If you ask any successful business owner for entrepreneur tips, there will be an overarching theme: It’s not going to be easy.
That’s why business owners bring people into their companies. They help steer the business to the path of success with their experience, skills, and support. Sometimes, entrepreneurs also get some of the best business advice for building and growing their businesses.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs today went through their fair share of setbacks in the beginning. So, whenever you find yourself backed up in the corner, find inspiration and wisdom in others’ success stories.
1. There are going to be naysayers and critics but don’t let that dominate, or you won’t be able to do something new and risky.
— Arianna Huffington
Former The Huffington Post Co-Founder
Thrive Global Founder & CEO
As a startup or a small business owner, it’s scary to go against the status quo. Is it going to be worthy of your time and money? Will there even be an audience for this? These are valid questions, but if you have a product or service you believe could be of service to others, there will always be a customer base for it.
In 2005, The Huffington Post started with just a few blogs featuring news and political opinion pieces. By 2018, it had around 100,000 contributors in the fields of politics, education, and entertainment. It’s still one of the most distinguished blogs to date, even as Arianna Huffington left.
To get the success it has now, Arianna Huffington, its founder and first editor-in-chief, faced public backlash and criticism. At the time, she already had a national presence after campaigning for her then-husband, Michael Huffington. She was getting invites for guest appearances on television as a social commentator and even as an actor and writer.
She shared, “Before we launched, a lot of people, including my friends, tried to dissuade me. They told me I had my books, my column, and my radio show, and asked, ‘Why are you taking that risk?’”
Huffington recognized that more could be done in media aside from the traditional radio, broadcast television, and print. At that time, conversations were starting to move online. There were voices that needed to be heard so she created a platform to amplify them.
Later on, the website became the first commercially run US digital media firm to win a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. They owe their success to user-generated content, especially guest blogging to pump out a lot of content and expand their audience reach. She also became a well-known influencer, especially on LinkedIn.
She explained, “When you get [bad] reviews and detractors, you have to really believe in your product. And when you believe in your product, you are willing to deal with all the naysayers and persevere.”
Along with her best business advice, she also mentioned that we should love what we are doing. True to her word, when she left The Huffington Post after years of burnout and exhaustion, she founded Thrive Global.
Thrive Global is now a leading tech company that provides a behavior change platform, storytelling, and corporate services. It aims to help people and organizations improve their well-being and performance.
2. To truly tap into your potential, you need to participate in the industry in which you have an interest.
— Chase Jarvis
CreativeLive Founder & CEO
CreativeLive is a website where professionals and artists can hold classes in their respective fields. It also became a platform for artists to share their struggles and wins.
Chase Jarvis, who’s a photographer himself, launched the startup by building on storytelling and strengthening his bonds with peers in various industries. He shared how he went from studying in STEM to pursuing photography full-time. A lot of people related to his story.
So, by being a master at his craft and being transparent about his journey as a photographer, he was able to build a community. He gathered insights, shared them, and encouraged his peers to do the same.
When you want to create more value in the product you’re offering, you have to look beyond your bubble. In this instance, Jarvis improved his photography skills and expanded his network to achieve his business goal.
In 2022, the startup acquired Wildist.co, an online course provider for outdoor and adventure photography. This further put them firmly on their spot as the leading learning platform for photographers at all levels.
“As a platform that seeks to meet the evolving needs of all different types of creators, acquiring Wildist.co and its content highlights our ongoing commitment to this space and to ensuring the future success of photographers everywhere,” Jarvis commented about it.
“CreativeLive cares deeply about empowering talent and providing them with the tools they need to grow professionally. This acquisition solidifies that commitment.”
Customize Your Virtual Team Based on Your Needs
3. Build a high-growth company that’s profitable, provides exceptional value to customers, and does good in the world.
— Neil Blumenthal
Warby Parker Co-Founder & Co-CEO
Warby Parker was born from a concern that personally affected Neil Blumenthal: Why are glasses so expensive and aren’t sold online?
Blumenthal, along with three other founders (Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt, and Jeff Raider), looked into it. What they found was that by bypassing retailers and middlemen, they could reduce costs while also allocating more budget towards a better customer experience.
From there, they focused their efforts on creating a customer-centric model. They offered affordable prices, an online model, a home try-on program, and donation efforts to those in need of glasses.
“It was this moment of panic but also a great opportunity for us to provide awesome customer service and write personalized emails to apologize and explain. That really set the tone for how we would run customer service.”
