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Make a Decision, Grow a Business Quotes

UPDATE: Secrets to Success from Small Business Owners is now live on American Express OPEN Forum. I believe there is lots more advice and gut checks that fellow owners can share that can help each of us, in some way, on our entrepreneurial journey. Please feel free to click through to the forum and answer some of the questions there as a way to continue this conversation.

Thanks for visiting and reading. I’m working on a post for American Express OPEN Forum and looking for inspired and inspiring small business owners or those who serve them. SCROLL all the way to the end for special thank you prize chance.

Here’s what I need:

Insightful thoughts on helping a business to grow, how to make the best decisions with limited information, how to execute day-in, day-out and get the work done. It may be how you simply get stuff done yourself, in your small company.

I’d like them to  be funny, clever, poignant, touching, insightful, powerful, and SHORT — I know it is a lot to ask for.

Here’s what I don’t need:

Cliches, obvious comments on “follow your passion” or “work hard” or “love what you do.”

What’s Next:

1. Put your pertinent details in the comments below. Name, email (not published), website, and your quote.  You can now use this form: http://techbiztalk.com/welcome to share your thoughts. 

2. The best quotes will go up in lights, as the saying goes, next Thursday I hope. I’ll publish your quote with a link and short, short, short description of your company or just its name. I do have editors, of course, so I’ll do my best to highlight your co.

P.S. And just to say a special thanks, I’m putting up a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner who also tweets out this post.  Contest closes next Monday, July 30th, at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

>>Tweet this Post<<

I’ll select one winner for this contest using Random.org based on the comment number tied to your quote/thought. Just like the hard drive giveaway for the Website Success Gallery (post still in the works — a TON of submissions to look at).

Oh, and you might want to sign up for my email newsletter as it shares other media opportunities, promotion ideas, new websites and other stuff to help you grow your company. Signup in the upper right corner. I respect your privacy and never spam. It’s bad for the environment… 😉

P.P.S. Last thing — if you want to submit your website for consideration — the Website Success Gallery is open. The contest is closed, but you can submit your site and I’ll take a look and if selected share it here on TechBizTalk and on Facebook.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Susan Steinbrecher July 27, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Ok, here goes…

    My Top Six Tips to Grow a Successful Business

    1. When making decisions – always look at the big picture first, then the details. Go for the win-win in any situation. Collaboration over competition.

    2. Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of your business, which in turn, will take care of your bottom line.

    3. People skills matter. Over 70% of leaders fail or derail in their career because they lack interpersonal skills. Being a good leader means pushing and expanding your own personal limits.

    4. Observe what’s going on outside of your industry, so that you will be more aware of business and cultural trends which may also spark creativity and innovation.

    5. Don’t take work that doesn’t resonate with your core beliefs just for the money, it’s never worth it.

    6. Cash flow is king – got to have it.

    Thanks for the opportunity,

    Susan Steinbrecher,
    Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Leadership Author

  • Melissa Montanez July 27, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Here are a few things that I have found helpful:

    1) Pick a cause that you care about or that fits with your business, find a charity that focuses on that, then partner with the charity. Offer a percent donation of sales (i.e. for a given time period) in exchange for a mention in their newsletter, FB page, etc. Everybody wins!

    2) As a “mompreneur” with a little kid and a full-time job on top of that, I have to be very efficient with my time. Find ways to eke as much time savings out of your day as possible. For example, do as much of your shopping online as possible (such as for supplies, brochure printing, etc), so you don’t have to physically go to the store. If you’re running a website, find services with good tech support, so you don’t have to become your own IT specialist.

    3) On making decisions with limited information, I believe in going with a reasonably well-informed gut. Do as much research as you have time to do, but don’t dither on your decision. Just make it and go forward. If the decision turns out to be a bad one, you will learn from it. Failure is often the best teacher.

    Tweeted also.

  • Craig Garber July 27, 2012, 4:47 pm

    1. “Hope” is not a good business strategy.

    2. There are few business problems that can’t be solved by having an abundance of fresh, new leads.

    3. No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.

    Thanks and good luck with your article. I’m Craig Garber and I’m the best-selling author of “How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers” Have a great weekend :-)

  • Brittany Haas July 27, 2012, 4:48 pm

    NETWORK! After working all day, I know the last thing I want to do is go meet people and talk shop. However, every event I attend I learn at least one valuable piece of information or meet one person who inevitably makes an impact on my business.

  • Alan Dang July 27, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Have an agenda. No, really.

    The single most effective thing I’ve ever done was having an agenda that outlined my days, weeks, and even months. Without knowing your schedule, you lose track of time and even tasks that you need to do. With an agenda I am now able to maximize my time much more efficiently and work on tasks that have a higher priority. It’s much better to be productive and reach mile stones than sitting around browsing the internet.

