How to Start a Business with No Money

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Lilian Vernon Quotes and Advice on Starting a Small Business

Today, I want to share with you some powerful insights and advice for starting a business from scratch. These business advice and quotes are the proven success principles of one of the world’s most respected women entrepreneur; Lilian Vernon.

In this article, Lilian Vernon will be sharing some insights on starting and running a business. She will also be sharing with us how to handle business challenges as a female entrepreneur and how to handle business risk. So I will suggest you read on as I share with you Lilian Vernon quotes and advice for starting a small business.

                Lilian Vernon Quotes and Advice on Starting a Small Business

 

1.            I first got started in business because I needed to supplement the family income. This was a good way to do it because I was going to have a child. Frankly, I was 20-odd years old and didn't know anything.

2.            It was a risk. I had a husband and I was pregnant with my oldest son. But I don't look at risk the way other people do. When you're an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you're going to be successful.

3.            It's a quality you're born with, being an entrepreneur. I put an ad in a magazine and it worked. If it hadn't worked, I would have gone home and had five or six children.

4.            My father ran his own business and it was successful. He certainly encouraged me. Don't forget I was an immigrant – my family immigrated to the United States from Germany during World War II. It was hard for him because he needed to learn the English language. He built a new business (in leather goods) when he came here. There are different ways of doing business in Europe. He had to learn how to do business in the United States.

5.            If you're an entrepreneur, you keep adding. First, it was handbags and belts. Then I added household goods, which didn't do too well at first. So I went back to handbags and belts. That was a good way to grow the business. I had no idea how fast it would grow. It wasn't professional like it now is. We didn't have financial projections then.

6.            I think there's one secret to all successes in any merchandising business, and that's the merchandise. I have been and still am a really great merchant. I have won many awards in the industry for being a great merchant.

7.            I don't know how you can learn instinct. If you figure it out, call me back. I have been more right than wrong about merchandise over the years.

8.            How did you balance growing the business with raising a family? "You just do. I had a business, a lot of orders, and a baby howling for supper. You balance it. You give your baby supper first and then get your orders in. I have worked on more holidays… but what are you going to do?"

9.            It's hard for an entrepreneur to be a great manager. Many great entrepreneurs don't know how to balance the books. They need someone to do the financial end of the business. A great entrepreneur and a great manager are usually not the same person. The skills are very different.

10.          I don't know if I'm a great manager. I think I'm a good manager. I'm tight-fisted, but have been good to employees and really cared about them. That's the advice I would give to other women entrepreneurs.

Lilian Vernon Quotes and Advice on Starting a Small Business

 

11.          What is the biggest risk you have taken? "Probably when I got on the plane to go to China in 1980. It was a very strange country to me back then… the food, the rooms, the cockroaches. I said, 'The hell with it, I'm not going to be able to do business sitting from home.' I needed to go to see what (merchandise) China had to offer."

12.          What do you see as your greatest success? "The fact that I was able to create a good home life and a good business life. I have maintained good relationships with my children. Both of my sons were involved in the business, though they're not any more. Also my good health, endurance and determination to feel that I'm on the right course."

13.          What was your greatest challenge? "Staying alive as a business, staying ahead of the game, and melding my business life with my personal life."

14.          I am a stick-with-it person. It's just my personality. I never give up. I had some buddies who taught me the jewelry business, others who taught me the mail-order business. When I went to China, friends there taught me how to import. As you go along in business, everyone will help you, but you have to ask for it.

15.          The biggest mistake was that I didn't hire all the right people. I should have done better reference checks. I should have defined the roles in a much more professional manner. I hired people who just couldn't do the job.

16.          The business had a really tough time during 9/11 – it was too tough for me to go on. So I put the business up for sale. With the whole anthrax thing, no one would buy from a mail-order catalog. I'm still involved in the business, but I don't run anything.

17.          Work hard, that's the bottom line. Don't spend more money than you've got. Don't spend money before you've got it.

18.          Don't try to be all things to all people. Concentrate on selling something unique that you know there is a need for, offer competitive pricing and good customer service.

19.          I would advise those starting out to carefully research your niche and know your competition and the marketplace before you start a small business.

20.          The competition is steep in the retail industry for the consumer dollar and customer loyalty is becoming less common. To start a successful business, you must have a unique product or service that the competition doesn't offer. You should also have enough capital reserved to sustain you through the first few years in business when your emphasis is on building your brand and a customer base.

                Lilian Vernon Quotes and Advice on Starting a Small Business

 

21.          I became successful due to several reasons. I never gave up and I never let anyone or anything get in my way. I use the power of positive thinking to tackle obstacles and challenges so they don't defeat me. Passion for my work and my business is another important reason. I really love my work and I get great satisfaction from it.

22.          Our philosophy is "helping customers live better for less" and I live by these same principles. My home contains many Lillian Vernon products because I don't believe in selling products that I don't use or would not give as a gift.

23.          Toughness is a good thing, yet it is considered good only in men. When a woman is tough, men can't stand it. I like being tough; tough and smart.

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