Running a business is hard work. There are millions of things you need to take care of if you want your business to succeed.
But some people seem to have cracked the code. Is there a secret to business success that they know of and we don’t?
We tried to compile a long list of actionable business tips to help you reach all your business goals. We also went online and searched for tips from famous entrepreneurs and business owners to see how they are thinking about business and success.
Why Running A Business Is So Hard
Running a business should be hard. At least in theory. If you’re challenged and facing new problems on a daily basis, it means you’re doing something innovative. It means you’re on the right track.
But still, we’re all looking for ways to make our lives easier. While challenges are necessary for growth, there’s no need to complicate your business more than it should be.
One of the reasons running a business is hard are the daily decisions you have to make. From small and trivial decisions to business-altering actions. No matter how small or big the decision is, you have to be completely focused to make the right choice.
We hope that you’ll find inspiration in the tips we compiled and make changes to your operations that will help you simplify your business. Hopefully, this will lead you to business success.
Business Tips to Follow
There’s no way to make the ultimate list of business tips. After all, every business is unique. We did our best to compile a list of tips that can be used by most businesses. Our goal was to keep the tips general and actionable.
We’re confident that every tip on the list will help you elevate your business if you implement it correctly. Let’s dive right into it.
It’s impossible to make it in business if you’re not bold. The easiest thing you can do is accept the world as it is and relax. But that’s not what entrepreneurs and startup founders do. They are here to break the status quo. They are driven by the desire to change the world.
We would never have Apple if Steve Jobs didn’t take the risk and decided to go against the tide in the computer industry. We would never have commercial space flights if crazy individuals like Richard Branson and Elon Musk didn’t dream of a civilization that isn’t limited to a single planet.
Most of us can’t compare with Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. But that doesn’t mean we can’t copy them for business success. You will have to take risks to make it in a competitive market. Remember, people don’t like boring businesses. And it’s hard to compete with established brands.
That’s why you have to take risks and be different. Taking risks is hard. You will doubt yourself, and it might take a lot of time before you see success. But persistence always wins in business.
Find Your Why (Do the Work You Care about)
Life is too short to spend your hours working on things that don’t excite you. The people who make it in the business world are driven by what they create. Do you think Steve Jobs would have ever made Apple into what it is today if he wasn’t passionate about the company?
The more you care about your business, the more you commit yourself to finding success. It’s also easier to connect with people if you truly believe in your project. People don’t buy commodities in the new world. They buy the story and your beliefs. And they can only do that if you’re vocal about the things you believe in.
We understand that finding your passion isn’t easy. The truth is that you don’t need to have it all figured out when starting. You can discover your passion (and your why) as you go. Start working on your business and take note of things that excite you. Always be on the lookout for things you’re passionate about.
Entrepreneurs and startups that stand for things bigger than their businesses are the ones that make it in the competitive world we live in.
Have A Goal
Building a business is a journey. Every journey has a goal, and your business should be no different. Without a clearly defined goal, you have no idea where you’re going. Entrepreneurs and business owners are usually very good at setting short-term goals. They are driven by the benchmarks they set for themselves.
Where entrepreneurs and startups fail is at setting long-term goals. They don’t take the time to set a clear vision for their business.
Having a vision helps you navigate through your business journey. You can look at your vision every time you feel lost. Always keep your future in front of your eyes.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with finding your why. If you know your vision, you probably know your why. The important thing is you understand how your why and your vision differ. Your why is the reason why you do what you do, and your vision is the future you’re trying to build.
We understand you’re always busy, but every successful entrepreneur and startup founder takes the time to work on the vision. Think about what you want to achieve with your business long-term. Knowing your destiny helps you find the path that gets you there.
Believe In Yourself
Wheater we like it or not, people are full of doubt. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, and we often feel that the tasks ahead of us are too much. It’s easy to start doubting yourself and questioning all the business decisions you’ve taken so far.
What separates the best entrepreneurs and startup founders from average business owners is their belief in their abilities. And the teams they’ve built.
Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you should never question yourself and your actions. On the contrary, confident people often challenge themselves. By setting the right questions, you’re reaffirming your position. This, in turn, makes you more confident in your actions.