Customer service is an integral part of a business as proven by Warby Parker and other successful businesses today. Focus your efforts on learning what your target market needs and how you can attend to those demands.
On top of that, Warby Parker makes a donation to its nonprofit partners for every pair of glasses they sell to give back.
“People want to wear glasses that reflect what they care about, and for us, I think Warby Parker as a brand stands for fun and creativity and doing good in the world,” he stated in an interview.
For other entrepreneur tips, Blumenthal insists on always discovering and following your passion. He also remarked on how starting a business can be scary and you won’t even know where to begin.
“When that happens, just take a step back and see how you can break down that problem or decision into a bunch of smaller pieces and take baby steps forward, but always just keep moving forward.”
4. Focus on the culture and make sure that your employees are very happy.
— Eric Yuan
Zoom Founder & CEO
Eric Yuan, the founder and CEO of Zoom, first worked as a founding engineer of Cisco’s video platform, WebEx. Even during his time there, he already had the same philosophy he incorporates at Zoom today: a client’s happiness is one of the main drivers of a business’s success.
WebEx users faced issues such as weak connections, as well as out-of-sync audios and videos. Some found the installation process frustrating as well. Despite this, WebEx was not ready to change and adjust to demands. It was then that Yuan decided to leave and create what we now know as Zoom.
Yuan grounded his company’s philosophy and culture in communicating with customers, listening to them, and ensuring their needs are met. Zoom is a testament to how important customer satisfaction is in a business’s success.
“Care means you care about a community, you care about a customer, you care about a product, you care about team members as well as care about yourself,” Yuan shared. “So, we have a very well-defined culture and values. So, on day one, already have that.”
Video conferencing is a saturated market but Zoom is staying ahead of the curve. In fact, it’s now ranked as the top web conferencing tool in 2022, beating Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, and even WebEx.
On top of that, there are over 300 million Zoom users as of 2022. Out of which, 467,100 are paying Zoom business customers. It’s foreseen to bring in total revenue of about $3.76 billion for this year.
5. Plan for the company to last forever .
— Rhys Powell
Red Rabbit Founder & CEO
Innovative businesses don’t just come in the form of tech and finance startups. Red Rabbit provides healthy meals and snacks with regionally sourced produce to public and private schools, summer camps, and Head Start programs.
Rhys Powell, the founder of Red Rabbit, did not have any experience with the food or school system but with his firm belief in his advocacy, he began studying social businesses, social movements, and their impact on society.
Initially, he crafted his strategies by month or quarter; however, after joining the Entrepreneurs Organization, he realized that he should be planning for the long term.
“Early on, my planning was done in monthly or quarterly chunks — as in — if we could only get to Q2. An early advisor told me that I needed to be planning as though the company was going to last forever. It was a huge mind shift for me,” he shared about the best business advice he got.
Long-term planning takes a great deal of effort such as researching your industry, product, and business strategies. But, in the end, these efforts will pay off in bigger rewards than a plan for the short term.
Powell found that doing so not just increases the business’s profit but strengthens the movement he’s a part of as well. With that, Red Rabbit is able to serve over 20,000 meals and snacks a day across New York.
6. Leaders take bold moves and make bold decisions
— Nellie Akalp
CorpNet Founder & CEO
Nellie Akalp has been successful in building a startup not just once but twice—all the while being a mother of four, a professional speaker, and an author.
Her first business, MyCorporation.com, was acquired by Fortune 500 company Intuit for $20 million. After her non-compete period expired in 2009, she dabbled in the same industry with a new company called CorpNet.
“A better environment, different stage of my life, different mindset. I think [my husband] Phil and I have grown a tremendous amount, both as leaders and people and mentors so same idea, just a different business model and different office structure, different office environment,” she remarked.
Both companies aim to help businesses and entrepreneurs create and maintain their legal entities across all 50 states in America but even with her experience, Akalp still had to face challenges with difficult solutions.
For instance, there was a period of around three to six months when CorpNet was not making any profit. She revealed in an interview that it was a stressor big enough to give her panic attacks.
Despite that, she listened to her gut instinct and did what she thought could be a solution: cutting all paid advertising on Google. In the end, CorpNet’s profit increased by 40%.
Akalp had already put the effort into its brand and social media by actively engaging with its clients, partnerships, and even through word of mouth. By cutting out unnecessary costs and leveraging the resources you have, you can take more strategic steps toward your goals.
“People ask me why I get up every morning and for me, it’s really about small business success. Creation, innovation, and being passionate about what I do,” Akalp said.
