to get a gazillion of subscribers in a month”, etc.
You will want to reach the fame and the success of the people writing those articles, and to reach there fast. It will be very tempting to click on each and every article and start implementing every single tip there.
My advice: Don’t.
Before you even start your business, sit down and figure out a strategy, the one that suits your niche, your business, and your resources available. And once you have a plan for at least a couple of months in advance, give it a chance and stick to it.
It will be very hard at first, because most of the time you won’t see fast results and there won’t be any instant gratification.
But you need to put on your blinders and just do your thing. And for every new tip you consider implementing, ask yourself: Does it fit my strategy? Will it help me achieve my business goals? Do I have time to do it now?
If at least one answer is a “no”, move on. Because single tips won’t work unless they are a part of a bigger strategy that fits your business.
Gill Andrews – Gillandrews.com
Start today. Get a mentor. Get money ASAP and start making money.
Rafi Chowdhury – Chowdhurysdigital.com
“Focus”. That’s what I always say when someone just starting out asks for my best advice. I believe that focus is everything. You need to put your whole energy into pursuing your objectives, figure out a plan to get there, follow it and concentrate on completing your tasks.
The important thing to bear in mind here is that your focus should be on your daily, weekly or monthly tasks, not your overall goal.
If you keep thinking too much about what you to achieve somewhere in the future (e.g., making a $1M, buying a Lamborghini, become the World Champion) you might get overwhelmed, risk feeling demotivated if it takes too long or stop paying attention to what you need to do to get there.
Louie Luc – BuzzNitrous.com
To get started with your own business, do not, ever, set your primary goal as money. Always be set to provide high-quality services to your customers. Money is important, everyone knows that, and it’ll automatically come when the work is in the right direction. That does not mean that you should not dedicate time for financial management. Indeed, many start-ups are failing because of extreme cash burn. One only has to look towards Amazon, where although they are just breaking even, never compromise on customer service.
Rajesh Namase – TechLila.com
There are two quotes that perfectly describe the right mindset anyone starting their own business should have: “First do it, then do it right, then do it better” and “Make, master, matter”. If you keep delaying actually getting started or going like “yeah, but first I need to…”, you’re bound to getting nowhere.
It’s obviously a sensible move to have a plan, no doubt. But no matter how good your plan is it won’t possibly cover everything. Sometimes even plans are nothing more than mere excuses for not moving forward.
Don’t create any more obstacles (than those that will lie ahead in your path) in your mind.
Just get started already and figure things out along the way.
Tim Blaustein – ToolFever.com
If you’re going to start your own business, you need to come up with a good enough plan and stick to it. (Don’t try to come up with the perfect plan, though, because “perfect” is the enemy of “good”.)
When you have your plan and know what (and when) you need to do, forget everything else. (Including what others may tell you — people who tend to always criticize others are almost always judging others by what they aren’t capable of achieving themselves, like sticking to a plan and reaching their goals.)
I’m talking about getting tempted to try or start other kinds of businesses or new tactics — the so-called “shiny object syndrome”. Just stick to your plan and give your best to try and reach your objectives.
Katy Manniche – TattooOy.com
If this is your first business I would advise you to follow your passion. As a blogger, this is always my advice for someone who wants to jump into the world of blogging.
By starting with something that you are passionate about, it will be much easier to face any demotivation, obstacles or troubles that will definitely show up along the path.
When you’re doing something out of passion, it won’t feel like a chore or even work. It will feel like you are just having fun and that alone will give you the drive and energy to keep moving forward (even through the toughest times) because you want more and you’ll be curious to see what good things and emotions the future will bring.
Clara Jeronimos – TravelRedux.com
My best entrepreneurial tip for anyone looking to get started with their own business to implement business systems. Without business systems, you cannot easily train staff and delegate tasks with the confidence that projects will be properly completed. For example, a service-based business likely needs 3 main systems: lead generation, sales, and fulfillment. The process for each system should be documented. The good thing is you do not have to create your own business systems because there are plenty of industry-specific consultants who sell business systems and training on how to operate the business system. i.e. don’t reinvent the wheel when you can pay someone who is proven to teach you.
Ben Wynkoop – BenWynkoop.com
Starting a new business can be extremely daunting, especially as a solo entrepreneur. The most important lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is that you need to prioritize your tasks in order of importance and focus on the important stuff. What I like to do and I always advise my clients to use the same tactic, is to focus on one task every day that will help bring in revenue for my business – this not only helps me scale my business, but it also motivates me every day to keep up the work and continue getting better and better results.
Lilach Bullock – Lilachbullock.com
Personal branding is key to attracting interest, building trust, and making connections which can benefit your new business. Many may neglect their own personal brand while focusing on starting their new venture but when a company is small, the public perception of the founder is even more important.
When considering options for a logo that would represent my personal brand, the letter ‘B’ stood out, as it represents both my first and last name.
I then started the search for a font I felt would well represent the image I hoped to portray. Overly stylized fonts just didn’t seem to fit. They were too fancy, too goofy, or too strange. I turned to more traditional fonts and found a nice serif.
This formed the base for the logo, with a professional look, but it needed a bit more. Printing of the letter with an ink roller look gave it some imperfections, just as we all have within us. It added a uniqueness and made it stand out from a standard, solid letter.
Professional, recognizable, with an imperfect printing that makes it stand out. Just the look I like.
Ben Brausen – BenBrausen.com
Museum Hack started as a hobby and we only started charging for tickets when the demand for our renegade tours vastly exceeded the founder’s ability to do them — so we had to hire additional guides for help. Because we started as a hobby this allowed us to figure out the kinks and create something fun and new without worrying about whether it was a “viable” business. Start with an idea you are super passionate about and build from there!
Moira O’Connell – MuseumHack.com
In 2008, the economy around the world took a nose dive. However, that same year my business doubled. The reason was I changed the focus of my business. In the past, I sold the service of SEO. By that time, SEO was extremely competitive and getting more so each year. I could not compete with SEOs from India or the Philippines who offered the same service at a fraction of the cost. It was then I decided I was no longer in the “SEO” business but I was in the “SEO guru” business. From that day on I started branding myself as the “SEO guru” and I no longer had to compete on price because no one else could offer what I had. This what I recommend for any business don’t sell a service sell a story. This is why people women pay thousands of dollars for a handbag that can be made for less than $100. They are buying the brand and associated value. The market today is definitely a global frontier creating a unique spin on the same old product or service gives you a monopoly on that product and protects you from having to play the race to bottom price game. Since 2008 my business has grown year after year and that despite it being a consistently more competitive marketplace each year.
Allan Pollett – AllanPollett.com
My best entrepreneurial tip for anyone looking to getting started with their business would be work on something that you care and love about. Being passionate about your work will give you the extra edge over your competitors and the fuel to keep driving in adverse situations.
Working on something you love and have a vision in will give you the courage to take challenges as they come and overcome them by defending what you love.
Swadhin Agrawal – DigitalGYD.com
How to Start a Successful Business and Scale in Size
Starting a business is now easier and more affordable than ever. However, that doesn’t mean you are destined to find success right away. With more individuals pouring into the world of entrepreneurship and online business, it’s actually now more competitive than ever. At the same time, there are also more opportunities for business and growth in the process.
We’d like to thank all of the experts featured above for their business tips, and will continue to help pave the way for new entrepreneurs and brands in the world today
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