January 8, 2019 5 min to read

Tips to Starting a Business from St. Louis Small Business Owners

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New to the St. Louis marketplace? Entrepreneurship is a journey, and most will agree collaboration is an important piece to running a successful business. Some of the most proficient business owners attribute their success to the support they received from the people around them. Below is a collection of tips for starting a business from genuine St. Louis business owners.

‘The failure rate of small businesses is extremely high in the first 18 months. And that threat remains for the following 12 months. The reasons behind this are as broad as you can imagine. But studies show that taking money out of a business too early and not reinvesting in the business in the early stages is a sure-fire path to closing your doors early. It is tough to fight off the temptation to spend spend spend when the business starts bringing in revenue. Your survival counts on you staying committed to the long game. REINVEST!!!”


Kevin Chambers, President of The BluRoket Branding Co.

Kevin Chamber is also the founder and host of The Modern Mindset 2.0. The Modern Mindset 2.0 takes a look into the current state of entrepreneurship and how self-awareness is the newest growth hack for success. Additionally, the aim is to provide benefits in all areas of life.

Also can be found on iTunes, Blubrry and Spotify

“Always work each day to follow your goals. When times get tough always think of the positive. And most importantly never give up.”


Courtney Stepp, Owner of CMS Photography LLC

“Prepare for the unexpected. I’m in the service industry and I constantly prepare for the unexpected by completing my daily chores/duties required to maintain the business. If I don’t have my duties completed, the inevitable, unexpected, ‘surprise’ can bury me in the weeds and wreck my day. However, if my work load is managed then I think clearly, and problem solve effectively.”

John Madlinger, Owner-Operator at Frolic Inn

“Buy a business or invest in a small business that is already successful. Building something from the ground up will take a lot of money and you will almost always be in the red. I think today’s business market is more of investing and less of building a client/customer base. Next, never lose money and have every dollar working. Businesses/companies grow faster with assets than clients/customers. Third, protect your Human Resources and yourself. Insurance is key. Also, make sure you are using insurance effectively, such as investing and building capital. Know how the money flows and concentrate on building. Finally, as an owner, distance yourself away from operations and concentrate on brand ambassadorship. Owning a business should never be a job.”


Leroy Simpson, TLC (Train-Learn-Coach) University Practice Leader at Experience on Demand Management Consulting.

“The first year or two are hard. So I’ve been told. Don’t give up and be ready to fight some battles. I’m new too so I’m with you.”


Chris Swan, Founder & CEO of Soul Motivation Records

“What ever you think it will cost add 20% more. Make sure you are passionate about what you are doing and don’t require a paycheck. If you have employees treat them like they are a asset to you!!!… our employees work for the community and we work for our employees without the customer we would be out of business!!!”


Becky Schoenig, Owner of Symbowl

“Pace yourself and trust your gut instead do taking too much advice from others.”


Stacy Sullivan, Owner at Sol Sweat

“Market, network, & promote your business daily. No matter how busy you are.”


Kathi Bell, Kathi Bell Studio

“Word-of-mouth works, but it takes time, and reputation is everything! Go above and beyond to stand out from your competitors and run your business with strong morals and ethics – don’t compromise your values for anyone or anything and you will rise above!”


Deanna Williams Ley, Co-Founder of I Know a Guy/Gal St. Louis IKAGG1.com

“My biggest advice is owning a business is NOT a 40 hour week. It’s nights and weekends for years. If you don’t invest the time in YOUR company and lead by example to employees, don’t expect them to invest in your business!”


Teresa Sparks, Owner at Sparks Agency

 “Its ok to ask for help. If you don’t know how to price your services/products, organize your finances, brand yourself, etc… Ask someone who has had to do it before.”


Alison Henke, Owner at AH! Designs

“If you have never been a business owner before, get a coach. It will save you a fortune in wasted dollars, it will save you tons of pain and it will help you not fall into the 87% business failure rate. I wish I would have had a coach 30 years ago when I built my first business. I made the same mistakes for multiple businesses, doing things the hard way. Even though I was successful, I could have been far more successful. The first coach I ever worked with (several businesses later) changed the game for me. It’s the reason I now help other’s succeed in business.”


Ann Carden, CEO – Ann Carden, Business and Marketing Coach

So there it is, the top tips on how to survive in the STL marketplace. Do you have some tips for startups in St. Louis? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Ali Thornsberry, CEO Green Lotus Planning Group

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