16 startup founders share their best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

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ben anderson

  • Business advice from entrepreneurs, startup founders, and CEOs comes in handy.
  • We asked 16 entrepreneurs to share some words of wisdom, based on lessons they’ve learned and mistakes they’ve made along the way.
  • That wisdom includes: Let other people help you, know your customer, and make decisions with data.

Every business will face some unique challenges as it grows. But there are certain roadblocks in startup life that are common among entrepreneurs.

So it helps to get advice from those who have been in your shoes.

To that end, we asked 16 founders and CEOs to share their best business advice for other entrepreneurs (or aspiring entrepreneurs). Here’s the wisdom they want to pass on, based on lessons they’ve learned the hard way.

SEE ALSO: 15 small businesses that are making people healthier, wealthier, smarter, and happier

Jacquelyn Ward and Ana Maes: ‘Test, test, test’

Our Story Bridal is New York City’s only bridal consignment boutique. They sell designer wedding dresses at steep discounts.

"Don’t wait for perfect! When starting a new business, we have learned that there is only so much you can predict with the information you have. The only way to really know if something is going to work is by testing it in a quick and scrappy way.

"We started our business by gathering 40 dresses from around the city and hosting a pop-up at a friend’s showroom. During the very first pop-up, we only had a few brides stop by and we learned from that and quickly adapted our marketing and processes. By our fourth pop-up, we had a waiting list of over 300 brides. Our business needs have evolved as we grow, so test things with the information you have available but rest assure, it will not be perfect, but you will be one step closer to achieving your goal."

Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis: ‘Develop your story’

Cousins Maine Lobster runs food trucks and restaurants across the globe, where they sell lobster that is sustainably sourced directly from Maine.

"It took us a long time to understand that. The first week prior to opening, I started sending out tweets to our 200 followers, and it would be a photo of Jim and I and my grandfather on the rocks in Maine eating lobster. I didn’t know at the time that this was our story; I just did it because I said, ‘Hey, We’re from Maine. We’re cousins. Let me paint you a picture.’

"But after a couple years, we really understood that we are a family, that this is a family business, that these are family recipes. And that should be shared and highlighted more."

Naa-Sakle Akuete: ‘Never turn down free assistance’

Eu’Genia Shea is a mother-daughter-run business that sells high-quality shea-butter products while supporting fair wages for the female workers in Ghana who make those products.

"When I first started, if someone offered to help me — whether it was to make an introduction or join my production line to meet tight deadlines — I would assume they were just being polite and say ‘no thanks’ because I was afraid of inconveniencing them. I’ve realized though, that most people don’t offer to help you unless they mean it."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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