“Because as an entrepreneur, I don’t look at obstacles as a stoppage for me. I look at it as an opportunity and I look at it as a way to get around it and how I can go around it and create a niche for myself; and in my world, in my dictionary, there’s plenty of business to go around for everybody.”
7. Figure out the basics of management
— Scott Chacon
Former GitHub Co-Founder & CIO
Chatterbug CEO & Git Evangelist
GitHub is a lot of things. It’s a code hosting platform that allows developers to work together on projects and share code. Others also use it as a social networking site to collaborate with other developers and showcase their work.
GitHub co-founder Chris Wanstrath used an outsourcing model to reduce costs without sacrificing quality. As a matter of fact, former GitHub CIO Scott Chacon was originally an outsourced contractor!
In an interview about his accidental entrepreneurial journey, Chacon shared the best business advice he could give, “The most important thing to learn when you start a company and you want to hire people is to figure out the basics of management.”
“I feel like a lot of people can have autonomy and can go really hard in a direction of building something amazing,” he explained. “The other thing that’s probably really valuable for entrepreneurs with technical background is to hire. It’s important that you hire somebody that’s smarter than you or can be better than you at something.”
Outsourcing allows you to accomplish your tasks effectively in terms of time and cost. For startups, hiring a virtual assistant is a practical option as you start building a remote team for your business operations. It’s a foreseen future of talent acquisition and management.
Take, for example, Magic which can match clients with trained and vetted virtual assistants based on their needs. Whether that’s in sales, customer support, or administration, we can find the right talent for your business.
How Magic Can Help You Grow Your Business
Learning about the decisions, successes, and setbacks of other business owners will help give you insight into what you can and can’t do. With the best entrepreneur tips mentioned above, you can take a strategic approach to your own hurdles and decision-making.
However, time is a valuable resource as well. There’s only so much you can do in a day, so for entrepreneurs and business leaders, being able to focus on what’s important is essential to success.
Bring in virtual assistants to free up your time with the help of Magic. A Magic Virtual Assistant can free up your team, scale talent, increase organizational efficiency, and all in all, grow your business:
What does a Magic Virtual Assistant do?
The possibilities are almost endless with what a Magic Virtual Assistant can do! Whether it’s for administrative, executive, sales, customer support, or bookkeeping work, you can use Magic for anything you want (as long as it’s not illegal).
Think of it as having an on-demand personal assistant who provides one-to-one support to you and your business!
Magic Virtual Assistants are trained remote workers who can help with your day-to-day tasks so you can make the best use of your time. They will be a valuable asset to your team allowing you to focus more on your business.
How Magic works
Finding a candidate who meets your criteria takes time and effort. Skip the long-winded process of finding the right virtual assistant for you with Magic. There’s no need to worry about screening, training, and managing additional people.
Tell us what you need and we’ll help you seamlessly and effortlessly integrate a virtual assistant into your team. You can choose from the different pricing plans Magic offers to get the most out of our service.
Let Magic do the spadework so you can focus more on what’s important in running your business. Here’s a more in-depth explanation of how to get started with Magic:
1. Consult Magic about what you need
To start, discuss the tasks you need to be done. Tell us your goals and we’ll find the right person—or people—to handle them. Don’t worry; you’ll only be charged for hours when your assistant is on duty.
2. Get things done with your Magic Virtual Assistant
Concentrate on your business and let Magic take care of different tasks. A solo remote worker or a small team, available according to the schedule you choose, will deliver results driven by the best industry practices.
3. Pay based on your usage volume and frequency
Get the most out of your Magic experience by choosing the pricing that’s flexible for you. You can change your hours and schedule anytime to match the work you need to be done. Magic also offers a money-back guarantee for added peace of mind.
Why get Magic for your business?
Taking on virtual assistants can even save you up to 78% of your business costs per year as reported by Outsource Access. Unsurprisingly, over 80% of large-scale enterprises plan to expand their use of a more flexible workforce in the coming years.
Keep up with industry trends and entrepreneur tips, and grow your business without getting caught up in the details. More and more companies are taking advantage of a flexible workforce, especially in today’s fast-paced world.
There are no overnight successes. Easily scale your business up or down based on your needs with a remote workforce. With Magic, there will always be a virtual assistant ready to help hit your goals.
No matter how much best business advice you gain, you’ll only go so far by getting things done. Get started with Magic now and yield the best results at a fraction of the cost!