What advice would you share to help and inspire fellow small businesses?

Leading entrepreneurs share their advice on running a business in 100 words or fewer. Share your advice to help and inspire other SMEs for a chance to win £50,000 of advertising with the Hlcarpenter.com

Last modified on Wed 5 Jun 2013 06.06 EDT

Kanya King, founder, MOBO Awards

Kanya King
Photograph: Ivan Coleman

You need the determination to make it work, the persistence to keep at it when things do not go according to plan and the absolute conviction that anything is possible if you really believe in it hard enough: Understand and accept that more often than not there will be no instant gratification when you start up your own business. Running a business is having the stamina to go all the way. Whenever you fail or make mistakes, pick yourself up, get back on your feet and learn the lessons and apply them. Use that enriched experience to go faster and better.

James Caan, founder and CEO, Hamilton Bradshaw

james caan grey background
Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Hlcarpenter.com

Have a smart growth strategy and your SME will achieve real long-term success: Small and medium sized enterprise obviously has a huge part to play in the UK economic recovery and focusing on growth and expansion will in turn lead to the creation of more jobs. To successfully grow your SME it is vital to understand the unique nature of the business proposition and the market it serves, that should always be your starting point. It is also extremely important to have a robust and workable growth strategy in place and to review it at regular intervals.

Lara Morgan, founder, Company Shortcuts

Lara Morgan
Photograph: PR

Selling is the key to success: If every business spent the maximum available sales hours of the day selling, consistently week in week out, they are guaranteed to sell more. Selling is the key to success, it builds a buffer for growth experience and gives momentum to every other part of a business; making growth acceleration easier. SELL MORE, repeat.

Charlie Mullins, founder, Pimlico Plumbers

Charlie Mullins
Photograph: PR

Always try to build your business on solid foundations: It will save an awful lot of stress and angst when things start to take off – believe me I know!  What I'm talking about here is coming up with a structure that will stand the test of time like a pyramid. And when it comes to building something that will last and stand the inevitable growing pains of business, the cornerstones of your pyramid's foundations are good people. Get them in at the beginning and you'll soar above the rest.

Justine Roberts, co-founder, Mumsnet

Justine Roberts
Photograph: PR

Do your research, know your competition and look for a USP: Then make sure you listen to your audience/customers and always keep listening.

Simon Duffy, co-founder, Bulldog Natural Skincare

Simon Duffy
Photograph: Bulldog

One of the most important lessons I have learned about running my own business is that you will improve your chances of success by being a great collaborator: Finding the right people to do the right things at the right time is a key skill that every successful entrepreneur needs to master. That's important both internally when trying to build your own team, and externally in terms of the network of contacts and other companies that you will need to work with. In my experience, great collaboration is one of the key foundations of business and should not be underestimated.