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Invaluable Advice From 18 of America’s Top Small-Business Owners

Invaluable Advice From 18 of America’s Top Small-Business Owners

By: Entrepreneur
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John Stonecipher, President and CEO of Guidance Aviation Inc.

“Surround yourself around the best people you can and give them an opportunity to do what they love to do best.”

Judith Huck, President Classique Floors Inc.

“Try to find a mentor if possible.”

Dr. Mehdi Yazdanpanah, CEO, Founder of NaugaNeedles

“I guess I would say don’t be afraid. If they have a business idea but are afraid because of a lack of funding or experience and so on, I have to tell them don’t worry, these are not going to be an issue in this country.”

Chris Runyan, President GameXChange

“The advice I’d give is to make as many mistakes as you can, as fast as you can. Get them out of the way. No one hits home runs right away.”

Matt Qualey, President Granite & Stone Fabrication

“One of the things we were told is pretty simple — do the best you can, and do it when you say you’re going to. In my business, it makes a big difference.

Noah Thomas Leask, President and CEO of ISHPI

“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.

Ellen Didier, President Red Sage Communications

“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.”

Mike Sawyers, President 7Delta

“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.”

Regina Broudy, President Clayton Kendall

“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.”

Karri Bass, Founder and President Illumination Research

“We definitely have, well, actually have just defined our core values and crystallized what we think Illumination has been built on: a spirit of optimism and believing in ourselves. … Don’t be afraid to lean forward and take risks.”

Brenda Brock, founder, formulator and CEO of Farmaesthetics

“Build your business around your life, not your life around your business. This will give you stamina to build a business with longevity.”

Pete Johnson, President of Pete’s Greens

“We’ve had this business-owners group where we get together at somebody’s operation. …We have a potluck, we have a topic, and usually it’s something  is struggling with. … We have an hour or so discussion about that topic.”

Jill Blankenship, CEO Frontline Call Center

“Develop a daily P&L 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.”

Jason Cohen, President ILM Corporation

“It comes from your mother. And she says when you tell somebody you’re going to do something, do it. That’s it.”

Aaron Rodolph, President Rodolph Brothers Inc.

“You can just focus on what you love — running your business.”

Tom Nieman, Owner Fromm Family Foods

“First, you have to be passionate about your business because having your own business is not a job it is a way of life.”

Tom. J. Loftus, President, Founder and CEO LS Technologies LLC

“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.”

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By:  Max Nisen

Facebook:  @Entrepreneur

Twitter: @Entrepreneur

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