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20 Entrepreneurs Share Lessons Learned Their First Year in Business

Don't miss these inspirational tips with the potential to transform your business in its first year of operation.

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8. Be honest about what you want in business.

“I learned being open, honest, and transparent about your goals can lead to new opportunities and growth. I started out on my own freelancing for other companies and a client wanted to help me find full-time employment. It was tempting but I was open and honest that I wanted to grow my event planning business. She connected me with her network and it has since led to our first big corporate events subcontract [sic]. When you are honest about what you want, people respect that and can better help you find ways to grow.”

– Maria Flores, Owner of House of Flores: @houseofflores

9. Company culture is key.

“Figure out what you want your culture to be and most importantly what it needs to be for you to be successful. Once you start to build out this culture identity, protect it.”

– Ryan O’Connell, Vice President of Digital Talent Agents: @oconnellryan

10. Adapt to new plans.

“Things do not work out as planned usually and you have to live and thrive with ambiguity. All the planning, scheming, and preparation can never prepare you for the unknown challenges and obstacles that come about post-launching a new venture. In order to survive, the principle has to be to live with ambiguity and to be able to adapt to new plans and to seize new opportunity.”

– Chris Sinclair, President of The Anthem Group: @AthemEvents

11. Test business strategies.

“Everyone has strategies, everyone teaches strategies, and everyone is trying to sell you a strategy, but your business is unique.  Certain strategies only work for certain audiences. You need to know what works for your ideal clients and your tribe.  The only way to know what works for you is looking at the results you get from testing several strategies…Let people give you strategies, but only stick with the ones that prove to work for [you].”

– Robin Piscotta, Founder of Virtual Gurus: @virtualgurus

12. Listen to customer feedback.

“Early fans will be forgiving of your mistakes–yes, even you will make mistakes. But they will also take the time to chat with you, describe their experiences, and share what they believe you can do better. Your job as an entrepreneur is to recognize patterns in your customers’ behaviors and words and improve your product.”

– Aaron Schwartz, Founder and CEO of Modify Watches: @modifywatches

13. Learn search engine optimization (SEO).

“There’s no website traffic better than organic, free traffic. You get that through good use of onsite and offsite SEO. We spent months on our SEO and today we enjoy tens of thousand of visitors who come to us by clicking on [our links] in organic search results (which are only there because of our SEO [efforts]).”

– Mike Scanlin, CEO of Born to Sell: @borntosell

14. Hire help as soon as possible.

“It’s great to be able to wear a number of hats, but there are only 24 hours in a day. There were so many office tasks, including invoicing companies and entering tour reservations that I did not have time for, since I was spending most of my time on the development and marketing side of things.”

– Georgette Blau, President of On Location Tours: @onlocationtours

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