Inspirational Small Business Quotes (With Practical Lessons)

Updated Nov 3, 2022.
Small Business Quotes

Small business owners are some of the world's hardest-working, most passionate people. Starting a small business is difficult, and it can be challenging to keep going when things get tough. 

Every year, over a thousand businesses spring up. In fact, statistics show that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) make up over 90% of all businesses worldwide.

But even with these statistics, small business owners go through a lot, which can seem overwhelming. 

Fortunately, I have gathered inspirational quotes about starting a small business and practical tips on what you need to know before launching your own company. Whether you’re just thinking about starting your own business or have already taken the initial steps, these tips will help you succeed. 

Let's take a look at the quotes. 

Quotes About Starting and Growing A Small Business 

Starting a business is one thing. But growing it is another. Building a small business requires a lot of effort from you. It almost cannot stand on its own without your personal support. 

Small business owners have to deal with limited resources, tight budgets, and pressure from every direction. 

The worst one is competing against a larger company. 

You will rarely get noticed if you are in a tough industry like the fintech industry because people are all about the big guys. So how can you grow your business enough to compete with these big names?

This section contains powerful quotes and tips for successfully running a small business

1
“Don't worry about being successful but work toward being significant, and the success will naturally follow.”
— Oprah Winfrey

There’s no question that Oprah Winfrey is a wildly successful businesswoman, and she knows what it means to start from scratch. 

In addition to having a great product or service, it takes hard work, dedication, and focus on building a successful small business. 

You get a lightbulb moment and decide to turn that innovative idea into a business. However, just because the idea sounds great doesn't mean everything will be so easy. 

In fact, getting a profitable business idea is not hard. Ideas fly every day. The real work is in establishing the business and growing it. 

Here are some tips for doing that:

  • Believe in yourself and your product or service, 
  • Be passionate about what you do,
  • Focus on being significant, not just successful, 
  • Surround yourself with positive people who support your dreams, 
  • Find a mentor or coach who can help you stay motivated on your goals, and 
  • Be willing to work hard. 

There are no shortcuts to success. It takes time, effort, and dedication. You have to be intentional about growing your business. 

2
“Winning is great, sure, but if you are going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat and go on to win again, you will be a champion someday.”
— Wilma Rudolph

A very important thing you should remember is that no business is perfect. Even the most successful ones have faced their fair share of defeats. The key is to learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. 

Growing a business requires a great deal of patience. No business grew overnight. You must be ready to make mistakes and fail. 

When this happens, keep a positive attitude, and learn from your mistakes. Only then will you have the strength to persevere through difficult times and not give up easily.

3
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
— C.S. Lewis

The biggest challenge for small business owners is often finding the time and resources to do everything that needs to be done. It always feels like it is not enough for them to grow. 

As a result, many small business owners feel like they are constantly putting out fires, which can lead to burnout. 

The best way out is to take out time to plan and prepare for potential problems before they happen. 

For example, you can create a marketing plan that includes a budget for advertising and promotions. You can also create systems for tracking customer data and sales metrics. By taking the time to plan ahead, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls that lead to small business failure. 

4
“To succeed. We must first believe that we can.”
— Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek writer

Starting and running a small business is no easy feat. There are one million and one things that could go wrong, but with the right tools, you can increase your chances of success. 

The first step to success is believing that you can achieve it. Set realistic goals (SMART), and stay organized. It isn't easy to achieve anything if you don't believe in yourself. If hardship, you will give up. This is not the way to success. 

Create a plan and stick to it, even when things get tough. This will help ensure that you stay on track to achieving your business goals. 

Before starting a business, and even while you are already in one, always take some time to meditate on inspirational quotes about business. They open your mind and prepare you for what it takes to run a business. 

5
“You can't be successful in business without taking risks. It's that simple.”
— Adena Friedman

There’s no question that running a small business is risky. But as Adena Friedman says, you can’t be successful without taking risks. 

