20 Lessons from 20 Years of Running a Small Business

20 Lessons from 20 Years of Running a Small Business

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Twenty years ago on this day I set up Design Inspiration. It was the start of a journey for me and my family. Anyone who has run a small business will know how much of an understatement that is. There have been some hard times and many, many good times. I’ve learned more than I ever expected to. The lessons have sometimes been painful but they’ve always been useful as a way to get better.

The most important lesson for me has been that the secret to thriving for 20 years in business is to care more about your clients than anyone else. If there’s one big lesson I’d like to share, it’s simply that. But you didn’t open this post just to read that so here are 20 more business lessons that I’ve learned over these 20 years. Welcome to my 20 lessons from 20 years of running a small business:

  1. Know your USP
  2. Know the value you bring to your clients
  3. Never listen to negative voices
  4. When you think you’ve reached your limit, think again
  5. Keep your eye on the horizon to discover new opportunities
  6. All your weaknesses are opportunities
  7. Celebrate your successes
  8. Reward hard work as much as results
  9. Listen to your clients, they will tell you how to succeed
  10. You’re not as smart as you think
  11. Give massive value to everyone but give even more value to your clients
  12. It’s not selling, it’s helping
  13. Reduce your risks by checking your facts first
  14. Find tomorrow’s income today
  15. Ask for help when you need it; give help when you can
  16. Surround yourself with positive people who expect greatness from you
  17. Be your brand (and know the difference between a brand and a logo)
  18. Leave your comfort zone behind
  19. Make time for your partner and/or family
  20. Keep getting better

The Next Step

These are just twenty of the lessons my business has taught me over the past twenty years. It may be a cliche but I do learn something every day and of course there are some days when it feels like I’m getting twenty lessons all at once. I’m incredibly proud of having a business that has been successful for twenty years and I’m proud to say that it’s a small business. Every day is a school day in business Click To Tweet

We do things differently from the big digital agencies and that keeps us flexible, fast and always on the cutting edge of our industry. I hope these lessons help you in your small business and I’d love to hear any that you’d like to add to my list. By the way. if you’d like me to write in more depth on any of these, just leave a comment below.

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