  • Kelsey Meyer July 27, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Tips for growing a company:
    1. Ask yourself and your staff every day what you are doing to bring more business to the company. This can mean making it a point to contact 25 new leads a day, asking 2 clients for a referral each day, or simply improving a process each day to make your business more efficient.
    2. Stop focusing on the long-term and focus on today. We have a Top 5 priority list for our company and each employee has their individual top 5 priority list. Each day we focus on how our top 5 priorities are contributing to the total company top 5.
    3. Ask your employees these 3 questions each quarter. Ask 1. What should we start doing? 2. What should we stop doing? and 3. What should we continue doing? These questions will spark innovation, stop time sucks and improve your day-to-day work flow. They will also give your employees a voice on the important decisions.

    Hope this helps! I’m happy to expand on any of these and I look forward to seeing the finished piece.


  • Mike Scanlin July 27, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Hi TJ,

    Yes, I would like to submit http://www.borntosell.com for consideration on the Website Success Gallery. Thanks.

    We are a small self-funded startup. Took 18 months to build our site/service, and then launched it in July 2010. Been online for 2 years now, and have grown subscribers every month for 24 months in a row (we are a recurring revenue subscription business).

    My advice for small companies is to never stop networking. Every day you should have a goal of emailing or calling at least 2-3 new people. Maybe 5 a day. Many won’t respond, but many others will. And you will *create* new opportunities for yourself and your company by your pro-active outreach. Example: I had never done public speaking before. But I reached out to several financial conference organizers (our customers are financial types) and now I have 3 speaking gigs lined up for the next 2 months. I’ll be presenting to a room full of potential customers in 3 different cities.

  • Tea Silvestre, aka the Word Chef July 27, 2012, 4:52 pm

    Focus like a laser on your one best thing. Your signature dish. It doesn’t mean you won’t do other things, too. But you will build authority and a client base a heckuva lot faster if you focus on your best product/service.

  • Alexandra Golaszewska July 27, 2012, 4:58 pm

    1. Even if you aren’t billing by the hour, calculate an hourly rate for yourself. Do the math by setting a goal for how much you want to earn for the year and how many hours you want to work, then hire others for any tasks you don’t love doing that cost less than that hourly rate. It frees you up to build your business by focusing on what you do best.

    2. Narrow your focus. There are a lot of people out there doing what you do, and if you’re a generalist it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. The more tightly you focus, the more perfect a fit you become for your category. This can be based on your services or on the type of client. For example, if you’re a writer, maybe you only write new business proposals or LinkedIn bios or online dating profiles. Or maybe you offer a wider range of services, but only to restaurants or lawyers or ski resorts.

  • Jason Goldberg July 27, 2012, 5:10 pm

    Hello, this is Jason Goldberg, President and CEO of LeaderShift Consulting.

    Think $50 million, Act $50 bucks! Formulate strategies, perform activities and build the structure for your team and your offerings as if you are (or will be) a $50 million dollar company. Screen everything you do (product development, hiring, marketing, operations etc) against the filter of what your company would look like as a lean, mean $50 million dollar success story with raving customers and employees.

    At the same time, remember your responsibility to remain efficient and effective on a budget, especially when you are bootstrapping and/or building your business organically. All the vision, strategy and planning in the world won’t get you far without cash flow, payroll and sound finances.


    Jason Goldberg
    LeaderShift Consulting

  • Eric Shannon July 27, 2012, 5:12 pm

    Avoid your employees. Your own employees are the #1 reason you never get anything done, they’re productivity vampires. Spend at least 2 hours per day with a closed door, no phone, no email, and no IM and you’ll be able to “take care of business” like no other.

  • Michele Kolier July 27, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I’d like to offer two tips the first is about how to execute the day-in, day-out grind when you are working alone or with a small group of people: “Do the hard part first.” There is always some awful task that you hate doing or that requires a lot of effort or thought. We all have a tendency to procrastinate, especially when the only person you answer to is yourself. Therefore do the hard part first.

    The second tip is about customers – “Just do the right thing.” It doesn’t matter if you think they are trying to pull one over on you or if their complaint is crazy and makes no sense – just make them happy. Refund their money, send them a new product, give them a discount. You can turn an unhappy customer around in minutes and they will sing your praises instead of disparaging you. It’s worth it to do the right thing.

    I run YourCover.com which is a website dedicated to creating lasting memories of special events and special people through the creation of personalized magazine covers. We have been in business since 2000 and offer over 80 magazine cover themes to celebrate all kinds of interests, holidays and milestone events.

