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10 Tips for Starting a Small Business
by Brett Farmiloe
November 15, 2023
two small business owners standing in their shop wearing aprons

What is your number one tip for starting a small business?

To help you start your small business, we asked business leaders and entrepreneurs for their best tips. From surrounding yourself with experts to leveraging your comparative advantage, several tips may help you start your small business.

Here are 10 tips for starting a small business:

  • Learn From Others In The Market
  • Ask For Help
  • Surround Yourself With Experts
  • Understand How Financing Will Play A Role
  • Organic Search Traffic
  • Bring On The Right Team To Support Your Weaknesses
  • Reduce Uncertainty And Increase Certainty
  • Don’t Be Afraid To Hire Professionals
  • Know Your Audience
  • Leverage Your Comparative Advantage

business owners contributing to this article

Learn From Others In The Market

Learn from others in the market. The small business community accepts newcomers with open arms. If you put yourself out there, chances are people who have been in the game will be more than welcome to tell you about their experiences and share some insider tips. If you find someone in your community to be particularly inspiring, invite them to coffee or request a Zoom meeting so you can pick their brains. Their insight could be incredibly valuable.
- Elliot Greenberg, Wholesale Janitorial Supply

Ask For Help

The best tip I would tell anyone starting a small business is not to be afraid to ask for help. No one should be trying to reinvent the wheel by themselves. When you get stuck in with your business plan and don’t know where to go, reach out to other business owners or mentors and get their insight into moving forward. Starting a small business can seem lonely, but many people are ready and willing to help! 
- Jon Schneider, Recruiterie

Surround Yourself With Experts

There are so many aspects to running a small business, and there is no way you can do it all. I recommend looking for professionals who are hungry to work in a start-up environment and have skill sets that differ from yours. Together, you and your team’s expertise can start your business on the right note.
- Brad Sacks, More Than Gourmet

Understand How Financing Will Play A Role

Financing a start-up comes with many different options, from venture capital to a loan from the local bank to an unsecured business loan. Challenge yourself to think about which financing option is best for the business and at what point you’ll seek financing to fuel business growth. By developing a financing plan, small businesses can better execute a strategy that can scale with their capital needs. 
- Grant Ferguson, Unsecured Funding Source

Organic Search Traffic

I only started Markitors and hired our first employee after we ranked on the first page of search results for the term “digital marketing company.” Once we ranked on the first page for our target keyword, we could sustainably and predictably grow the business because we knew we could expect a certain level of leads each month. To start a small business, you need marketing to support the growth. SEO and organic traffic are a great way to build a strong foundation. 
- Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Bring On The Right Team To Support Your Weaknesses

Before jumping into entrepreneurship, you need to have focus. What solution are you going to offer to satisfy what problem and for whom? Many business owners start a business without really knowing who their target market is, what challenges or problems they have, and how their solution is to that problem. Then, they try to be everything to everyone, and that will not work. Be very clear on the purpose of your business. This will help define your marketing and mission. Know and understand what skills or knowledge you need to have to undergo being in business. Bring on the right support team to complement your weaknesses. (If you don’t know anything about accounting, you shouldn’t do it. Bring in someone passionate about accounting). Know what resources you need to have to uphold your solution. 
- Steve Feld, Biz Coach Steve

Reduce Uncertainty And Increase Certainty

Starting a business is all about reducing uncertainty. Does my idea work? Is there a large enough market for this? Does my marketing strategy work? Many questions, few answers. This is normal for a new business as there wouldn’t be an opportunity if everything would be clear from the start. Still, you need to focus on reducing uncertainty by validating your assumptions early on. Run tests and go into conversations with potential customers as early as possible.
- Peter Thaleikis, Bring Your Own Ideas Ltd.

Don’t Be Afraid To Hire Professionals

I recommend having a professional assist with launching a new business. Business owners are talented at their trade but may not be well versed in what goes into opening a business. Having professional assistance saves time in researching and knowing what to do and when to do it. It also minimizes the risks of not being familiar with federal, state, or city regulations required for the specific industry. Lastly, it will save money in the long run as a professional can provide best practices and cost-effective solutions.
- Kimberly Bogues, Flourish Business Services, LLC

Know Your Audience

It is possible that you are putting lots of effort into your business and still failing to grow. One of the causes of failure is that you are putting your efforts in the wrong place. That’s why it’s necessary to understand the area in which you want to start your small business and your target customers. One of the best ways to find your target audience is by first thinking about the specific needs your product or service fulfills. Identify the pain point, and then determine who has those pain points. For example, if you start a business that designs websites, your next step would be to find out who needs a website and would likely have trouble creating one. In the above situation, your target audience is likely small business owners. Understanding your target audiences will help you advertise more efficiently as you know who your target audience is and how to reach them and save you from wasting your money on an uninterested audience.
- Oliver Andrews, OA Design Services

Leverage Your Comparative Advantage

To start a successful business, define the comparative advantage you have over other aspiring entrepreneurs and leverage it. Whether it’s specialized knowledge, a talent for selling, or a vast network of business contacts, use them to benefit your company. You may structure your operations or define target customers in a way that will utilize those assets.
- Michael Sena, Senacea

About the author
Brett Farmiloe
Brett Farmiloe is the Founder & CEO of Terkel, a Q&A site that converts insights from small business owners into high-quality articles for brands. Brett Farmiloe Founder & CEO,
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712 H St NE PMB 98848
Washington, DC 20002

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