5 Small Biz Quotes You Need to Hear This Fall
Whether your business is just starting out, or you’ve been doing this for a while now, there will always be times when it feels like nothing is going according to plan. Running a business is undeniably rewarding, yet it can also be hard work. Nevertheless, even the greatest enterprises had to start somewhere, and make their own mistakes along the way.
Be prepared to take risks, and remember that not every venture will achieve the success you hope for. But most of all, keep working towards your goals. After all, if you try and fail, you are no further from your target than if you had done nothing at all.
The key to success, as you will have heard so many times already, is to do something you love, and give it your full commitment. Diligence, enthusiasm, and perseverance are vital if you want to convince your customers that your brand is worth investing in.
So when the going gets tough, keep the following wise words in mind, and commit to overcoming any obstacles to your success.
1. Getting Started
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.” - Bruce Lee, Martial Artist, Actor, and Philosopher
Bruce Lee’s philosophy is incredibly practical, and is more apt than may immediately be apparent, when considering small business practices. His advice to simply get started is valuable in itself; by the time you have finished thinking through your idea, the chances are, the market will have changed, and you will have missed the opportunity.
There are other lessons to be learned from Bruce Lee, however. In martial arts, and in life, he advocates flexibility. “Be like water”. Your business will need to change, grow, and adapt according to the needs of your audience, and shifts in the market. This means your plans cannot be set in stone.
As such, while it is important to have a defined plan for your business, do not feel that it needs to be perfect on day one. It is better to build in some flexibility, so you can account for setbacks, and work around problems without disrupting your entire agenda.
2. Taking Risks
"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." - Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
It can be tempting to play it safe when starting or buying a business, yet to stand out from the crowd, you need to be able to deliver something above and beyond their expectations. This might mean setting ambitious goals, and stepping outside of your comfort zone, in order to win the audience your business deserves.
This does not mean you need to set unrealistic, unachievable goals. Calculate the risks, and be willing to fail once in a while. In addition, keep in mind that the human mind naturally exaggerates both the probability of failure, and its consequences.
Take a step back if you begin to feel overwhelmed by the task ahead. Consider whether you are simply afraid of the worst-case scenario, and weigh up how likely that possibility is, in comparison with your potential for success.
Aiming high and pushing your limits may mean you increase your likelihood of failure. Nevertheless, if you still approach your target, the chances are that you will still have been successful in your venture, even if not to the degree you had hoped.
3. Perfect Later
“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” - Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder of LinkedIn
In line with Bruce Lee’s advice, Reid Hoffman advocates simply getting your product out there. Of course it is important to have standards, and release something safe, functional, and useful. However, while minor flaws can be embarrassing, especially if they could have been easily remedied, at least your product is being talked about, and has reached the market before its competition.
In addition, these issues offer an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to your customers. By listening to their opinions and correcting the problem, you can win additional favor for your brand, while further promoting your product as a new and improved version of itself. Put your faith in your ideas, and set things in motion, even if you feel there is room for improvement. There is always time to perfect them later.
4. Embrace Failure
"I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work." - Thomas Edison, Inventor and Entrepreneur
There is no shame in failure, as long as you learn from it. While it can be tremendously disheartening when a project does not reach completion, or when a marketing campaign falls flat, it is simply a sign that you need to make some changes.
Feedback is extremely valuable, so don’t be afraid to actively engage with your team, and with your audience to find out what went wrong. Pay attention to your business data, and look for trends that highlight where your approach is failing.
The more you learn from your mistakes, the better you can prepare for future challenges, and the greater success you will secure for your future ventures.
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” - Biz Stone, Co-Founder of Twitter
The last thing you want to hear when faced with adversity is that you should be patient. However, it is almost inevitable that you will face many difficulties throughout the life of your business, and perhaps most often in the early weeks and months.
While you are finding your feet, developing your brand’s personality, and getting a feel for your audience, it is likely that you will miss the mark from time to time. Nevertheless, you can learn from these blunders, and continuously refine your approach, until it becomes almost instinctive.
As you become more in tune with your audience, more familiar with your brand’s personality, and more aware of best practices, it will seem strange that you ever struggled at all. Yet, as Biz Stone suggests, it takes years of practice to reach this point, even if it appears to your audience as if you had always been at the top of your game. For this reason, some entrepreneurs choose to buy a business with an existing audience, rather than starting from scratch.
Your business thrives on your investment, whether of time, passion, or finances. Yet like any growing thing, it needs constant nurturing if it is to survive and flourish. Over time, its needs will change, as will those of the audience you are catering to. It’s not always easy to keep on top of these developments, so it is important to keep track of any fluctuations in your business’ success.
If you notice a downturn, then it’s time to make a change, and while the quotes above are a good foundation for your business practices, it is your customers who really hold everything together. As such, it is their voices and their feedback that will enable you to shape your business’ future, and develop your brand into a high profile enterprise that you have molded to their needs.
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant
I’m an ecommerce marketer by trade and enjoy nothing more than helping self-employed entrepreneurs to meet new business goals. I spend my time dreaming up effective content strategies and I love being instrumental in the success of brands of all shapes and sizes.