One of the biggest risks many business owners make is financial risk. Funding a business is not easy; sometimes, you will be tempted to finance the business from your personal pocket. Most people go ahead to take business loans or look for other sources to finance their business

The truth is that risks are inevitable, and you have to prepare for them ahead of time. That is the only way the consequences won't be so severe. 

You also have to consider carefully if the risk is worth it. Not all risks are worth taking. 

So how do you know which risks are worth taking and which aren’t? Here are a few factors to consider:

  • The potential upside of the risk. What’s the worst that could happen? And what’s the best?
  • Your risk tolerance. Are you the type of person who can handle a little uncertainty, or do you need everything to be planned perfectly? 
  • The market conditions. Is it a good time to take risks, or is the market too unstable?

Even though you have to take risks to survive, else you will never grow, not all risks are work daring. 

6
“I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
—Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc. 

Some of the most important qualities for a successful small business owner are perseverance, dedication, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. 

To be successful, you need to wear many hats and be comfortable with change. You also need to be able to adapt your businesses to the ever-changing landscape of the marketplace. 

All these require you to have a clear vision for your business and be able to articulate it to others. You need to be able to inspire others to believe in your vision and work hard towards achieving it. 

7
“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships.”
— Henry Ross

Deals are important, but they are not the only thing that matters. The products you sell, the engineering behind them, and the service you provide to customers are all crucial aspects of any successful business. 

Additionally, relationships are key in business. You need to build strong relationships with your employees, customers, suppliers, and anyone else you do business with. 

So when creating your impeccable business plan, you must consider all these aspects. Your business plan is incomplete until you look beyond just making sales and focus on other important aspects of your business. 

8
“You don't build a business. You build people, and people build the business.”
— Zig Ziglar, American Author, Salesman, and Motivational Speaker

There are many aspects to successfully running a small business, but one of the most important is building and maintaining strong relationships with your employees

Your employees are the ones who do the day-to-day work of keeping your business running, so it’s important to make sure that they feel valued and supported. 

They will likely stick around for the long haul and be loyal to your company. Get to know them personally, be clear about expectations, give feedback regularly – both positive and constructive and offer opportunities for growth and development.

9
“Don't watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.”
— Sam Levenson, Humourist, Writer, Teacher, Television Host, and Journalist

The “secret” to success is to keep going. Don't ever stop. No matter how hard it gets, just keep going. You can take a break to restrategize your plans and create new tactics. However, you should never quit. 

Winners never quit. So you cannot win at your goal if you quit at it. 

  • Set a goal for your business and write it down. 
  • Make an action plan to achieve your goal. Include action steps and deadlines. 
  • Set up a system to track your progress. 

These steps will help you stay on track and motivated. Also, delegate or outsource tasks you don’t have time for or someone else can do better than you can. 

People quit when they reach the burnout stage. So you must AVOID that stage as much as possible. 

10
“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It's as simple as that. Many people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”
— Nolan Bushnell

For someone looking to start a business, it’s important to remember that you don’t need a large amount of money to start out. In fact, you probably don’t need as much as you think. 

What you do need are skills and a good idea. If you’re searching for a business idea, start by looking around at the things you enjoy. What do other people seem to enjoy? What things do people talk about often? How can you add value to society? 

These are great places to start your search for a business idea. 

11
“There's nothing wrong with staying small. You can do big things with a small team.”
— Jason Fried

There are a lot of great things about running a small business. You have more control over your work, you can be more flexible with your hours, and you can be your own boss. 

Running a small business is not without its own challenges. 

Many small business owners try to cut costs by doing everything alone. They perform so many activities that they end up exhausted at the end of each day. This is why you should always delegate tasks. 

Innovative entrepreneurs prioritize their creativity. So they try to outsource as much as possible to find more time to build their creativity. 

The key is in outsourcing or delegating. Do not be afraid to delegate. 

