As a new business owner, you will receive a lot of advice from colleagues, friends, family and even competitors for your startup. There can be great value in listening to words of caution from those with experience as an entrepreneur or even as a customer. However, some truths of the past are no longer applicable to today’s industries. We will help you navigate some common, outdated advice.


Good workers are hard to find, especially in this tight labor market. With national unemployment hovering around four percent, employers are scrambling to grab up job seekers with experience. Competition is high and the supply is very low.

In the past, applicants understood training and experience were required to obtain skilled positions. However, with baby boomers retiring quickly and a shortage of trained workers in the job market, new strategies are needed.

Inc.com suggests moving away from only seeking candidates with the required skills, and start looking at candidates based on performance and future potential. Be open to applicants with limited experience but a desire to learn and perform.

Another strategy is to partner with high schools and trade schools by offering training and workshops. Be sure to attend school job fairs, as well.

The best strategy is to build a relationship early on with students and schools. This will give you first access to the best candidates. Providing the needed skills training ensures your new employees are ready to work for you and serves your community.


This is your vision, and no one can run your business better than you. Sometimes you feel solely responsible for every decision. However, you shouldn’t be a one-person show, because everyone has blind spots.

For your business to be successful, you must make wise hiring decisions. While it may be tempting to hire like-minded people with similar talents, Sara Blakely of Spanx gives some compelling advice in a Business Insider interview. She says, “Hire your weaknesses.” She explains that hiring people whose strengths cover for your weaknesses will make your team stronger and more successful.

This business philosophy allows you to catch problems before they happen. Different perspectives offer innovative solutions. By allowing people to do what comes naturally to them, your team is happy and productive, and your company benefits. Building such a team will allow you to delegate with confidence.


When starting your business, you want to build a broad networking-base. You’ll spend hours looking for events, attending them and handing out business cards in hope of meeting new clients. Cold-calling has also long been viewed as a tool for increasing sales.

Lisa Chastain of Money Coach has a different perspective. She tells Fundera thatthe worst business advice she ever received was to reach far and wide for any business leads. She says it was exhausting trying to connect with so many people without focus, and what she should have been doing was finding her target audience.

Spend some time focusing on who you are trying to reach and how to do so effectively. Targeted marketing works best but requires research to discover your niche group. This time investment will greatly pay off. A focused message to the right audience will generate much more profit than hours of handshakes.


As a new business, you need to sell the latest, attention-grabbing products, right? Well, according to Forbes, you should not be focused on what to sell, but befocused on what to solve.

By identifying problems in your area which need to be fixed, the answer to what to sell or provide becomes clear. When your business is fulfilling a genuine need in your community, you won’t have to “sell.” You will be offering a real solution to those you serve. By being a problem-solver, you will create an authentic voice and a following of loyal customers who advocate for your business.


Sales are important, and closing the deal is critical, however, that shouldn’t be the end goal. The “all-about-the-sale” mentality is no longer attractive to today’s consumers.

Mike Sawyer, President of 7Delta, gives great advice to small business owners in an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine. Sawyer reminds us that the sales process doesn’t just end with the sale, but that reputation, good service and relationship-building are on-going and the ultimate goal for a solid business.

The sale doesn’t end when the invoice is paid. The key to long-lasting profitability is by cultivating real connections and providing top-notch service before, during and after the sales process. A genuine desire to take care of your customers will earn their loyalty.

Buyers are savvy and are looking to make real connections with the brand or service they use. People are seeking a genuine voice that connects with them. Be authentic, find your audience, build relationships with your customers and serve your community – this will lead you to success.

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