Unlocking Small Business Growth: 5 Key Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know

March 31, 2023

Embarking on the entrepreneurial path is both exhilarating and challenging.

When starting any kind of small business, you'll find that you learn a lot of lessons very fast. Every day has new information or a new challenge put before you to solve. Truthfully, growing a business from scratch is simply solving new and complex problems every single day!

After spending a significant amount of time growing my own business, I've found there are five abstract lessons that I think most small business owners could benefit from learning quickly. If you're new to running a small business or thinking about taking the plunge, these are important to keep in mind as you get started!

Let's dive in.

1. You Need Patience

Building a successful business takes time, persistence, and patience.

Developing a solid client base requires a lot of attention in the beginning. As a new business, you're often discovering what your product actually is, who will find it useful, and how you can position yourself to serve those people.

There is an important balance to strike when your business begins to take off. On the one hand, you need urgency to solve problems and implement solutions when catastrophic things arise. On the other, building a culture of patience and understanding can have a significantly beneficial impact on your employees, customers, and everyone in between.

As your business begins to grow and change, things take time. As you hire employees, work with new vendors, or even work with customers for long stretches of time, patience, it turns out, is essential in the world of entrepreneurship.

2. It's Easier With a Partner

Running a business is lonely.

Entrepreneurs have a high rate of depression and a propensity for spectacular levels of burn out. It doesn't have to be such a lonely experience! Working together with a partner can offer support, fresh perspectives, and a collaborative spirit.

If you choose to work with a partner, it's important to establish excellent lines of communication between yourselves. Radically open communication about your individual experiences, workloads, and expectations helps to ensure that your partnership stays in tact and positive for everyone involved.

Partnerships can often carry legal ramifications as well. It's important to work with a qualified business attorney to navigate working with someone else adequately.

Seeking legal help to establish common rules and expectations in writing for your partnership may seem like overkill to some. Why would you want to go through something so awkward as outlining your expectations with a friend or family member before starting your business?

Clearly defining and communicating the boundaries of your business relationship is something your future self will thank you for. Preempting any disagreements, bad blood, or fallout that can come from working so closely with another person can save you a lot of headaches! In summary, good fences make good neighbors.

3. Don't Be Afraid of Doing Things Badly

Perfectionism can be both a blessing and a curse. While it can motivate us to strive for excellence, it can hinder progress and stifle creativity.

As entrepreneurs, it's common for us to want the best for the brands we're building. Unfortunately, perfectionism often holds us back from getting started! Instead of focusing on making a perfect product, a spotless marketing funnel, or a customer service workflow without any errors, it's better just to get started.

Over time, as you begin to learn how to do things differently, you can change the systems and processes that you've started to implement. Being adaptable and recognizing when it's time for you to make a change in your business is far more effective than wasting time trying to make things completely perfect.

We see this quite often when it comes to helping business owners understand their finances better. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. It's okay to make little tweaks along the way! But to make any progress, you must get past the starting line.

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4. Impress and Delight Your Customers

Exceptional customer service is critical to the success of any business. At Amarlo, we believe in going the extra mile to ensure our clients are not only satisfied but truly delighted with our services.

The accounting industry in itself is not particularly known for its excellent levels of customer service. Accountants are often overwhelmed and overworked, which means that their client's experience can easily suffer. So, we've found that going above and beyond in small meaningful ways can make a huge difference to stand out!

It doesn't take much to impress and delight your customers. If you can accurately set a new client's expectations for how you will work with them moving forward, going slightly above and beyond is easily attainable.

Going above and beyond can be small, like communicating early and often with progress updates, for example. Providing a service that is 1% better can make a huge impact from the perspective of your customers.

5. Transparency is a gift to everyone.

Openness and transparency are essential for building trust in business relationships.

It's important to always be upfront about fees, services, and expectations, ensuring everyone is on the same page. This often extends beyond just transparency with your customers; having transparency with your team members can create a significant amount of loyalty and buy-in!

Radical transparency, like the type that we do with our web series NGMI, is not for everyone. Allowing the general public to look inside the lessons you're learning in your business isn't for everyone.  However, it can create an excellent avenue for building lasting relationships and creating a familiarity with your brand that is unparalleled.

In conclusion, my journey with Amarlo has taught me the importance of patience, the benefits of partnership, the value of taking action despite imperfections, the impact of exceptional customer service, and the importance of transparency. These lessons have not only helped Amarlo grow but have enriched my personal life in numerous ways.

To all aspiring entrepreneurs, I hope these insights inspire you to pursue your own endeavors, knowing that success is achievable with determination, resilience, and a willingness to learn from experience.

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Jeremy Millar
Written by:
Jeremy Millar

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