Another reason why we doubt ourselves is because people are trying to convince us that what we’re doing isn’t worth it. You have to understand that ordinary people don’t see the point of pushing yourself towards your business goals day after day.
Don’t let the naysayers get you down. Keep your head held high and believe in what you’re doing. Stand behind your decisions and keep marching forward if you want to reach your business goals.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’re blindly staring at a computer screen not knowing how to get yourself to do any meaningful work? We’re all been there. There are days when our natural instincts to slack off get the best of us. We often say that we lack the motivation to make any real progress on days like that.
Motivation isn’t what builds successful businesses. Taking action is what builds successful businesses. When you feel unmotivated, all you have to do is make the first step. Take one simple action, and you will quickly start working towards your goals. Action is what motivates you.
Taking action is also what helps you build habits. Small daily habits can help you set the right foundation for your business success. Business founders understand how important it is to have the right foundations for success, but more on that later.
We want you to remember that you’ll find success sooner or later if you keep taking action. Starring at a blank screen won’t do much for your business. But taking action will. Even if you won’t see the results right away.
Taking action is what takes you moving forward.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
Jim Rohn is a businessman and personal development guru that said you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Everyone in your life counts. We’re not sure how he got the exact number of people, but we agree with what he’s saying.
If you surround yourself with highly driven and ambitious people, you are much more likely to be ambitious and driven yourself. The personal characteristics of the people close to you will rub on you.
It’s important you find people in your life that support you on your journey towards your goals. That doesn’t mean you only have to spend time with other entrepreneurs and business founders. Getting emotional support from your loved ones is equally important.
Build a tribe of people you trust and who you know want to help you reach your goals. Not only will you have someone to talk to when you face obstacles, but you will also learn new things and see things from another perspective.
You can join a business club if you want to get access to the brightest business minds in your local area.
Work On Your Wellbeing
Wellbeing isn’t one of the first things we think of when talking about business success. But we’ve seen a strong shift towards a better work-life balance in the past decade. Entrepreneurs and startup owners understand that you can’t perform at your best if you’re not feeling your best.
Good sleep, proper nutrition, stress management, and regular physical activity are the base of your wellbeing. If you get these things right you’ll be a lot more likely to produce better work. Being healthy and full of energy helps you manage your daily tasks better.
This goes beyond just entrepreneurs and founders. You also have to make sure your employees are feeling great if you have them. We’ve seen modern businesses encourage employees to eat healthy by providing free fruit snacks in the office. Some businesses have mandatory lunch breaks to ensure people relax and unwind their minds. We’ve even seen startups that provide free yoga classes for their employees.
Working on your wellbeing won’t provide measurable business results. But working on your health will help you work better and more efficiently, which will have a huge impact on how your business performs.
Learn from Mistakes
No matter how much you plan and work on your business, you’re bound to make mistakes. That’s just how it is. The sooner you accept this fact, the better. That doesn’t mean you should be ok with bad work. It just means that mistakes are a part of every work process.
It’s what you do with the mistakes that matter. Successful entrepreneurs and business founders learn from their mistakes. They analyze their past actions and try to eliminate the steps that led to the mistake. They use the mistakes to optimize their work processes to prevent repeating the same mistakes in the future.
You can look at professional athletes for inspiration. Even the best athletes make in-game mistakes. But it’s rare to see the superstars repeat the same mistake more than once. They quickly analyze what they’ve done wrong and do everything they can to avoid making the same mistake again.
We talked about the importance of taking action. The more action you take, the more mistakes you’ll make along the way. Make sure you use them as a learning opportunity to help you in the future.
Understand Your Industry
This tip connects well with the previous one where we talked about learning from past mistakes. The more time you spend working in an industry, the better you understand how things work. It takes time to get the experience and call yourself an expert in the industry.
What successful entrepreneurs and startup founders know is that you can speed up the process and gain experience a lot faster. If you take the time to analyze the industry you’re working in, you can become an expert without spending years in the industry. Take the time and analyze your competitors. Try to understand why they are doing what they are doing.
By constantly keeping your eyes open, you’ll be able to absorb relevant information from your industry. You will be able to understand little actions people make, and you might even be able to spot major market shifts before they happen.