  • Nathaniel Casey July 27, 2012, 5:15 pm

    As an entrepreneur, I wake up every morning and ask myself one simple question -what is the best way to bring the most amount of value possible to my business until I sleep again. I have to take risks, call people that I am sometimes scared of, be willing to seek forgiveness long before asking permission, and fail sometimes, as hard as I can. The days are long and rarely fruitful, but it has proven to be true over and over that working harder when you most want to quit – allows for possibilities to become success. That is it, the hardest part of being an entrepreneur – is not the idea – its the editing.

  • Rick Potvin July 27, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated, but if you aren’t getting the work done your business is not advancing.
    “Would I have paid me for the work I did today?”
    Puts the onus on your performance.

  • Bob King July 27, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Pick up the phone! Answer emails! I’m an attorney, and one of the most frequent complaints I hear from clients is that lawyers don’t return their calls or emails. I’m not exaggerating when I say that our firm gets at least 25% of our business from being accessible, actually answering the phone when it rings, and responding to emails — even at night and on weekends — promptly. There’s a saying that “half of life is just showing up;” being the first person to help a client when the client needs the help — not at some later time convenient to your schedule — has been a major help to growing our business.

  • Brandon Ford July 27, 2012, 5:17 pm

    There is a certain amount of instinct that goes into successfully launching a business. You can’t discount what your gut has to say. As long as your instincts are in line with your vision (and you have CASH), you’ll be okay. Folks told me that to be successful in the tea world, I needed to have a lot of tea options for customers (hundreds). My gut told me otherwise and to keep it simple. While we’ve only been open a short time, we’ve received a ton of interest in our products and are now supplying many happy customers.

  • David Rice July 27, 2012, 5:18 pm

    “Unless you’re the next Pinterest, you don’t have a business until you have revenue. Focus intensely on growing revenue. A focus on it will lead you to all other areas of attention that may tempt you to put first. Chasing revenue will guide your product/service development, teach you customer service, help you find your niche, guide you in your budgeting, etc. When you get revenue flowing, then you can focus on managing a business.”

  • Greg Rudolph July 27, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Here are some tips I’ve learned from starting Board Blazers.com, LED Underglow Skateboard & Scooter Lighting:

    1. Every problem can be solved with lots of Google and 15 phone calls.

    2. It’s better to be simple than smart.

    3. Kids love free stickers.

    Have a great weekend everyone!

  • Sarah Kelly July 27, 2012, 5:23 pm

    “Must be present to win!” This pertains to my independent stylists who, being independent, feel that their schedule will magically fill in without actually taking a customer phone call and booking the appointment. This also frees me up to do the marketing that makes the phone ring! This can also apply to being ‘present’ for our clients so they feel like they are the only customer we have – great for retention.

  • Miranda July 27, 2012, 5:23 pm

    You have to know when to outsource so you don’t go crazy. Sometimes, it’s worth it to pay a little extra to free you up for time to concentrate on the most important aspects of your business.

  • Shelley Hall July 27, 2012, 5:39 pm

    Burn your Superman suit! Forget you ever heard the words “I am woman here me roar”. Male or female, as a business owner you need help. Subdue the ego that says you must do it all. Ask for help, for ideas, for expertise. Successful business are built on the work of many. It took more than one smart engineer to build the pyramids, why should your business be any different!

    Shelley Hall
    Principal, Managing Director
    Catalytic Management LLC

  • Chellie Campbell July 27, 2012, 5:44 pm

    Hi, and thanks for the opportunity!

    1. We think people want to work with us because we’re successful, but that’s never it. They work with us because they believe we can help them be successful.

    2. “It takes about 12 “touches” before someone feels safe enough to buy from you. They have to meet you, talk to you, read about you, talk to you again, see you speak, read your article, get a couple of emails, talk to you again, visit your web site, read another article, talk to someone else about you, and THEN they may be ready to buy your stuff!

    3. People say you have two choices of focus: fear or faith. But I say there’s only one: faith. Because fear is just faith that bad things will happen. Why would you want to choose that?

    Have a fabulous day!
    Chellie Campbell
    Author, “The Wealthy Spirit” and “Zero to Zillionaire”
    Financial Stress Reduction Workshops

  • Meridian Pacific Properties July 27, 2012, 5:45 pm

    Thou shalt not fall for “Get Rich Quick” Schemes .

    Thou shalt not Work it Alone.

    Thou shalt Evaluate your Investment Correctly.

    Thou shalt Perform proper Due Diligence.

  • Michelle Riggen-Ransom July 27, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Be helpful, be nice and have fun. In business, I try to be the person my traveling saleswoman grandmother would want me to be: adventurous, friendly, able to read a map and clear-headed. And she loved a good cocktail at the end of a busy day (also a great way to network!)

