One of the hardest parts of owning a business is figuring out how to make the business succeed for the long term. As stated by Steve Jobs at a D5 conference, his best advice to a business owner is to persevere. Perseverance is a quality that every small business owner I have spoken to reiterates. There are a lot of times when quitting is easier than pushing on, but the most rewarding things in life require hard work.
When asked about long-term-success, Rylan Love, owner of Web design company iMakeThat, said,
The most important part of owning a business is the unwillingness to give up. Hard times come and go, but you have to be willing to find a way to keep going no matter what. A lot of people I have know that own business were great owners when times were easy, but when things got harder, they weren't dedicated enought to the company to say that giving up isn't an option. If you aren't willing to quit, you will eventually succeed.
Besides owning a Web designn company, Love also owns a business in St. Augustine, Fla., called We Buy Gold. He used it in an example to the importance of knowing your clientele. He said that knowing your clientele will give you a competitive advantage, allowing you to know how to reach them. With his Web design company, most customers find in on the Internet. On the other hand, for his We Buy Gold company, the majority of customers know the company from driving by it. If you know where your customers are finding you, you know where to focus your advertising.
When talking to Marilyn Van Meter, who owned and operated Jubille Pallets Inc. based out of Jacksonville, Fla., for over 20 years she gave good advice.
First and foremost, you need trustworthy and dependable employees. They can break your business. We had them do it. They will break your equipment, steal your tools, make inferior products or not show up to work. It didn't take me long to learn that lesson, but it can close your doors before you even get going. If ou find dependable, trustworthy employees, they will not only make sure work is completed, but they will bring a good work environment, take care of your equipment, bring you satisfied customers and cut down greatly on your overhead.