15 Inspiring Quotes About Small Business Ownership


“A big business starts small.”

Truer words have not been spoken, and Richard Branson is one who definitely understands the road from small business ownership to big business success. Owning a small business can be a lot of work. However, it can also come with a lot of rewards. Whether you need a little inspiration or you’re just looking to learn from those SMBs that came before you, quotes are a great way to learn from the “greats” themselves. 

Starting a business, let alone building a successful business, takes a lot of time and energy. It also takes a lot of trial and error, and A LOT of sweat equity along the way. However, with the right inspiration, it can be a lot less formidable. You’ll still have to work hard, of course, but with these inspirational thoughts in mind, you’ll keep up the attitude that your efforts are well-invested because they’re for the good of your business. 

Below, we’ll look at 15 great quotes that every small business owner can appreciate and utilize in creating their success. Whether you need motivation, hope, or even just someone to explain the basics of business, many have come before you and left their words behind in an attempt to help those who aspire to the levels of success they have achieved. 

Inspirational quotes for entrepreneurs and SMBs

1. What do you need to start a business? Three simple things: know your product better than anyone. Know your customer, and have a burning desire to succeed.” – Dave  Thomas

2. "Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationship." – Henry Ross Perot

3. "The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand." – Vince Lombardi

4. "Don't worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow." – Oprah Winfrey

5. “A business absolutely devoted to service will have one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

6. “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

7. “How many people are completely successful in every department of life? Not one. The most successful people are the ones who learn from their mistakes and turn their failures into opportunities.” – Zig Ziglar

8. “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” – Frank Zappa

9. "A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.” – Nicole Snow

10. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton

11. “The key to success is not through achievement, but through enthusiasm.” – Malcolm Forbes

12. “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” – James Cash Penney, Founder of JCPenney

13. “To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.” – Thomas Watson Sr., CEO of International Business Machines

14. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, founder/CEO of Dropbox

15. “I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” – Warren Buffett

What do these quotes have in common?

We went looking for a little bit of everything when creating this list. We wanted to convey the fact that it takes many different facets of a person and a variety of characteristics to become successful, and that it’s about creating the right recipe, not just being one thing or another. 

These quotes tell us the pillars of business success: passion, drive, and need, among others. They showcase the value of perseverance, the role that attitude plays in business, and how you have to truly be different to succeed in business and stand out. 

We also like these quotes because there are a couple that allude to the truth about “failure”— it’s not a stop sign or an endpoint. In fact, failure is but a necessary waypoint on the journey to success. If you never have to overcome obstacles, how are you ever expected to truly succeed?

Take notes from your mentors 

In the small business world, having mentors and people that you look up to can change the way you view your business. It can also help you create a better strategy for success from the start. Perhaps most importantly, inspiration is the fuel that drives out doubt and helps you push through any and all obstacles that come your way. Some people think that inspirational quotes and motivational posters are “cheesy” – what’s cheesy, though, about taking advice from some of the most successful people in the business world?

That’s right: not a thing. It’s probably going to be just the motivation you’ve been looking for. 

And, take help when you need it by partnering with Smith.ai 

If you need more than a quote or a little motivation, ask how a partnership with Smith.ai can help your business grow. While you’re busy learning and growing, our virtual receptionists can take care of things like scheduling and lead intake, 24/7 phone answering and live website chat, and more. When we’re on your team, you’ll feel a lot more like a “big” business when it comes to communications, promotions, and more. 

Plus, we can even be there to assist from the beginning with outbound sales and support and dedicated experts to handle outreach campaigns, freeing up even more of your time and resources so that you can focus on your business and your clients. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can help your small business grow faster and scale more easily than ever before. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Business Education
Small Business
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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