Small business startups on the rise.
Small business startups on the rise.

It may be surprising to learn that in the midst of economic turmoil and widespread corporate downsizing, the number of small business startups is on the rise. Over the past 20 years, big businesses have eliminated roughly 4 million jobs. Small businesses, over the same period of time, have contributed an impressive 8 million new jobs to the economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, 23 million small businesses currently exist in the U.S. with more cropping up each day.

Another trend worth noting from the U.S. Small Business Association is a decline in the rate of small business failures. Continual growth coupled with lower rates of failure has entrepreneurs everywhere wondering: what is it that makes a small business successful, and what lessons can be learned from veteran innovators about how to find success in this sector? A recent article from Entrepreneur.com shares expert advice with readers about how to become successful in the small business game.

The article features words of wisdom from seven successful entrepreneurs. Jeff Curran, founder and CEO of Curran Catalog, a high-end home furnishings company in Seattle says he received his best business advice from a chance meeting on an airplane with American stock investor and financial analyst Mario Gabelli. Curran’s business motto ever since has been: Don’t think, do. “There is such a thing as over thinking a big decision,” Curran explains, “sometimes you just have to get it done.”

Anupy Singla is owner of a successful Indian food-products business in Chicago. Her expert advice is to simply listen to the customer. Singla found that letting customers lead can really pay off. By tuning in to what products her customers are talking about and longing for on social media, Singla is able to quickly satisfy needs. When her customers complained that a certain Indian spice could not be found in the U.S., her company found, purchased, and offered the spice for sale.

One website, Investment Underground, which provides a mix of technology, business and stock market news, also offers one-on-one interviews with industry leaders including small business owners and investors. Entrepreneurs looking to start their own business might find helpful insights in these stories of success on Investment Underground. Many of the interviews focus on small business management and how passion, drive, and dedication translate into real success.

A recent Investment Underground interview with Gary Guion spotlights how passion and true entrepreneurial spirit are powerful driving forces in any small business. Guion, a real estate icon, explains how even in childhood he had a knack for business, stating that he started his first venture –a landscape company– while still in junior high. Today, Guion serves as CEO of GGFH Holdings, a part construction, part real estate investment business that has completed eight transactions in real estate and over $10 million in construction during the past two years.

Industry resources and expert advice can only take a company so far. In the end, every small business has just two options: success or failure. It is up to the individual or individuals at the helm of any startup to apply this wealth of expert knowledge to hopefully steer his or her own company in the right direction.