  • Liz Fulghum July 27, 2012, 6:04 pm

    When you’re a business owner, it’s easy to spend every day putting out fires — chasing sales, dealing with customers, doing the actual work — but if you don’t regularly set time aside to think about the big picture, you’re missing real opportunities to fuel your company’s grow.

    Take time each week for you (and your team) to get a birds eye view of where you are and re-affirm where you want to go. Brainstorm ways that you improve your business, and change the world.

    Then, don’t just day-dream: implement, test, and evaluate at least one big idea a month.

  • Dave Hurme July 27, 2012, 6:09 pm

    The world doesn’t sleep, in the age of social media you always have to be engaging your customers. It’s too easy for someone to say something about your company, product, brandname, good or bad and the entire world see it, in the blink of an eye.

  • admin July 27, 2012, 6:32 pm

    Wow! Simply WOW! I love all these thoughts and ideas. Thank you to each of you for sharing your expertise, your ideas, your practical passion. This is really cool. It is going to be tough to narrow down which ones to include, but even those we can’t use in the OPEN blog post — we’ll find a way to highlight here, too. Thank you.

    And a special thanks to those who have also submitted to the Website Success Gallery (linked at end of this post) because I’m going to keep publishing the cool DIY websites that you have submitted.

  • Frank DeBlasi July 27, 2012, 6:43 pm


    Hope all is well. I am replying to your inquiry Small Biz Owners Looking to Share Their Experience

    My name is Frank DeBlasi. I am Cofounder and CEO of http://www.hoopladoopla.com, one of the best online money saving sites on the web. I feel I can be of great assistance in what you are looking for.

    I have a few insightful thoughts to help small businesses grow. First tip I would like to give is dont try to be a hero! You cant, and arent expected to know everything about running your business. Talk with experienced individuals who have done what you are trying to accomplish. Big task or small. For example…getting a company website together. If you have no experience with getting a site off the ground, dont take the cheap road and try and do it yourself, it will just look and work bad. Your website is your company’s face to the world, and the “free template” doesnt always work. Bring on someone with experience. Students work great. Lots of them work for free to build experience and credibility for themselves. This is very cost effective. The next thing is, once your product or service is out the door and selling, utilize your customer/member base to help grow your business. Your customers are your best marketing channel. Be loyal to them, reward them, and they will further spread the word.

    I have done TV and print media interviews before on Fox and ABC, and more.
    You can see them and more at http://www.hoopladoopla.com/in_the_press.php

    Hope this Helps!

    Frank DeBlasi

  • Erica Duran July 27, 2012, 6:46 pm

    The biggest decision an entrepreneur can make is getting help such as a virtual assistant or personal assistant. This one task will give you so much clarity on what the important tasks are to move your business forward. You stop treating your business like a hobby, eliminate all useless tasks, free yourself from busy work and only work on higher level tasks only you can do.

  • Landmark Tax Group™ July 27, 2012, 7:09 pm

    Be the BEST in your industry. Don’t conform to industry standards, exceed them. Establish company policies and procedures that WOW your customers. What differentiates you from your many competitors? Come up with a list of 10 answers. Be the “Ritz Carlton” of your industry – It all starts with Customer Service.

    Michael Raanan, EA

  • Deborah Brozina July 27, 2012, 7:23 pm

    My top tips:

    1. If the venture isn’t making money (a profit), it’s a hobby. Hobbies are good and necessary for quality of life, but they aren’t businesses. For professional service people, such as lawyers, accountants and consultants, that means paying yourself a salary and tracking overhead such as rent, marketing, etc. What’s left over is profit. Solo practitioners or small practices and business often forget that profit should be a goal.
    2. Being of service is profitable – so profit should not be the only goal for starting a business. Businesses exist in communities and must deliver a needed service or product to customers while supporting employees in living their lives.
    3. No matter how ‘real world’ your business is – whether it be chemical manufacturing, retailing, or custom machining, your potential customers will be evaluating you in the digital space even before you may even know they are there. Be sure to pay as much attention to your digital strategy and execution as you would to any

    Hope it helps!

  • Joan Muschamp July 27, 2012, 7:35 pm

    All businesses need a strategy and a plan, so you can prioritize what is essential and delegate all that you can. Is it a good use of your time to do simple clerical tasks that you can outsource for $10 or $15 an hour? Consider the opportunity cost of what you aren’t doing to build your business. Take on the tasks that are the most important and have the biggest impact on building your business and figure out how to delegate the rest, as well as those specialized things you can’t or don’t do. Don’t be afraid to admit what you do not know—just find the resources you need when it’s a must-have.

    Learn to benchmark your plans vs. results and adjust as necessary. Are you taking on too much at one time? What’s working? What’s not?

