Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is the best business advice you’ve received?

Sometimes, as entrepreneurs, we’re not as perfect as we think we are. In those cases, we have to get our answers elsewhere, usually from our mentors, family, board of directors or even clients. We’ve asked the small business community what was the best business advice they’ve received and implemented in their small business careers.

Wisdom comes from failing, learning from it and moving on. The most successful business person knows that sometimes the accepted decision doesn’t always work. At that point it’s best to understand the situation you’re in and go with your gut – and the experience of others.

Here are some good ones to take to heart:

Brian Carter – Sr. VP, Sales at Global Spec Electronics

This too shall pass. The challenges that you face are temporary, and that change is the only constant thing we have.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Know your priorities and leave the unimportant stuff alone.

Think (and act) two levels up from your current role. Always think bigger than your job and you are here to help your boss make money.

Don't take business decisions personally. You are here to make money, so all decisions are geared towards that. Do not get emotionally attached to anything in your business as the time may come to let it go.

Dean Ekman, PMP - Deputy Director, Division at CTSC

The best business advice I have ever received can be summed up as:

Do the right thing - whether it's related to legal concerns, contractual obligations, best business pactices or ethics - you can't go wrong.

Don't confuse "business" and "personal" - it keeps everything cleaner in the long run. Keep everything separate.

Remember why you're in business - if you say it's because you're "doing it for the greater good", or "because someone has to" or "it's thr right thing", that fine - so long as you never lose sight of being in BUSINESS - that means making (and collecting) enough money to make payroll and rent, invest and expand and (dare I say it) make a profit.

Adam Drake, CFA - Owner, Highland Investment Advisors

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

I have this quote posted in my office. It’s a simple reminder to always act with integrity and work with people of integrity.