Find Inspiration With Small Business Advice From the Minds of These Innovative Legends
Owning a small business is an exhilarating ride. Every day you get the opportunity to see your blood, sweat, and tears turn into something grandiose. It will never be a cakewalk, but for those who persevere, there will be champagne toasts. The pathway to success is riddled with snags. Many entrepreneurs look forward and backward to see their life resembling the more proverbial of the Dr. Seuss’ books. When it gets to the darker pages, sometimes all it takes is some small business advice to get your business back into the mountains.
Bridging your mind with great entrepreneurs can be as easy as scrutinizing their words. The Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world were emulating the Andrew Carnegies and the Henry Fords. You can do the same. Small business advice fortified in entrepreneurial quotes will inspire, advise, and jolt creativity.
This article will explore five of our favorite quotes left in the wake of some really smart business moves, and the takeaway that can be applied to any small business.
- “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz, Former CEO and Current Executive Chairman of Starbucks.
Starbucks is an omnipresent force rooted in the global economy. The coffee house franchise also serves up a good cup o’ Joe. Obviously, Schultz had to make some daring moves as the company tapped into the digital marketing that made Starbucks a true industry disruptor. Before Schultz was able to transform a banal commodity into a $4 dollar craving, he had to take a risk. Schultz vowed he would revolutionize the industry and he did. Prior to Schultz and Starbucks, no one outside of Italy was crafting and roasting coffee the way Starbucks has managed to. Now, everyone knows it’s fall when the pumpkin spice latte is back on the menu.
Applying this to your business model is more philosophical than literal. Howard Schultz is stating that at the root of entrepreneurialism is risk. Being successful takes some imaginative audacity. The worst thing an entrepreneur can do is let fear inhibit their dream and not take action. You may have the next billion dollar idea just waiting to be acted upon. Follow Schultz’s advice.
- “In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.” – David Ogilvy, co-founder of Ogilvy & Mather.
In this quote, David Ogilvy is offering a rationale for the infinite amount of quotes about taking a fearless leap into the business world. Passion and dreams are important but will not be enough to sustain a small business. Ogilvy would know. His advertising company—Ogilvy & Mather—has an extensive client list including American Express, IBM, and Dove. Ogilvy’s ethos reaches back to early ads in the 1950s in the anarchic days of marketing.
The takeaway from this is obvious. Without doing your research and assembling a practical business plan—all your efforts will be in vain. Strategic business should capitalize on market gaps, product niches, and uniqueness. Honing in on what makes your small business alluring and competitive will mean the difference between failure and success. This is economics 101. Before launching, secure a business schematic that provides a product or service that there is demand for. If that product or service is so innovative consumers didn’t even know they needed it until you sold it, then you’re truly thinking like Ogilvy.
- “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” – Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist.
Richard Harroch is a juggernaut of business expertise. Taking small business advice from this guy is a crash course MBA program. Harroch successfully founded two companies—Lawcommerce.com and Allbusiness.com–is an enterprise author, and has negotiated the structuring of more than 100 internet related partnerships, and secured 250 mergers and acquisitions in his time. Currently, he is the Managing Director and Global Head of M&A or VantagePoint.
Harroch’s quote hits home for small business owners. Finding seed money to start, or expand, is a continuing struggle. Whether applying for an SBA loan, reaching out to private investors, or sinking your entire life savings into your business, raising capital is a tedium in itself. When confronting the daunting statistics of business success rates it’s important to focus on the long-term. Initial investments take time for an ROI to make its way back to you. Allott for this time when you find yourself sandwiched in the intermediary between establishing capital and making a profit.
- “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” – Jack Welch, Chemical Engineer and Former CEO of General Electric
If business is a chess board, then Jack Welch is the step toward checkmate. Corny metaphors aside, Jack Welch is a poignant and controversial force in the business world that has likened company culture and organization to resemble a military unit. During his time as CEO, General Electric saw a 2233% growth increase from $12 billion to $280 billion. How do we follow his tactics and apply equivalent figures to our own small business?
Welch believed that a company should either be at the top as No.1 or at that company’s heels. Without going into the gritty specifics, Welch cut overhead in as many ways as he could. Efficiency and streamlining business was Welch’s mantra, leave bureaucracy to the bureaucrats. For small business owners, the same can be applied to your means. Organize your team in a manner that sharpens your operations. Cutting costs, organizing accounting, and fine-tuning employees are vital to small business’ longevity.
- “There’s lots of bad reasons to start a company. But there’s only one good, legitimate reason, and I think you know what it is: it’s to change the world.” – Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote.
Phil Libin’s career has been spent as a digital architect for an array of companies and was CEO of Evernote but has since focused on General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm. Libin’s story is the archetypal one that shows the behind-the-scenes guy transition to leading the company. It doesn’t take a scrutinizing look at his resume to realize how this man’s potential became his job title.
Every mentor gives small business advice on how to set goals because without goal-setting there is no applicable framework to get from A to B. As a small business owner, you need to exercise some self-efficacy. We believe this is what Phil Libin is getting at in this quote—self-determination theory. If one believes they will change the Universe, this person has equipped themselves to change the World. If your goals aim for your small business to strive beyond the capacities of possibility, you’ll arrive ahead of the threshold.
Words are meaningless unless acted on. Churn these quotes into action in your small business. Taking small business advice and implementing it into business solutions is a cornerstone in entrepreneurialism and can be your lifeline. Godspeed and good luck!
Follow Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique: