In preparation for Georgia’s small business week, Kabbage asked small business owners to give their insights on starting and succeeding in the small business world. Small business owners from all over responded, bringing a diverse range of experience and answers. In order to be a tool for Georgia, as well as nationwide, entrepreneurs, Kabbage has included their responses below. Kabbage also highlights Brittany Lane of Dream Beard, a local small business in Acworth, Ga.
What was the best business advice you have ever received?
“The best business advice we have figured out is to keep evolving. Just because something was a success last month does not mean it will be a success next month. Ride the wave, but learn to be able to see when that wave will end.” – Georgia local small business owner Brittany Lane, Dream Beard
“I had a great mentor in my first manager, who showed me that it’s not only alright to share your thought processes and mistakes, but that this is key to building a successful team. There are so many choices to be made when you’re building a business and, by sharing your approach with co-workers, you’re empowering them to more clearly understand your company vision and develop their own skills.” – Rashmi Melgiri, CoverWallet
“The best business advice I ever received was to plan your life first and fit your business around it. Make your business fit your life, not your life fit your business.” – Carrie Seibert, Soap Commander
“For those starting a business with a partner, commit to spending time up front to have candid dialogue about roles and responsibilities, legal structures, succession plans, and decision making processes. These should all be addressed in a professionally crafted operating agreement. Spend the money to have an experienced advisor or attorney walk you through each of these steps. Without these essential foundational pieces in place, you will inevitably run into serious issues and disagreements down the road when challenges arise.” – Seth Sinclair, Modern da Vinci
“The best business advice I ever received is to keep the customer happy. Most of my business comes from referrals from happy customers.” – Gerardo Mena, AAA Fast Construction
“Starting a business is all about taking calculated risks and making better decisions. It’s important to treat your business like you would a science experiment. Have performance metrics that you track, have a budget, and [have] a timeline for any marketing changes that you make. This is a smarter way to grow and also alleviates stress and confusion.” – Slisha Kankariya, Four Mine
“[The] best advice I ever received was to look at failures as merely setbacks. Nothing is truly a failure because you can always start again the next day.” – Aziza Hana, 10BucksARoom
“The best business advice I ever received was to invest in my business. When we had first started, we were under the assumption that if we produced a great product and called enough people, our sales would grow exponentially because of word of mouth. However, we did not immediately see the success we expected, and we weren’t sure what to do until I read about the benefits of investing in marketing. The theory was that rather than us calling a hundred people a week through tiresome cold-calling, we could reach thousands of people in a few days through effortless targeted online and magazine marketing. As soon as we began investing in our business, we saw growth at more than five times the pace we had being seeing pre-investment! … It just makes sense that since I believed in our product, why wouldn’t I invest in my team and myself?” – Charles Markman, Galaxy Media Co.
“It sound super simple, but extremely hard to do, and this is, ‘Learn from other peoples mistakes’. More specifically get a mentor and learn from them, not just advice on what to do, but what they did that didn’t work, and the lessons they learnt getting to where they are.”– Ian Naylor, AppInstitute
“Have a plan written down and set realistic goals for your first year even if you are just starting and don’t have a specific vision yet. Having a business plan helps you put things into perspective and cuts down on anxiety.” – Debora Balardini, PUNTO Space, Nettles Artists Collective, Group .BR
“Always think of the bigger picture when making significant business decisions. This includes how you treat customers and marketing your business. Most entrepreneurs want to have the best long term outlook for your business, so it’s best to treat it that way from the start.” – Alex Reichmann, iTestCash
“Go see somebody. Go see somebody. Go see somebody. The reason it applies to small business owners is because face-to-face communication is the most powerful type of communication there is. It grows relationships and fosters understanding between two people.” – Russ Frazier, Visigility
“My parents always taught me if you are kind, committed, work hard, and believe in yourself, you will go far in life. Having a can-do attitude really does contribute to success, as does treating others with kindness and respect. If you treat your team the way you want to be treated and reward them for outstanding performances, they will go the extra mile for you and your business.” – Deborah Sweeney, MyCorporation
“Do not be afraid to take small risks and fail. In aggregate, your wins should offset your losses while teaching you valuable lessons in the process.” – Bill Sebald, Greenlane Search Marketing
“The best business advice I received was that integrity is the number one differentiator that people don’t think about when starting a business. So many businesses are revenue driven and worry about their product and sales process, [they] don’t pay enough attention to running a business with high integrity and ethics. In a connected world that we live in, strong service models and reputation in the community is everything.” – Jordan Wan, CloserIQ
“Build systems and processes that can be automated as much as possible so that your business can run without you.” – Yawntreshia Coleman, Coleman & Company
“In order to be successful, you must have an unfaltering passion for your business and the goal you hope to achieve with your products or services. With strong passion, you can overcome countless obstacles and ensure your business aspirations come to fruition. You must do something that you truly care about and love, so it isn’t just a means to make money. Another thing I recommend all business owners to do is constantly tell yourself what you need to get better at, recognize what you are good at, and seek out new things to learn.” – Anthony Franciosi, Honest Marijuana Company
Kabbage is a small business loans provider that quickly connects small business with capital. Our technology platform reviews data generated by dozens of business operations to instantly understand a small business’s performance and deliver fast, flexible funding entirely online.