Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, is the richest man in the world, with a net worth of $118 billion. Before him, Bill Gates held the first place with $99.9 billion, closely followed by Bernard Arnault with $79.7 billion, Warren Buffet with $72.6 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg with $57.9 billion.
These numbers don’t lie, but more importantly, they tell a story of what’s possible if you believe in your vision and work hard to achieve it. These people did something right after failing many times, so their advice is invaluable, whether you’re at the start of your entrepreneurial journey or want to grow your existing business.
Keep reading to learn essential business lessons and get startup advice from some of the most successful business owners in the world.
Learn By Doing
If you wait for the day to be ready, you’ll never launch a business, let alone grow a profitable one. All successful entrepreneurs learned the ropes by getting up and doing the work every day. The didn’t wait until they knew every single step, marketing method, or growth hack; instead, they failed, got up, and tried again.
One of the best examples of learning by doing is the founder and CEO of Canva, Melanie Perkins. Her philosophy was to focus on the things she could control and work until she perfected them. This is what kept her going, and today, Canva is a billion-dollar company because of Melanie’s perseverance.
Start Small, Grow Big
Some of the biggest businesses in the world started out in garages, living rooms, and coffee shops. The founders had little to no money and no idea how things would go, but showed up and did the work every day.
Amazon was founded in Jeff Bezos’s home garage; Microsoft got its start in Bill Gate’s garage; Google was created in Susan Wojcicki’s garage; Dell started out as a tiny computer shop in Michael Dell’s garage. This only goes to show that no matter how you start, it’s important to keep going with what you have and figure it out along the way.
Believe in Your Vision
One of the most powerful startup tips for founders is to have a clear vision about your business and believe in it unconditionally. This is what prompted Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, to create the first-ever mass-produced automobile in the world.
He joked that had he asked people what they wanted, they would’ve asked for faster horses. Instead, he followed his vision and made a product we can’t live without in the modern world.
Similarly, when Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook, he knew where he wanted to take it. He was in it for the long-haul and wasn’t interested in turning quick profits. This is how he built an internet empire that still reflects his initial vision.
Know Your Target Market
Aside from knowing who you’re selling to, you should also know why your customers buy from you. In the early days of marketing, people needed convincing to buy something and this was done via radio commercials, newspapers, flyers, and door-to-door salesmen. Nowadays, when someone wants to buy something, they just hop online, type a few keywords, and find what they need.
Convincing and pushing people to buy no longer works. Customers have higher expectations from companies in terms of quality and service, and they’ll choose a competitor if you don’t give them what they need.
The key to a successful startup is not only defining your target market but also listening to the customer’s needs closely. This is the art of subtle selling and if you look at any successful company, you’ll see they adapt their products and services to fit the customers’ needs.
Get Comfortable With Failure
When Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job, his employer told him he lacked imagination and creativity. Little did he know that Walt would set out to create one of the most iconic film and animation studios in the world. His journey to success was full of obstacles and failures, but he kept going.
Failure is inevitable when starting a business, but it’s necessary to learn from your mistakes and do better next time. You’ll go through several business models, failed marketing campaigns, bad hires, and money losses.
You’ll even go through several different startup websites until you find the one that converts best. The only way to find what works is to see first-hand what doesn’t.
Experiment and Test Everything
You won’t succeed right from the get-go, so if you want to refine your product and find the right customers, you need to test everything. Keep testing and tweaking until you reach your goal and give customers what they need.
When asked how to build a successful business, Darrel Wade, co-founder and CEO of Intrepid Travel replied: test, retest, and then test everything again until you perfect the processes, operations, marketing activities, and products.
Don’t Define Your Business By Your Competition
When starting out, you’ll have tons of competitors with more money, experience, and marketing budget than you. However, this should inspire you to outdo them instead of defining yourself by them.
One of the best examples for this is Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat who turned down a billion-dollar deal from Facebook when the tech giant offered to buy Snapchat. Evan believed that he could grow Snapchat to be as big and as successful as Facebook, and so far, he’s doing a pretty amazing job.
He could’ve easily accepted a huge amount of money and give in to his competitors, but he persevered and believed in his abilities to lead his business to massive success.
Grow Your Business With Valuable Startup Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs
Whether you’re just starting out or already have a startup, these tips from entrepreneurs who made it big will inspire you and give you hope that anything is possible. Nothing can replace hard work and a strong mindset, so use these nuggets of wisdom to grow your startup and improve your product.
Want more startup advice and growth hacking tactics? Check out some of the other articles on our website and stay tuned for the latest industry news and trends.