It’s a lot easier to become an expert if you’re passionate about your work. This ties to the tips we shared at the beginning of this chapter – to do the work you like and find your vision.
Marketing is what moves your business forward. The problem some entrepreneurs and startup founders have is that they hate marketing. They see it as meaningless self-praise that alienates their customers. And we understand why some of you might feel this way. After all, we’re bombarded with different advertisements daily.
You have to understand that marketing doesn’t have to be pointless shouting and flashy ads. The core principle of marketing is very simple – find the people looking for what you’re offering and start communicating with them. It really is as simple as that. You mustn’t complicate marketing.
You need to find a group of people with a problem that you (or your product) can solve. If you do this, you don’t have to market your business randomly. You can create targeted campaigns that aren’t pushy and genuinely help people you want to target.
We created a simple and concise marketing guide to help entrepreneurs and business owners like you better understand how to market your business to relevant audiences. We suggest you bookmark the page and return to it whenever you need help marketing your business.
Use Branding In Your Favor
You’ve heard about branding before, but do you understand what branding is? We still hear successful entrepreneurs and startup founders talk about marketing and branding interchangeably. It’s important to understand these aren’t the same if you want to take advantage of both.
Simply put, branding is what people think about your company. It’s how they position you in the competitive marketplace. For example, if you’re selling the lowest-cost products, people will probably think of you as the cheap option they go for when they want to save money.
It’s important to understand how people connect with brands. They want to buy from brands that stand for the things they are passionate about. People want to buy from brands they can connect to. And people are willing to pay a higher price to connect with brands. This is where the power of branding comes in.
Branding can help you stand out in a competitive market. It can help you reach a passionate group of people willing to spend premium money on what you have to offer.
There’s a lot to learn about branding if you want to build a strong brand. That’s why we create a branding guide where we take you step-by-step through the branding process to help you build a strong brand.
Your name is an important element of branding. You can use our simple startup name generator to find the perfect name that represents your brand positioning. We also have a name generator for entrepreneurs if the startup generator doesn’t fit your needs.
Never Stop Networking
Networking is a lot like marketing. Some entrepreneurs and startup founders hate it. But like marketing, having the right connections can elevate your business. That’s why you should take advantage of all the opportunities you get to mingle with influential people in your industry.
Some entrepreneurs and business owners are introverted and aren’t comfortable talking to people they don’t know. We understand how hard it can be to rub elbows with people you don’t know. But networking gets easier the more you do it.
We always suggest networking in person when possible. It’s true that technology allows us to form meaningful relationships with people who we’ve never met in person, but in-person contacts are still better. Do the best you can. If you can’t meet people in person, make sure you connect with them online.
We talked about business groups and how valuable they can be. Networking is another reason why clubs like these can be so great. You’ll get the chance to meet industry leaders and influential people. Make sure you take the opportunity to promote your business. Just make sure you’re not being pushy.
Have A Solid Plan
Business plans take a lot of time to write. That’s why people often avoid doing them. Young entrepreneurs and startup founders think that having a plan in their heads is enough. We’re here to tell you it’s not. No matter where you are on your business journey, a solid plan is always necessary.
A business plan gives you direction. It ensures you consider all the things you need to define before you start working on executing your plan. A business plan also helps you get funded by banks or private investors.
We created a long guide that goes into every business plan detail. We even shared tips and tricks that help modern business owners create a short business plan in a day. Remember, your business plan doesn’t have to be long, as long as it includes everything you need to start growing your business.
A solid plan ensures you don’t get lost as you grow. We recommend you keep coming back to your plan whenever you feel overwhelmed. It will give you a sense of direction and help you refocus.
Be Ready to Grow And Scale
Business owners and entrepreneurs all want one thing – to grow and increase their profits. They believe that the equation for this is simple – the more you sell, the higher the profist. That’s not always the case. Growing can get very expensive if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Growing and scaling a business takes a lot of hard work. You have to plan all operations of your business. It also costs a lot of money. Business owners sometimes realize that growing and scaling can result in lower profits, even if that sounds counterintuitive. There are different costs that come with scaling a business.
It helps to think about growth before you even start the business. This enables you to build flexible foundations that enable you to scale with ease.
