An integral part of every business owner’s long-term plan should be to seek out advice and to incorporate proven methods of success wherever possible. After speaking with countless successful entrepreneurs and business moguls over the years, it has crystal clear that learning from the success of others is an essential part of finding success in the market. Unfortunately, far too few small business owners are willing to lend an ear to those who came before them. The notion that business breakthroughs are generated by those willing to “break the rules” is only, at best, a half-truth. While it is true that many business successes come about thanks to risk-taking, it is also true that proven pathways to success rarely fail. Regardless, achieving business success is never an easy task. Often, the pathway to financial freedom is marked by hardship, confusion, and entangled web of complications and murky waters. But, if you are willing to listen to the war stories of those that came before you, you can learn from their experiences and build your pathway to successful business ownership. Business Tips You Need to Know Are you ready to learn the top tips and suggestions that we have heard over the years from real-life business moguls and success stories? If so, you have come to the right place. Below, we have listed some of our favorite words of wisdom collected from business owners that have been through it all. Know Your Market There are few things more important for a business owner than understanding your market. No matter if you sell ice cream, paint houses, or sell information security software, there is no reason why you cannot benefit from a little market research. For example, if you find that there are 200 homeowners living in homes the next town over versus only 150 in your hometown, it would be a good idea to expand beyond your neighborhood. After all, the odds that you will land a contract are up 25 percent simply by moving one town over. Listen to Your Clients More than anything, we find that designers and service industry workers can benefit greatly from listening closely to what their clients have to say. Without paying lip service to the idea that politeness and courtesy are important, we feel compelled to underline the point that empathizing with clients never goes undetected. In other words, contractors and business owners are always appreciated by clients when they genuinely listen and respond to their concerns. Make sure you take your time to truly digest what your clients are telling you every time they reach out about your work. Don’t Quit Your Day Job (Yet) This is true of both artists and entrepreneurs alike: do not consider quitting your day job until you have secured enough income to cover all your living expenses. Sure, it can be attractive to imagine living entirely off the proceeds of your pet project or small business. However, this is usually a trap that leads to financial ruin. Instead, focus on building your company while maintaining your steady income source for as long as possible. Eventually, you will know it is time to resign from your day job because you will be simply too busy to maintain both. Keep Your Hobbies Lastly, it is important never to lose sight of what is important. Always make sure you set aside time in your day to dedicate to the things you love. Otherwise, life can become stale and passionless. Without hobbies and little joys in life, we can easily lose the enthusiasm for our company and burn out. Don’t Strive for Perfection As the saying goes, perfect is the enemy of the good. When it comes to getting a product or service to market, money, and sales will be generated simply through momentum and buzz. This should be welcome news for those who like to get hung up over small details such as website tweaks. Instead of focusing on minutia, simply focus on making gradual progress. Use Social Media Wisely Although it has hardly been around for a decade in its modern form, there is already a large corpus of wisdom and advice that business owners have carved out based on their experiences. One thing we have heard numerous times is to take advantage of Facebook Groups to create a community around your brand or product. Social media communities, such as Facebook Groups, present some of the best ways to spur organic growth in your company. Not only do they drive discussion and buzz around your company, but they also lead to more word-of-mouth sales. Don’t Appeal to Everyone There is no point in trying to make everyone happy in the business world. Instead, zero-in on your target audience and create a product or a service that appeals specifically to them. If you can create a value-added solution for a small niche community, regardless of its size, you can create a loyal, lifelong bond between your brand and this community. If you water your brand down by attempting to appeal to a mass audience, your plan might backfire and cause you to appeal to no audience at all. In other words, focus on your niche and do what you can to win their long-term business. Stay Hungry Over time, it is easy to become complacent and lose focus of one’s long-term goals and aspirations. That is why it is so important to stay “hungry” in a figurative sense. No, we don’t mean that you should starve for your company, but rather that you should maintain sight of your initial goals and never lose focus. A successful business venture requires dedication from start to finish. Every day, you need to make sure that you wake up enthusiastic about your project and ready to give whatever it takes to push your company forward. Embrace Competition Lastly, it is important not to get wrapped up in the idea that your competitors are bad. Instead, you should embrace competition by learning best practices by other brands in your industry. Simply by existing, other companies in your market indicate that there is a strong demand for your product or service—take this as a motivating sign that your industry is thriving.