12 inspiring quotes to help small business owners
Performance 5 minute read

12 inspiring quotes to help small business owners

Rise | August 24, 2023

It takes a lot to run a small business. While it isn't everything, having the right inspiration and headspace can be critical to success. Read these quotes for small business owners to help inspire and motivate you.

In addition to Rise's commitment to helping small businesses grow through our payroll solution for Canadian small businesses, we like to provide encouragement to entrepreneurs and startup founders alike with inspiring quotes for small business owners. We’ve compiled this roundup of 12 wise words from business leaders and entrepreneurs on how to reach their goals and exceed them.

Quote #1

“A big business starts small.”

- Richard Brandson

Great ventures start from small beginnings, and that includes your small business. Everybody knows the story of how Apple was started in Steve Job's garage—which has actually since been debunked by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak—but many large organizations has small starts. From Spanx to YouTube, many popular organization's started with not much more than an idea.

Quote #2

“You don't build a business, you build people, then people build the business.”

- Zig Ziglar

Your people are the builders of your business. There's the popular saying that "people don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses", which is why it's so important to focus on your people first.

Quote #3

“Bringing great people onto your team is about demonstrating that size really doesn’t matter—people do.” 

- Jess Campbell

The popular saying, "quality over quantity" also rings true when it comes to small businesses. It's important to invest a lot of time and energy upfront to make sure that you're bringing people into your organization that will only add value—now and into the future.

Quote #4

“'Make something people want' includes making a company that people want to work for.” 

- Sahil Lavingia

Build a strong environment in which your people can best support you in building your small business. A positive company culture comes from leadership and fostering employee engagement.

Quote #5

"A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.”

- Nicole Snow

Small businesses provide a big opportunity to make a difference in the world of business and beyond. As a small business leader, it's essential to be doing something you're passionate about. Leaving a positive impact is also important to employees. Studies have found that “64% of Millennials won’t take a job if their employer doesn’t have a strong [corporate social responsibility] policy, and 83% would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues”, while their Gen Z counterparts are the first generation to prioritize purpose over salary. With Millennials and Gen Z making up the majority of the workforce, it's important to prioritize a positive impact for your small business.

Quote #6

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

- Jack Welch

Effective leaders are committed to turning their vision into reality with the full effort of their team. Knowing your vision is the first step in creating concrete steps towards achieving it.

Quote #7

“Find a great mentor, someone who has already been through the many challenges of being an entrepreneur.” 

- Jodi Levine

Mentorship helps you navigate the ups and downs of managing a business. With a great mentor, you can learn lessons from their experiences and ask for valuable tips and advice. Mentorship is also critical at the individual level. Forbes writes that "good mentoring can lead to greater career success, including promotions, raises, and increased opportunities. Organizations that embrace mentoring are rewarded with higher levels of employee engagement, retention, and knowledge sharing".

Quote #8

“Don’t spread yourself too thin… focus trumps freneticism any day.”

- John Coleman

Focus is key. Spreading your resources and attention across too many fronts can affect your business growth. That's why it's doubly important, as mentioned previously, to hire people that you can trust and delegate tasks to.

Quote #9

“Failure is not to be feared. It is from failure that most growth comes.”

- Dee Hock

Failure is one of the best ways to grow. Failure often leads to innovation, which is crucial to growth.

Quote #10

"Spend time upfront to invest in systems and processes to make long-term growth sustainable."

- Jeff Platt

Invest in long-term initiatives for the benefit of your small business as you scale. This can mean investing in a people management solution, such as Rise People, or group benefits, such as Rise Health. Setting up policies and processes is also important for success.

Quote #11

“Help your team feel more connected to your company by incorporating the right digital technology tools into their workflow.”

- Andrea Meyer

As John Crowley says, “the most effective action HR can take in a small business, is to digitize and centralize their personnel files." Get into the best practice of maintaining a centralized, digital HR database to establish a foundation for company growth.

Quote #12

“There is no finish line. There are only mile markers.”

- Michael Ventura

No job is ever fully complete, also when one challenge is completed, another rises on the horizon, leading you and your company to the next stage.

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