There’s a lot you need to consider as you prepare your business to grow. That’s why we condensed important information into a step-by-step guide to scaling your business. The information we share will help you scale your business and improve your profits on the way.
Set Strong Foundations
We talked about the importance of setting strong foundations in previous tips. We covered business goals, business plans, and having the right vision for your business. All of these are important things to have. But these things alone won’t help you elevate your business to the next step.
One of the most important foundations is legal protection. Have you ever checked how protected your business is? You’d be surprised how often we get to speak to business owners who have successfully run their business for years or decades without ensuring their business is legally protected. Legal protection starts with trademarking your name and logo.
If you’re just starting and want to make sure you start on the right foot, picking the right web builder isn’t easy. We suggest you outsource the formation of your company to professional LLC services. They will ensure you have everything you need to start your business.
Another thing you need is a strong email address. Let’s face it, running a business on a free email like Gmail doesn’t scream professionalism. Make sure you get the best web hosting for your business to set the right domain to show you’re running a professional business.
Build An Attractive Website
We live in the digital age where everyone has a website. Your business must have a web presence. You can hire a professional designer or a web design agency to do that for you. This is great if you have the funds to do so. You have to tell them what to include, and they take care of everything else. You’ll end up with a clean-looking website that you’ll use to market your business.
But, what can you do if you don’t have the resources to hire professionals to do the work for you? What can you do if you’re an entrepreneur bootstrapping your business from the ground up? If that’s the case, we recommend you try one of the many website builders available to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
All website builders have one thing in common – they help you build a good-looking website even if you have no previous web design experience.
Which one should you choose? There are many different options online, and all of them promise to get your website running as quickly as possible. We understand that picking the right web builder isn’t easy. That’s why we compared the best options for entrepreneurs and small businesses. You can check the best website builders on our website. We recommend Wix to entrepreneurs and Shopify if you’re building an eCommerce business.
Love Your Critics
We sometimes feel that people are naturally inclined toward criticizing everything they see. We already talked about how important it is to keep going forward and take risks if you want to be a successful business owner.
Taking risks will make you stand out from the crown. People will notice you, and they will start criticizing you. That’s great because you can take their criticism and use it to take your business to the next level.
Listen to the feedback people share with you. What are your past clients saying about your company? Is there anything they don’t like? Can you change something in your business that would make this go away?
This is the right approach if you want to become a successful entrepreneur. Don’t take criticism personally. Take it as an opportunity to improve your business.
We recommend you write down every negative review you get to keep track of all the things that might need improvement.
Serve Your Customers
Your customers are why your business operates. Your customers are why your business exists. Write these two statements down and repeat them every single day. You have to understand your customers are the core of your business.
It doesn’t matter what you think about your business. We hear young entrepreneurs talking about their groundbreaking ideas every day. But none of that matters if they can’t find the customers willing to pay for their idea.
Entrepreneurs often justify making important decisions with their personal preferences. It’s their business, and they can do whatever they want. That’s true, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best idea from the business point of view.
Your customers should drive every business decision you make. Always ask yourself – is this something my customers would approve of before making an important change.
This way, you’ll position your customers at the center of your business. They will start noticing you pay attention to their needs, and they will become loyal followers of your business. They will buy from you and promote your business to the people they talk to. It’s a double win for you.
Manage Your Time
You might be competing with businesses that have more funds than you. You’re probably competing with businesses that have bigger teams than you. But what you all have is the same amount of time. How you spend your time defines your business success.
We live in a world where entrepreneurs and business owners praise constant hustle and long hours. We don’t believe this is the road you should take. Instead, focus on a work-life balance that helps you do amazing work while keeping your sanity.
We already talked about wellbeing, and time management is something we could include there. We believe this is so important it deserves a separate tip.
The simplest thing you can do is to become aware of how you spend your time. Do you have endless Zoom meetings taking too much of your time? Try using Slack instead. Are you constantly busy but can’t produce any meaningful work? Try dedicating two hours of deep work every day by turning off your phone.
You can start with small steps. The goal should be to eliminate the things taking your time and focus on the things that matter for your business.
