10 Business Lessons We All Learned From Mom

May 3, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

How did your mom inspire you to start your own business? Maybe she ran a business herself. Maybe she lent you money to help you get started. Maybe she always supported your dreams. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are 10 business lessons every small business owner can learn from Mom.

  1. Wash your face, comb your hair and wear clean clothes. Let's face it: Appearance matters, in business as well as in life. Your small business’s marketing materials can be the deciding factor in whether customers do business with you or choose the competition. Start with a professional-looking business website that sells customers on your products and services.
  2. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Social media marketing is key to promoting a small business these days. But remember, whenever you're online, you're representing your business. Keep your social media posts positive, entertaining and inspiring. Even if someone lashes out at your business online, never respond in kind.
  3. Believe in yourself. As a small business owner, you will go through many hard days (and long nights). Self-confidence is essential to staying the course, so surround yourself with people who build you up instead of tearing you down.
  4. Say please and thank you. Your employees, your suppliers and your customers are all critical to the success of your business. Show them how much you appreciate them and never take them for granted.
  5. Because I said so. The buck stops with you — so don't try to pass the buck when it comes to making decisions. Get feedback from others and evaluate all the information at hand. Then make a choice and project confidence in your decision. Remember, if you want people to follow you, you have to act like you know where you’re going.
  6. You have to eat your vegetables before you can have dessert. Especially in the startup stage, running a business means doing lots of things you may not enjoy, like bookkeeping or sweeping the floors. Your reward: getting to do the things you do you enjoy, like baking pies or chatting with customers — and, of course, making money.
  7. If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you? Stay on top of business and customer trends, but don't blindly follow the crowd. Just because every other business owner is purchasing a new type of technology or pursuing today’s hot marketing tactic doesn't mean those things are right for your business.
  8. Don’t cry over spilled milk. Every business owner makes mistakes from time to time. Don't brush them under the rug, but don't obsess about them, either. Learn from them so you can do better next time. Then let them go and move on.
  9. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Did you think working for someone else was hard? When every penny you make comes from your own ingenuity and hard work, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for the value of a dollar.
  10. Life isn't fair. Many factors affect the success of your business, from timing and luck to the state of the global economy. You can't control all (or most) of them, but you can control your reaction to them.

 

 

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