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The Best Business Advice You’ll Ever Get

best business advice

Every province in South Africa picked one small business owner as its small business person of the year. Here is the one piece of advice they each offered for current and aspiring business owners:

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  • Always take the high road in business decisions.  Do the right thing. You’ll never regret it
  • Try to find a mentor if possible. You can save yourself months/years of start-up agony
  • Don’t be afraid. If you have a business idea but are afraid because of a lack of funding or experience, don’t worry
  • Make as many mistakes as you can, as fast as you can. Get them out of the way
  • Do the best you can, and do it when you say you’re going to. In business, it makes a big difference

  • Social responsibility is incredibly lacking in business today, we don’t wear it on our sleeve, it makes us feel good. It makes us get up in the morning. My role is to be a good role model, a much better steward for the community
  • Do not underestimate the amount of effort, perseverance, and discipline that is required to be successful. I cannot stress that enough. There will be problems and you must be ready mentally, physically, and spiritually to deal with them. If you are starting a business to get rich and work less, then you are on the wrong path. One should be working on enjoying the journey not thinking about the destination.  The riches-seekers never reach it
  • Be collaborative with your staff, your customers, and your vendors or suppliers. The more you trust the team knowledge and wisdom of those around you, the more quickly you can recognize and adapt to changes, provide better products or services, and the stronger your organization will be
  • It’s about long-term relationships and treating your customers right. Do what’s right for them long-term. Once you win the business, that’s when the hard work begins. … It’s all about relationships and reputation
  • Look at every interaction as a networking opportunity.  You never know when a business opportunity will present itself. A chance encounter could be a big break for your company
  • We treat our employees like family, we give them great benefits. That’s very important because if they’re not really part of your team, it doesn’t work. They’re excited when good things happen. We started with nine people, now we have 65. There are so many little details that we can do for the customer to make things go well for them
  • We definitely have defined our core values and crystallized what we think our business has been built on: a spirit of optimism and believing in ourselves. Don’t be afraid to lean forward and take risks – dream big and then believe in yourself to make it happen
  • Build your business around your life, not your life around your business. This will give you stamina to build a business with longevity
  • We have this business-owners group where we get together at somebody’s business. We have a potluck, we have a topic, and usually it’s something [the host company] is struggling with. We have an hour or so discussion about that topic. It’s extremely powerful. I always encourage folks to start something like that in their area
  • Develop a daily Profit & Loss sheet and ask yourself ‘Are we making money today or losing money today?’ This will allow for you to fix a problem quickly or continue to do the things that work
  • It comes from your mother. And she says when you tell somebody you’re going to do something, do it. That’s it. And it still rings true today … I find in business today people tell you a lot of things and then they don’t follow through with it whether it be employees, vendors, customers or prospects, whomever, it’s very frustrating
  • First, you have to be passionate about your business because having your own business is not a job – it is a way of life. Second, create (and articulate) your vision for the business and then be relentless in executing your go-to-market strategies and tactics.  A solid plan is important; hard work and execution are critical

Growing a business is about taking risks in a competitive environment, while continuing to build and maintain a solid reputation that your company delivers the utmost customer service. And very importantly, any business owners should strive to surround themselves with trustworthy, reliable people who support their company’s mission and values.

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