Find A Mentor
No matter how smart you are or how fast you learn, you can never know everything. Plus, there’s one thing you can’t learn. That’s experience. Having an experienced mentor from your industry can help you grow your knowledge exponentially.
We already mentioned Richard Branson in this article. He’s a famous businessman that many try to copy. Did you know that he had a mentor as he was expanding into industries he had no knowledge of? Branson contributes the success of Virgin Atlantic to Sir Freddie Laker, a British airline entrepreneur that Branson asked for advice and guidance when he was struggling to get Virgin Atlantic off the ground.
If successful people like Branson can have mentors, why shouldn’t you? You just have to find one. We again recommend local business groups. Becoming a member of a business club helps you network, promote your business, and get advice from people who are more experienced than you.
You can also try online business clubs and forums where like-minded people meet. Or you can even search for professional business coaches that will act as a mentor on your path to success. Whatever you do, don’t ever stop asking for advice and guidance.
Keep It Simple
You know that running a business can get overwhelming. You have to make difficult decisions and navigate through the obstacles on your way. This gets even more complicated if you have employees you need to help.
One of the best tricks to keep your sanity and not lose focus is to keep everything simple. By keeping things simple, you can ensure that you always provide the highest quality. This results in better accuracy and makes your business more reliable.
There are fewer things that can go wrong if you keep your business simple. It’s also easier to add new team members and outsource work if your business is simple. The same goes for scalability. It’s much easier to scale simple businesses than to scale complex business operations.
The easiest way to keep your business simple is to define clear goals, find the path, and eliminate everything that’s not essential for you to reach your goals.
We understand this is harder to do than say. Take small steps. Start by eliminating small things that clutter your business. Keep improving your operations, and you will start seeing how your business becomes simpler as you move along.
Examples of Successful Entrepreneurs And Startups
We researched the internet to collect the best business advice from successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and writers. We focused on three well-known individuals with amazing knowledge. We found some of the best tips they’ve shared on the internet and compiled them into this action-packed list.
We’ll start with Tim Ferriss, a famous business writer, and popular podcast host.
Tim’s tips to entrepreneurs and startups are:
- Have no competition – position your company so you’re the first one in your niche
- Find loyal fans – find the people that love what you do
- Don’t be the cheapest – it’s impossible to compete with large companies on price
- Simplify your business – efficiency comes from removing the unnecessary
- Make strong first impressions – let people remember you
You can find all of Tim’s tips in the collection of tips we shared. He used slightly different words, but the main ideas remain the same.
Let’s move to Jack Ma. He’s the founder of Alibaba. He shared his top 10 rules for success, which were later shared by different online resources. Jack Ma’s top 10 tips are:
- Get used to rejection
- Keep your dream alive
- Focus on culture
- Ignore the littleman
- Get inspired
- Stay focused
- Have a good name
- Customers are number 1
- Don’t complain, look for opportunities
- Have passion
Again, we see that what Jack talks about is the same as the tips we shared with you in the previous section. We can learn that sticking to basics and not neglecting the important parts of the business is what will take us forward.
Finally, we’ll look at what Elon Musk says about business success. He’s one of the most followed individuals in the world and has many devoted followers listening to his thoughts and advice. Elon Musk believes these are the six secrets to business success:
- It isn’t about the money – the big idea is what’s more important
- Pursue your passion – follow your heart in business
- Don’t be afraid to think big – don’t let the doubters keep you down
- Be ready to take risks – you won’t make any progress without taking risks
- Ignore the critics – don’t listen to the people that are doubting you
- Enjoy yourself – what good is success if you’re not happy
Again, we can see that all the secrets Elon talks about can be found in the list of tips we shared with you. The logical conclusion is that there are no secrets to success in business. We all know what we have to do. It all lies in the execution.
Business is hard. Growing your business is even harder. You should expect to face obstacles and challenges if you want to build a successful business. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t simplify things when you can.
We shared actionable business tips for entrepreneurs and startups founders. All of the tips you implement will help you get to your goals faster. We recommend you don’t try and implement all of them at once. Pick a few that you think will make the most significant difference for your business.
We recommend you keep returning to the article when you feel lost and need guidance. The tips we shared will help you refocus and continue working on your business goals.