The best way to delegate is to build a team of trusted employees or contractors who can help you grow your business. This team will buy into your vision and work hard like it is their vision too. 

10 effective tips to delegate work and responsibilities
Source: ProProfs

It doesn't have to be a large team. You could just build a small team of skilled individuals ready to do the work. All you have to do is to keep empowering them.

12
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”
— Robert Collier, author

The key to success is often just a matter of taking things one step at a time and being consistent with your efforts. 

Every step you make towards your goal counts, no matter how little it is. 

For example, your goal could be to improve customer experience, thus attracting more customers. You can train customer service representatives or even use CRM software for small businesses so you can keep track of your relationship with customers. 

These actions bring you closer to your goals. All you need to do is maintain consistency. You will get results sooner than you expected. 

13
“Starting a successful business is not tricky. Starting a successful business does not require above-average intelligence. Starting a successful business requires a pig-headed, purpose-driven tenacity about achieving your life goals and fulfilling your life's vision through providing products and services that offer uncompromising quality in a scalable and duplicatable way.”
– Clay Clark

Contrary to unpopular opinions, starting a business is not difficult. Anybody can start a business. The real work comes in keeping the business alive and growing it. 

No business blew up overnight. So don't expect that to happen to yours. 

Just because you have a business idea that will help society doesn't mean that customers will come rushing in immediately after you launch. You have to identify your target market and do your market research

Then you take some time to build on a good foundation. 

Let me share a secret I learned after many years in entrepreneurship: Any business that starts attracting many customers immediately after its launch will collapse with time. 

That's a shocker, right? Let me explain. 

Like a newborn, every startup needs time to grow and develop. It will go through many phases, including the “failing” phase. But with continuous effort and passion, you can grow your business into an adult, and it can handle any challenge that may come. 

But the challenges will be tough if the business starts gaining so much customer attention in its infancy stage. If you are not careful in keeping the business on its feet, it will collapse. 

So, take time out to build and be patient while you are at it. There are so many lessons to learn on the way. 

14
“Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers should get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business.”
— Zig Ziglar

As a small business owner, it's essential to get feedback from your customers, both good and bad. Complaints can be difficult to hear, but they're opportunities to learn where your business can improve. 

94% of consumers say they will always recommend a business that offers good customer service. Excellent customer service is king, especially as customers prefer to go to a business that values them.  

The best approach is the A.C.A.F Customer Feedback Loop. Listen carefully and without interruption. Show empathy and apologize. Take action to resolve the issue. Follow up with the customer to ensure satisfaction. 

The A.C.A.F. Customer Feedback Look
Source: Hubspot

Motivational Quotes To Inspire Small Business Owners 

Building a business is frustrating. If you are not careful, you will give up. Every business owner dreams of seeing their business flourish for many decades. But it is not easy to achieve that dream. However, it is possible if you keep pushing on. 

In this section, I share some powerful and motivational advice to help you push past the frustrating stage and into the building stage. 

15
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
— Bruce Lee

Success is attainable for anyone who sets their mind to it and remains focused on their goals. Of course, growing a successful small business is no easy feat. But if you keep to the right things, you'll be well on achieving your goals. 

Keep your eye on the prize. No matter how challenging things get, staying focused on your long-term goals is important. Things change rapidly and unexpectedly, so you need to be able to adapt quickly. This means being open to new ideas and business opportunities.  

16
“A business devoted to service will have one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
– Henry Ford

The bottom line is that if you focus on providing great service, the profits will take care of themselves. Of course, this is easier said than done. It's not enough to provide good service; you must constantly strive to improve and exceed customer expectations. 

Remember, true success is in the value you give to others. Customers will return to a business that gives them the value they need and desire. 

17
“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.”
— Henry Ford

As a small business owner, your top priority is making money. But if that's all you're focused on, you will not be very successful in the long run. 

