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  • Michael J Lis

3 Ingredients and one spice, You Need to be a Small Business Owner


I’ve been called a marketing genius, a social media expert, an asshole and a mentor. All of which are true, but most importantly I’m a small business owner just like many of you. If you own a small business then you probably have learned by now how hard it is to run one. I doubt there’s a creative analogy that I could compare it to – lets just say it is HARD.

1. Marketing Genius

To start your own business you need to be a marketing genius. Without marketing your small business is going no where. Sometimes I think entrepreneurs underestimate how much marketing is involved. I call it the 99/1 rule. When you start, you need to market 99 percent of the year and you can take 1 percent off. It sounds crazy, but marketing is essential. Genius comes into play too. You have to be a genius when it comes to marketing otherwise you are just doing what everyone else is. It’s important to think up crazy ideas, things that are so out of the box that attract attention to you business.

2. Social Media

Social media is not dead when it comes to small businesses. Yes, the game has changed. Here’s a great article on just how different it is by Laura Zander who owns Jimmy Beans Wool. Even though things are different with the correct amount of compelling stories and advertising spend small business owners can still dominate social media. I still would hire a social media expert. Why? These experts have seen the ups and downs of social. They have made mistakes and know what works and what doesn’t. Not trusting someone will cost small business owners serious amounts of time and effort.

I wouldn’t consider it an ingredient but being and asshole is probably a spice that you need to have. I’m an asshole and you better be one if you want a successful small business. Business is a cold and dark place it involves unbalanced deals, drinks at late hours in the morning and doing things that make people angry. This is just how it goes, I wish I could elaborate on it more but let’s face it… pleasing all the people all the time in business just isn’t the norm.

3. Mentorship

Mentorship is golden! I have owned my small business for 5 years and there doesn’t come a day that I don’t talk to my mentor and what’s even crazier is that I don’t think he even knows that he’s my mentor. Every bank, angel investor and government agency wants to help small businesses but no one provides the support they really need, which is a mentor. Someone that has done it. Mentors are hard to find but they can be the single greatest support for a small business owner. If you feel like you made it as a successful business owner then I encourage you to mentor another. I have and it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

What do you think? Do you think these are the key ingredients for a successful small business? Add yours.


#smallbusiness #marketing #mentorship

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