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The best tips we’ve heard from businesses in 2021 | Bark

Photo by Jove Meyer Events

It’s hard to believe that another calendar year has passed, not without a difficult, but still promising, period for small businesses. The vast majority of temporarily closed businesses have reopened, and consumer interest in indoor and outdoor activities, from entertainment to fitness, is on the rise (Yelp Economic Average).

To celebrate and share the resilience of small businesses over the past year and beyond, we’ve brought together the top 15 business tips and industry experts for 2021.

Define your vision

“Make sure you know why you are a ‘yes’ to achieving your business dreams and why you are a clear ‘no’. You cannot be a “yes” to everything. People, your customers, can try to influence you, and you need to make sure that what your customers are asking for is something you really want to do and can be fully invested in.
Eboni and Peggy Howard, Eb & Flow Yoga Studio
A mother-daughter duo’s vision for diversity in yoga

“When I was young I used to say, I would like to win the lottery. Well your dream is your lottery ticket. So make an effort to make your dream come true and you can cash that lottery ticket. If you have the inspiration to start your own business, go for it. Get to work. Eventually your ticket will be called.
Derrick Holland, Brickhouse Gourmet Coffee Tea & Co.
“A unique experience with every sip” from Brickhouse

“Sometimes we have to be comfortable saying, ‘I’m not for everyone, and not everyone is for me. “I don’t lose sleep at this point because it’s not my job to reach every woman. It’s my job to reach those for whom I was created.
Miara Shaw, Maven Nation
Inspiration from 3 pioneering experts on burnout, resilience and authenticity

Be a leader

“Working on myself has probably been the most powerful thing I have done since leaving my last company. Understand that I have to work on development and growth for the rest of my life. I can’t expect the people in my business to thrive if I don’t lead by example.
Josh Campbell, Rescue Air Heating and Cooling
Behind the review | Great customer service starts at the top and runs through this entire HVAC business

“Taking responsibility for everything doesn’t mean you have to do everything. You have to create a system where you can check everything without doing everything.
Clinton Jones, Magnum Opus Hair Salon
What I wish I had known when starting my beauty business

Control your operations

“ABP. Always post, always post, always plan, always promote, whatever you want to put in there. You should put things online.
Stover Harger, Cali Comfort barbecue
Behind the review | A dynamic combination of hospitality and digital marketing

“No matter what you try to do, you have to run a good operation. You have to understand the numbers and basically manage everything well. Without it, it doesn’t matter how good your food is, how good your concept is, or the hyper buzz you get. If you can’t maintain a good business operation month-to-month, year-to-year, you probably won’t.
David Yoo, Chicken 10Q
How a Korean version of American staples unites cultures

“Each social media platform is like a different room in your restaurant where you would place different types of customers. But everyone comes to a house, and that house is your brand identity.
Shawn Walchef, Cali Comfort BBQ
How to customize your message for different online platforms

Conquer adversity

“While being a woman in this world has been my biggest challenge, it has also become my biggest superpower. Where people see it might be a downside, I’m actually using it to my advantage. J I like to think it’s the gas that’s in my engine. I take it, put it in my car, and it actually drives me. I’m always on the front line as an activist because it feeds me. All of these cons, I put it in the car, hit the throttle and I’ll make it happen.
Judaline Cassidy, Tools & Tiaras
Building Young Women’s Confidence – A Tool and a Tiara at the Same Time

“Apprehension or fear [about inclusion initiatives in the workplace] it’s that you won’t know everything or you might get it wrong, and I don’t think that’s a big deal. We’re not asking you to walk through the door with a 100. Go step by step. It’s a journey, and it’s a process.
RaShawn Hawkins, Human Rights Campaign Equality at Work Program
4 ways to make your business more inclusive for LGBTQ people

Trust each other

“You have to remember that there is a market for you. You are talented and you are amazing the way you are. Being genuine is the greatest asset we have in life and in business. Rather than trying to fit in with “those at the top,” build your own team of people around you and come together. “
Jove Meyer, Jove Meyer Events
Success Lessons from LGBTQ Entrepreneurs

“Let your perceived flaws be your secret weapon. I didn’t come here saying everything I wasn’t; I used whatever people said “wrong” with me to get me going. As you celebrate your difference, others will too.
Precious Williams, perfect locations
6 steps to a successful elevator pitch

Invest in your employees

“I don’t want to have more money in my pocket. I prefer to have more money in their pockets so that they are satisfied with their work. I want to have a good working environment. If our employees are happy, our customers will be, and that has turned out to be a very good role model.
Emily Chavez, Emily’s Garage
“My Flag Must Be Raised:” How Emily’s Garage Re-equips the Auto Shop

Listening to your customers

“I wasn’t the one who sat in a room after graduating from business school to figure out how to market and stuff. It’s not that. Your people will literally give you the playbook. ”
Brent Wesley, Akron Honey
How Akron Honey makes its customers the heroes of its history

“People give us the most precious currency of their time. And so when you think about it, it’s great, super important that we think about what details they might be considering, even if it’s not something we’re faced with.
Alex Bradberry, The Sparkling Bar
Behind the review | Create a truly inclusive customer experience

The above information is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your situation. Unless otherwise specified, references to any third party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.