Your business should have a higher purpose than just making money. Think about what you want your business to achieve and why it's important to you. Answering these questions will help you create a mission statement for your business. 

A mission statement will help keep you focused on what's truly important. Let your business add to society, not just take from it. True innovation comes from value — check out all the best and most successful businesses in the world. 

18
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
— Bruce Lee

Many things go into being a successful small business owner, but one of the most important is having faith in yourself.  If you don't believe in your own abilities, it will be very difficult to convince others to invest in your business

One of the best ways to build self-confidence is to surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and your vision. It's also important to remember that no one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes, and how you learn from them counts.

few tips to help you acquire self-confidence
Source: Medium
19
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.”
– James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney

For small business owners, growth can be a challenge. But it's important to remember that growth is never by chance. To see growth in your business, you need to work with other businesses and individuals who can help you achieve your goals. 

  • Find a mentor or coach to help you develop and execute a growth strategy for your business
  • Join or create a mastermind group with other small business owners who can offer advice, support, and accountability
  • Collaborate with other businesses in your industry 
  • Attend networking events and build relationships with potential partners, suppliers, or customers.
20
“The goal isn't more money. The goal is living life on your terms.”
– Will Rogers

While it’s true that making more money is always nice, it’s not the be-all, end-all goal that many people make it out to be. The goal for small business owners should be to live life on their terms. 

That means having the financial freedom to do what you want when you want. It also means being your own boss and setting your own hours. 

Note: Will Rogers was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, social commentator, and actor. He was one of the most popular entertainers of his time, and his quotes are still relevant today. 

21
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
— Oprah Winfrey, media proprietor, producer, and philanthropist

Every time you put in your best efforts towards a goal, you prepare yourself for the next level. You don't need to rush things because every level has its purpose.

You don't need to force things. Instead, you prepare for the future by taking care of the present. 

Please list your priorities, set aside time each day to work on them, take breaks when needed, and delegate or outsource tasks that are not essential. 

22
“Don't worry about failure; you only have to be right once.”
– Drew Houston

It is important to understand that failure is part of the process and can be a valuable learning tool. Failure shouldn’t be feared but contemplated. 

We learn the most through failure and grow the most as individuals and as businesses. 

There is no “failed business” as long as it is still operating; only businesses that have learned and grown. Even the most successful businesses started somewhere with a single idea. 

23
“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”
– Ralph Marston

Small business owners often have to wear many hats and juggle many balls. Ralph Marston's quote is a great reminder that every day presents an opportunity to progress toward your goals, no matter how small.

Focus on developing yourself and building important life skills you need to survive in business. 

It's important to stay motivated and focused on what you want to achieve, even when things are tough. Keep this quote in mind next time you're feeling overwhelmed or like you're not making any progress. 

24
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
– Biz Stone

Timing, perseverance, and tenacity are important in business. People often give up too soon when starting their own businesses. It takes time to build a successful business, and you need to be willing to put in the hard work day after day. 

Believe in your business, and know your audience. Create a marketing strategy, and don't forget to measure your results. If you can do this, eventually, your business will start to take off, and you'll look like an overnight success. 

25
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit.”
— Conrad Hilton

Take action. The first step to achieving success is taking action. You need to take steps toward your goals to make progress. 

Setting goals gives you something to work towards and measure your progress. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). 

Some days will be harder to stay motivated than others. Find what works for you and stick with it. Maybe it’s listening to upbeat music, reading success quotes, or working out. 

26
“There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.”
— Michael Ventura

Small business owners are always hustling to get to the next level. But what happens when you reach that level? Is it time to sit back and relax? Or do you keep going? The answer, of course, is that you keep going. 

As Michael Ventura says, “There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.” For small business owners, it's important to remember this. Yes, it's important to celebrate your successes. But don't forget that there's always more work to be done. 

The goal is to become a better version of yourself and set records for your business success.

Best Small Business Quotes For Small Business Owners 

There’s no silver bullet for success, and there are no shortcuts to taking your business to the next level. 