    Use your marketing strategy to set yourself apart from the crowd. You are unique and so is your business, so make that shine. If you have others working with you, make sure they know the goals and reward them for their loyalty and efforts. Be a team, even if it’s only with one other person. Remember your brand isn’t just your logo, it’s the sum total of the customer experience with the entire process. Make sure everyone who touches your customers knows, understands, and internalizes that.

    Joan Muschamp
    Marketing Strategist and Planner, specializing in small business marketing
    LemonZest Marketing LLC

  • Steph Calvert July 27, 2012, 7:52 pm

    Keep your eyes on the prize, as they say.

    I run an art, graphic design and web design business that allows me to work at home with my 2 year old. If I don’t keep up with my clients and maintain a steady flow of projects, the bills won’t get paid. I’ll have to get a full-time job, and Phil will go to day care. Day care will eat up most of my paycheck, and our family will suffer financially. While I don’t focus on this “what if” scenario day in and day out, I’m aware of it and it’s a GREAT motivator to keep going!

  • Annette d. Giacomazzi July 27, 2012, 7:54 pm

    Love this query. Love the way you asked us to respond, too! I added boiler plate copy about my business at the bottom. Sorry, if I wasn’t supposed to do that.

    Wow, there are some amazing comments. Don’t know if I have anything to add, but I’ll try. I’ll focus on the “problem/opportunity” side of business:

    1. When there is a problem, find the gift. Whether it is a defective product, a problem employee or a bad day go looking for the blessings and advantage the “problem” brings.
    2. Train your employees (and children :) ) that when there is a problem or a complaint, bring three (3) suggestions to fix/remedy it. The focus will be on the solution, rather than the problem.
    3. Empathize with a gnarly customer right from the get-go. Actually, say, “OMGosh. That is so frustrating, irritating, disappointing…” Second best thing to say, “We’ll take care of it.” Completely disarms unhappy customers. LOVE THAT!

    CastCoverZ!™ offers functional and fashionable products designed to cover casts, orthotic walking boots, splints and braces, and companion products to bring relief and comfort to orthopedic patients. CastCoverZ! has been featured in Yahoo!, Good Day Sacramento, Entrepreneur, Parenting Magazine, About.com, Mom Invented, Orthopedic This Week, Lower Extremity Review, KidzWorld, Newsday, and many more. CastCoverZ! products are currently available at select orthopedic surgeon offices, pharmacies, or direct at http://www.CastCoverZ.com. CastCoverZ! ships world-wide.

  • Carolina L. Mery July 27, 2012, 7:59 pm

    I recently read The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss and I have to say that it changed my life. The guy seems like a complete ass and I seriously question his morals, but he certainly is efficient.
    In his book he talks about grouping things together to get them done. For example, instead of reading/answering e-mails as they come in, only do it at certain times of the day. Same goes for voicemails.
    I’ve been following his recommendation for a few months now and I’m telling you, it has changed my life! I am by no means working 4 hours a week, not even 4 hours a day, but I am leaving at the end of the day with nothing left on my plate. That feels amazing for a small business owner like myself!

  • Shaun Walker July 27, 2012, 8:03 pm

    Care about more than just making money.

    Partner with a charity. Find a philanthropy dear to your heart. No matter how much money, power or fame you may end up having, it all means nothing if you aren’t making a positive impact on the world. People remember the kindness and smiles you share with them and how you made them feel, not what kind of car you drove or what designer clothing you wore. “In seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself.”

    Shaun Walker
    Creative Director
    HERO|farm Marketing Strategy and Design

  • Nate Long July 27, 2012, 8:07 pm

    Here are my 5 ways to grow a successful business and make good decisions in the process:

    1. Every business — big and small — should have a good story to tell. If you can’t tell folks why you’re in business, you shouldn’t be in business.

    2. I used to hate middle school birthday parties because they were always at skating rinks and I didn’t know how to skate. I did get really good at foosball and Street Fighter, though. I stopped hating those parties when I convinced enough people that playing foosball and Street Fighter was way cooler than skating backwards to New Kids on the Block. You can’t beat your much larger and more established competition at their own game. Instead, make them irrelevant by starting your own game and convincing people why it’s so much more fun.

    3. Innovation inspires innovation. Rather than spending too much time listening to what others are doing in your industry, find out what they’re NOT doing by hanging out with other industries instead. Even if their ideas don’t translate over to your industry, you’ll be inspired by a new way of thinking and a newfound commitment toward changing your industry, not fitting into it.

    4. Your business shouldn’t be focused on what it sells, but how it makes people feel. How do people want to feel? Included. Keep that in mind as you work on product design, marketing, customer service and even the way you do invoicing, and watch as your customers become fiercely loyal.

    5. DIY business skills are very valuable to small business owners. You can save a lot of money and learn a lot of new things when you do it yourself. But never allow DIY to force you past important deadlines or, even worse, into a rut.

