Advice From Small Business Owners

The second annual Bank of the West Small Business Growth Survey was recently completed. In a previous post, titled, “Yes, It Is Worth It,” I shared results that an overwhelming majority (86%) feel that all the time, money, stress, and sleepless nights, were worth the sacrifices. Ownership of your own business is rewarding, a source of pride, and provides unlimited opportunities to live your life as you choose.

Though freedom and many other benefits come with entrepreneurship, there is also a high number of businesses that fail. So, the big question is, how can a new business owner improve their chances of success? Of course, a key element is for the entrepreneur to have high business acumen. However, there is much more to success than just knowing what to do.


A passion for work ranked high

Results from the survey show that leadership was essential for entrepreneurial success. The survey showed that 70% of current business owners feel that to be successful, it is important to have a passion for the work, and 64% saw the need for self-confidence 64%. Additionally, 49% feel you need to have a clear vision for the business’ future and 38% weighed in on the importance of having tangible assets (an innovative product or service).

“Tenacity, charisma and determination are what push businesses into high gear. Those who don’t just lean in—but go all-in—are better positioned to overcome the odds and chart their own professional course.” the survey reported.


5 pieces of advice from current small business owners

The top five pieces of advice that current small business owners would give to those just starting out are:


    1. Make time for your family (62%)
    2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help (58%)
    3. Separate your business finances from your personal finances (57%)
    4. Stay objective; don’t take things personally (55%)
    5. Be a lifelong learner (54%)


Number 1 is a given – without taking time for your family, what’s the purpose of owning a business? I have found that the freedom you have with hour flexibility is the most beneficial of all. The 2nd item, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” is where our mentoring support that we give the Licensees of Nationwide Inventory Professionals. People don’t know what they don’t know, and we are able to bring these topics up early in the start-up process. This eliminates surprises and helps the new business owners know what to expect and how to handle them before they become an issue. We also have a policy of being available 24/7 so when they need help, they know we are just a phone call away. Learning from someone who has the knowledge, experience, and expertise is essential to an easier and smoother start-up and growth of your new business.


Taking the advice from the results of this survey will help you pursue your dream to start a business, and you’ll be more apt to achieve success by learning from those who have experienced the ups and downs of business ownership. By taking the suggestions of others who willingly share what they’ve learned will guide you down the path to success.