But if you want to achieve long-term success, it’s important to focus on the little things; the daily habits and routines that will help you move closer to your goals. 

Set aside time daily to work on your business, not just on it. Focus on building relationships with your customers and team. Stay organized. 

Keep learning and growing as an entrepreneur; read books about business and growth, listen to podcasts, attend events, etc.

These small business quotes come from some of the most successful entrepreneurs in history, and they share with you the motivation you need to start your own business. 

27
“What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.”
— Dave Thomas

As a business owner, you need to know the ins and outs of what you offer. In fact, no one should know them more than you do. Your business is your baby. You need to be the most passionate about it. 

People buy into a passion. When they see how passionate you are about your business, they become attracted and desire to be a part of it.

Have a burning desire for success. This desire will motivate you to learn all you need and stay in the growth process. You develop important people management skills to direct your team on what they need to do to succeed. 

28
“It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
— Bill Gates

As a small business owner, you will inevitably experience both success and failure. Celebrating your successes is important, but learning from your failures is even more important. 

Don't be afraid to take risks. Instead, prepare yourself for the worst and persevere through tough times. Learn from your mistakes and celebrate your success. 

Being a small business owner should not be a chore or a life punishment. It should be an assignment you desire to see complete. 

29
“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”
— Peter F. Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator, and Author

Many people have crazy business ideas that can change the world, but only a few make the courageous decision to take action. 

Your idea will never leave your tiny world till you become courageous enough to take the first step. So dare yourself to take that step and begin your journey to success. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. 

30
“The secret to successful hiring is this: look for the people who want to change the world.”
— Marc Benioff

This cannot be more true. The most successful small businesses are always looking for talented individuals who are passionate about their work and want to make a difference. 

If you want your small business to succeed, you need to hire people who share your vision and are willing to work hard to make it a reality. 

When hiring people, share your passions, so they get to understand what you require of them. 

31
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
— Bill Gates

Learning from unhappy customers is critical for long-term success. Listen to their feedback and use them to improve your products or services. Show your customers that you’re doing something about their complaints; this will help to build trust and credibility.

There is no surefire recipe for success when running a small business. It is a mix of trial and error till you get it right. You will DEFINITELY get it right.

32
“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
— Napoleon Hill

You should understand that you are in control. Your business goes in the direction you want, so be ready to take charge. But you can only lead a business to success if you have the right mindset. 

Develop a growth mindset. This kind of mindset is always on the move, ready to learn and reach success. As a small business owner, focus your attention and growth.  

33
“Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.”
— Margaret Thatcher, British Stateswoman, Former British Prime Minister

Being a successful small business owner means being different and standing out from the crowd. You need to be innovative and offer something unique that will make people want to do business with you. 

It can be tempting to copy what other successful businesses are doing, but this is usually a recipe for disaster. Instead, focus on what makes your business special and use that to your advantage.

34
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
— Jack Welch

There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are some key principles that all good business leaders share. The most important thing is to have a clear vision for your business. This means knowing what you want your business to achieve and then articulating that vision in a way that inspires and motivates your team. 

Once you have your vision, you need to “passionately own” it. Be 100% committed to making it happen. And finally, you need to “relentlessly drive” your vision to completion.

There's no question that starting and running a small business is hard work. Creating a vision for your business is essential to its success. Keep it simple; your vision should be something that you can easily explain to others (clear and concise). 

Make it achievable (realistic) as your business grows and changes, and so will your vision. 

A clear vision gives you a clear direction of where and what to do to succeed. 

Let These Small Business Quotes Inspire You

Starting a small business is difficult, and it can be challenging to keep going. There are no shortcuts to success. It takes time, effort, and dedication. 

So, surround yourself with positive people who support your dreams. Find a mentor or coach who can help you stay motivated on your goals. 

Finally, let these small business quotes guide and inspire you as a small business owner. 

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.