    That’s all for now! Thanks, TJ. Heading over to Twitter now.

    Nate Long
    Chief Entertainment Officer
    Amplify Entertainment

  • Bill Corbett July 27, 2012, 8:07 pm

    Stop using social media now for your business…unless you have a plan. Without a plan your social media efforts will waste time and energy. Activities will not be effective and will not attract business. Create a plan with goals and limit your time exposure. Bill Corbett, Jr., Pres. Corbett Public Relations, Inc. http://www.corebttpr.com @wjcorbett

  • Nicole Ravlin July 27, 2012, 8:16 pm


    Here are some of the things that we have learned in the past six years or owning and running PMG PR – and as my muckity-muck-MBA business partner says – “These are the things they don’t teach you in business school.” For shame!

    1. Manage to your cash flow, not your P&L or any other financial document. Don’t spend what you don’t have.

    2. Forecast conservatively. Pie-in-the-sky financial forecasts will land you in hot water and make for a soggy pie.

    3. Sell through down times. Don’t stop selling just because the economy is bad. You want to be first in the door when the upswing happens.

    4. A limited amount of free consulting = good karma. It took three years to the day I met a now client to get a contract, but we got it and we have been working with them for three years now.

    5. LISTEN to your customers an adapt what you can about your business to make it better for them.

  • Bryan Silverman July 27, 2012, 9:38 pm

    Take a moment at the end of every day, week, or month to reflect on what you did well and what you could have done better.

    It is not always making something that is wrong into something right. Sometimes it is about doing more of what is right that is important.

    My brother and I are co-founders of our company, Star Toilet Paper, and every Friday we stop working one hour early and turn our computers and phones off. We go day-by-day and see what we did well and what worked. This way we are able to know what we should do more of in the future. A lot of people say that correcting the wrong things are the most important things to do. The common cliches that you have to learn from failure, learn from you mistakes, etc. are absolutely true, but we think it is more important to capitalize on what we do well and build from there. We do talk about what we did wrong so we can change it in the coming week; however, if we can become even better at what we already do great, then we feel we are definitely going to be successful.

  • Craig Wolfe July 27, 2012, 9:47 pm

    We do a whole line of celebrity rubber ducks that were voted one of the top 100 Gifts by Entertianment Weekly. We’re also the only company making rubber ducks in America once again where the rubber duck was actually invented. I own the whole company. So what do I do to get things done? My answer:

    The most precious commodity in any entrepreneur’s business is his or her time. It goes quickly and you can never get it back. Bottom line, you can’t be all things to all people so really understand who you are, who needs what you have to offer, and what you can and cannot do on your own. In other words, surround yourself with a group of people, wherever they might live, who can handle all the things that will make your overview of the company that much more efficient. This is not the place to save money. Intelligently outsource and realize that in the end, managing your time and the time of the people associated with your business will be your most precious asset to future growth!

  • Ilka T. De Leon July 27, 2012, 11:57 pm

    The most important aspect of deciding to open my own business was knowing that I truly has a “discriminator” that separated me from other business and created a unique service offering with an identified need. The best advice I would give is for small business owners to know their market and not to be afraid to bring a new and unique service or product to the masses. Identify your customer base and stay true to developing that serve or product. Avoid trying to do everything and focus on strengthening that one things that makes you unique and satisfies and consumer need. Be bold and stay confident and committed!

  • Haralee Weintraub July 28, 2012, 12:27 am

    Revenue generating business first, in emails, phone calls or in person. Schmoozing, chatting and facebooking later!

  • Fran Briggs July 28, 2012, 12:31 am

    The most insightful, funny, clever, poignant, touching, powerful, and short quotes for helping any business grow:
    *As soon as you learn how not to cry over spilled milk; the rest of your day is a piece of cake.” – Fran Briggs
    *If unimaginable heights and stupendous success inspire you, don’t wait another minute, start your ascent. -Fran Briggs
    *Be on time. You were destined for greatness – not ‘lateness.’ – Fran Briggs
    *There will be at least 101 opportunities to criticize, offend, or ‘hate on’ people today. Pass on every one of them.” – Fran Briggs
    *By identifying your priorities, you create more than an agenda, you create an empowering perspective. – Fran Briggs
    *A ‘problem’ is only a problem when there is an absence of faith in the solution.
    -Fran Briggs
    *Experience the awesome joy of getting things done. Be a producer, not an ‘excuser’.”
    – Fran Briggs
    *Your power is in your ‘right now.’ – Fran Briggs
    *Critics and naysayers neither determine your destiny, nor the degree of your ambition…You do. – Fran Briggs
    *A string of ‘power hours’ can create the most incredible day. – Fran Briggs
    *Your work can create pride, joy, and possibilities – let it! – Fran Briggs
    *Replace negativity, fear, and self-doubt with confidence, courage, and conviction, and success will cease to elude you. – Fran Briggs

    Thank you,
    Fran Briggs

  • Shaifali Aggarwal July 28, 2012, 12:38 am

    Don’t fight every battle.

