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Advice From Experienced Business Owners

Advice from 5 Business Owners With 10+ Years of Experience

Joshua Julien Brouard

Joshua Julien Brouard

21 December 20236 min read

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Advice from 5 Business Owners With 10+ Years of Experience

In the competitive and ever-changing business world:

Our insights from top CEOs provide invaluable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders.

This article, rich with advice from CEOs, shares the diverse experiences and wisdom of successful entrepreneurs.

These influential leaders share insights on navigating market dynamics. They also explore the significance of innovation and the importance of a strong company culture. Their experiences offer a unique blend of practical career advice and leadership wisdom, emphasizing personal growth and learning in the business realm.

Join us in exploring the best career and leadership advice from those who have not only envisioned greatness but also realized it.

1. Dmitriy Shelepin's advice — learn from others' missteps.

Dmitriy Shelepin - founder of Miromind

The founder of Miromind, Dmitriy Shelepin, with his over 14 years of experience as a CEO, offers budding business owners some "battle-tested" advice:

"We've all stumbled in the startup arena, but learning from others' missteps can pave a smoother path. Here's my battle-tested advice for avoiding common pitfalls:

  • Don't wear all the hats: Delegate, outsource, and embrace team power. You can't be a marketing whiz, accounting guru, and product mastermind all at once. Focus on your strengths and build a dream team to fill the gaps.
  • Passion doesn't pay the bills: Sure, love your business, but don't forget the cold hard facts. Craft a solid business plan with realistic projections, track your finances like a hawk, and don't be afraid to pivot if needed.
  • Marketing isn't magic: Don't just throw spaghetti at the wall and hope something sticks. Define your target audience, understand their needs, and tailor your message accordingly. Quality content and targeted outreach are your true marketing superpowers.
  • Customers are your compass: Listen to their feedback, analyze their behavior, and constantly adapt to their needs. Remember, happy customers are loyal customers, and loyalty is the gold dust of small business success.
  • Invest in yourself: Never stop learning, growing, and expanding your skillset. Attend workshops, network with other entrepreneurs, and stay ahead of industry trends. Remember, knowledge is power, and in the business world, it's your secret weapon.
  • Bonus tip: Celebrate the wins, even the small ones! Running a small business is a rollercoaster, but savoring the victories keeps you motivated and fuels the fire for the next challenge.

Remember, every mistake is a lesson, every challenge an opportunity. Embrace the ride, learn from the bumps, and keep your eyes on the prize. You've got this, fellow entrepreneur!"

2. Michal Sadowski's advice — utilize social listening for your products or services.

Michal Sadowski, CEO of Brand24

With 12 years of experience as the CEO of Brand24, Michal Sadowski has got some great advice on leveraging social listening for strategic pivots in marketing:

"As the Founder of Brand24, I've experienced firsthand the transformative impact of social listening on our marketing strategies. Initially, our marketing efforts were heavily geared towards promoting the technical aspects of our tool - its features and functionalities. However, through social listening, we started noticing a trend in customer conversations.

Our users were frequently discussing not just the tool itself, but how it helped them in crisis management, particularly in quickly addressing negative feedback before it escalated. These insights were a revelation. 

We realized that our users valued our tool more for its role in managing their online reputation and less for its technical capabilities alone. This was a perspective we hadn't fully considered in our marketing messages.

Reacting to this, we shifted our marketing focus. We started creating content and campaigns that highlighted real-life scenarios where Brand24 helped businesses mitigate potential PR crises. We developed case studies, blog posts, and even social media content that showcased how timely alerts from our tool could prevent a small issue from becoming a full-blown crisis."

3. Chris Estrada's advice — consider adaptation & company culture.

Chris Estrada CEO of Nationwide United Auto Transport

As the CEO of Nationwide United Auto Transport for over two decades, Chris offers his time-tested insights:

"Firstly, I advise small business owners to embrace innovation and adaptability. During my tenure, I've had to adjust strategies to keep up with industry trends and evolving technologies. This agility led to solutions like offering door-to-door and enclosed transport thereby opening up new revenue streams.

Second, I can't stress enough the importance of building a company culture anchored on integrity, punctuality, and open communication. This commitment to quality translated to earning the 'Top Rated' status and becoming a trusted name nationwide. 

Lastly, seeking professional affiliations like our membership with FMCSA can enhance credibility and compliance standards, ensuring long-term stability."

4. Dan Dillon's advice — think bold & innovate when starting a business.

Dan Dillon - Founder of CleanItSupply

Dan Dillon, founder of CleanItSupply.com, has run his business for over a decade, transforming it from a small start-up into a multi-million dollar enterprise. Here's his advice:

"There are a few pieces of advice I'd love to offer to budding entrepreneurs based on my experience. First, never underestimate the power of the Internet, even when there's skepticism. In 2005, e-commerce wasn't as prevalent and faced doubters, but I had a vision and bet on it, launching CleanItSupply.com. The result was a blossoming online business.

Second, harness the power of digital tools. I've produced over 6,000 product videos in my pseudonym, 'Danny D', heightening customer satisfaction, as videos offer a great way to demonstrate your product's capabilities and boost consumer confidence.

Lastly, invest in your company culture. Businesses aren't just about profits; they're about people. During my tenure, I led with a positive, culturally strong environment, which I believe played a significant role in our growth."

5. Tom Humble's advice — find a niche & listen to your customer.

Tom Humble - CEO of ECD Automotive Design

Tom Humble, CEO of ECD Automotive Design, shares practical advice for new business owners and how they can avoid costly mistakes:

"Having spent over a decade successfully running ECD Automotive Design, I've gleaned critical insights into steering a business towards growth and avoiding costly mistakes. One piece of actionable advice is to remain customer-centric at all times. Our success hinged on understanding our luxury clientele and innovating bespoke, high-quality solutions for them. 

A great example is when we pioneered the electrification of classic vehicles, tapping into a market niche that truly valued this blend of vintage charm and modern sustainability.

Secondly, don't shy away from investing in technology for enhanced productivity, as we did with tools like Smartsheets, Slack, and Zoom. Lastly, but crucially, I encourage entrepreneurs to believe in the process. We started in a small garage, and growing to a manufacturing facility employing over 70 skilled craftsmen wasn't overnight. 

Embrace the journey and keep an unrelenting focus on improving your offerings. This long-term perspective can safeguard against impulsive, potentially damaging decisions."

Integrating advice from experienced business owners 

In wrapping up, the insights from these seasoned CEOs highlight the importance of a positive attitude, a distinctive leadership style, a well-crafted strategy, and the drive to build great companies. Their experiences show that resilience, innovative thinking, and customer focus are key to thriving in business.

Embracing these principles is essential for anyone aspiring to lead and grow a successful company. This blend of optimism, strategic acumen, and effective leadership can pave the way to not just business success, but to making a meaningful impact in the world of entrepreneurship.

Want to learn more about business and entrepreneurship? See our resources below:


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Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.