    Time is the most precious resource for us, the entrepreneurs and small business owners, but often, it’s difficult to let things go. Why is it difficult? Because our businesses are our babies, our lives. But by trusting our instincts and realizing that not everything has to be perfect, we allow ourselves to focus on those few things that are most important to help our businesses grow.

  • Dali Rivera July 28, 2012, 1:20 am

    1. How to help you business grow:
    Give it your all until you have no more; you know you have given it your all when you realize you have discovered new abilities or creativity along the way.

    2. How to make the best decision with limited information:
    Always think from your target market’s point of view and you will realize what you need to do to make your business better.

    3. How to execute day-in-day-out and get the work done:
    Have a “highlight of the day task” for motivation to get through your daily chores.

    Thank you for the opportunity and best of luck,

    Dali Rivera
    Owner of Elite Revolutionary Solutions, home of “The Maestro Blocks Collection”, a high-end kitchen cutting blocks collection with features such as built-in drawers.

  • Deborah Fox July 28, 2012, 1:32 am

    I am the founder of Essential Planning Services LLC, a financial planning and wealth management firm that has been in business for 27 years. I also consult other financial advisors on how to run a successful business (Fox Financial Planning Network).

    First, in your mind and in as much detail as possible, create what you would want your business to ideally look like. Next, put that vision in writing. After that, prioritize the steps you would need to take to create that vision. Then standardize the delivery of your services with workflows by creating a procedure for every company/employee task that is performed. This enables you to provide a high-level, consistent customer experience and enables staff to easily get trained and work more efficiency. Use technology to track staff’s use of the workflows to identify potential problem areas that can be addressed. Last, regularly work on improving your business vision and the day-to-day workflows so you can evolve. And the icing on the cake, do things in a way no one else is doing them!

  • Eden Rudin July 28, 2012, 2:50 am

    Start looking at your business through your customers eyes because without them you aren’t in business. Your business is all about them not you and it doesn’t matter if you have a brick and mortar or an online business.
    Enter your business through the same door as your customers do, not the back door, and do it regularly. I can’t believe how many business owners don’t know there is a phone book sitting outside the door their customers have to use, a door hanger on the door for weeks at a time.
    Walk through your store, not counting inventory or filling the salt shakers but looking around at what your customers see, is there gunk on the legs of the chairs, is your shelving/displays visually appealing and easy to maneuver around?
    Online businesses need to do the same, is the wording you are using verbiage that your customers would use, not your peers or competitors? Make it ‘human’ and humans will use it.
    Thanks for asking
    Eden Rudin
    Multi-angled business owner Scoops (brick n mortar), The Social Garden (online)

  • Arnel Tanyag July 28, 2012, 3:11 am

    When growing a business look toward the future with faith and unwavering quiet resolve!

  • Mark W Richards July 28, 2012, 11:35 am

    The number one goal (in fact the only goal) for any start up is to go out and find someone to write you a check for what you have to offer. Until you do this, your business is nothing more than a very expensive hobby.

  • John Hopkins July 28, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Here’s a quick tip that WORKS. It’s the BEST thing I do every week that keeps me sane and actually gets things done.

    First thing every Monday morning, set an agenda of the 6-7 most important things that MUST get done. Just type up the list and as an item gets complete type in bold letters DONE! next to the task. It’s amazing how good it feels to complete an item and see that word Done!

    John Hopkins
    Invested Central

  • Hunter Phoenix July 28, 2012, 5:16 pm

    If “do what you love and the money will follow” were true, then I’d be getting paid for sipping marguerites on a beach. Do something that you think is cool, that you’re really good at, that helps or is useful to other people, and that you’re happy to market the hell out of! Then, money may show up to the party and bring a few friends :)

    About Me: Hunter Phoenix is a Certified Life & Success Coach, national speaker, author of the soon to be released book “Perfect Lives and Other Fairy Tales” and the creator of the Life By Design™ & Biz Breakthrough™ Coaching Systems. She helps clients strike the sweet spot between simple self-care and accelerated growth.

    p.s. good luck with the article and finding ” fun & poignant” tips!

  • Neen James July 28, 2012, 5:23 pm

    As a productivity expert my focus is getting more done so you can get on with it!

    Conquer the world in 15 minutes – no one has an hour anymore! Focus on what needs to be done, set the timer and ready, set go. Stop fluffing around – do it now!

    In 15 mins you can call a prospect, scope a blog, update social media, write a thank you note, workout or answer email. Stop wasting time.

    Host a tele-coffee – you make a coffee and I make a coffee and we chat on the telephone. Best biz dev strategy ever (you can do them in your Pjs if you want). I do tele-cocktails on a Friday – love those!

    Listen with your eyes – stop having half conversations while you listen with your email voice (see CrazyBusy book) and give someone your undivided attention.

    Good luck with your blog – have a fabulous day

  • Tammy Hawk-Bridges July 28, 2012, 7:27 pm

    I hear so many solopreneur say they can’t afford to have a better website or branding well this is why:

    1. You can’t afford to make changes – because you haven’t been brave. Take a leap or stay where you are and stop complaining about it.

    I know so many people, especially women, that are in business and don’t actually make any money at it.

    2. If it doesn’t make money, that is not a business, it’s a hobby. Just FYI.

    Too many business owners go to being self-employed with a sense of entitlement and they are too busy being “self-employed” and they fail.

    3. Treat yourself like an employee, hold yourself accountable, give yourself goals and structure – otherwise you will piss in the wind.

    My website http://www.yankingbootstraps.com – you will find a free download sample of my book that will publish in Sept.


  • Tony July 28, 2012, 8:58 pm

    This is crazy! $4,800 in 1 day! You must see this!

  • Richard Gardner July 29, 2012, 12:14 am

    A business should not provide their best sales and discounts when revenue is down. That’s like fishing in a puddle. If times are tough for your business, times are also tough for your customers. Follow the consumer spending index and hold your best sales when consumers are ready to spend. When revenue is up, shovel even more coal.

    Never use estimated revenue as a measure for deciding which product or service to develop. Let your customers decide. If you don’t have customers, then develop the product or service that YOU want to use.

    Keep your marketing simple and to the point. Customers don’t want to hear “10 reasons why our product is better”. They much prefer only 3 good reasons.

    Never bet the farm on any one thing. Try a lot of things and keep what works.

    Patents are like landmines. They only help you if you have a lot of them.

  • Lynn Jawitz July 30, 2012, 5:18 am

    Hi, I am a wedding and party florist and due to the nature and “shelf life” of flowers, and the fact that I work from within the building in which I live, the truth is that when I am doing a wedding or multiple weddings, I work day and throughout the night, often calling it a day at from 3 to 5am or afterwards. I need to “grind out” my work, or I have ruined someone’s wedding, so my work gets done. What gets me through the day and wee hours is that I listen to NPR and public radio on WNYC 24/7 while I am working. I really enjoy the talk, the opportunity to learn, the erudite nature of the discussions and the insight into the world provided by the BBC World Service. I’m not sure that I could do the volume and quantity of work that I do without that background. thanks so much, Lynn Jawitz from Florisan

  • Tomeeka Farrington July 30, 2012, 6:24 pm

    “As a small business, we try to minimize human error wherever possible. I tell my team to only send me documents that are client ready, meaning they could go out the door to our clients without any need for revision or copy editing. We make sure that our first version is better than most businesses’ final versions, and beyond simply pleasing our clients, we want to wow them. Ultimately, that is what sets us apart from our competition.”

    -Tomeeka Farrington Principal/Founder, Spotlight Communications

  • Larry Meltzer July 30, 2012, 6:27 pm

    * As a small business owner, you don’t need to be Superman; you need to be Spiderman. You need to build a web of contacts, that grows slowly outward through the life of the business. Some will be contacts who can give you business, some can refer business, and others can provide an objective opinion about managing and growing your business.

    * To grow a business, you need to become known for something beyond your product or service. Maybe it’s becoming known for uncompromising quality, or maybe it’s becoming known for solving problems. But it’s a core value or reputation that underlies the product or service that you’re selling.

    * Sometimes growing a business requires shrinking the business. You need to recognize when it’s time to pull the plug on a product or service or client relationship that isn’t taking the business where you want it to go. Maybe the product isn’t profitable, or maybe it’s detracting from the reputation that you’re trying to build. It’s a difficult step backward that in the long-term will better position the business for growth.

  • Jana Francis July 30, 2012, 9:29 pm

    On building a strong team: Hire others to do what you suck at – and give them the freedom to take it to the next level. This gives you the time to do what only you can do.

    On growing your business: you will always do your best work and see the most success by appealing to and delighting a niche few – instead of trying to appeal to the masses.

    On social media: don’t get caught up in the never-ending leaderboard of online popularity. Before your day is over you’ll have spent the whole day tweeting, Facebooking, responding, pinning, posting – focusing on a number. The next thing you know, you actually accomplished nothing. Social procrastination is nothing but busywork. Defend your time and attention to get important work done.

    Jana Francis, Founder & President
    BabySteals.com/The Steal Network
    (daily deal sites done right)