The 50 Dos and Don’ts of Running Your Own Business

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When you run your own small business there are oodles of people who’ll want to offer you well meaning advice. There are also books and websites a-plenty packed full of information. So needless to say it can all be very overwhelming! In my opinion though, these are the 50 definitive dos and don’ts to follow if you’re an entrepreneur.

1. DO be yourself. Share who you are as a person first and the right customers will automatically connect with you.
2. DON’T be scared to try new things.
3. DON’T worry about what other people think.
4. DO make genuine friendships within your industry. You’re much more likely to go further with a posse of friends who have your back and support you.
5. DON’T be afraid to ask for help.
6. DO practice, practice and practice some more.
7. DO document your journey on your blog.
8. DO make a commitment to learning. Sign up for workshops and courses to keep your skills fresh. Make sure you apply what you’ve learnt afterwards!
9. DON’T underestimate the power of amazing branding. Invest in it when you can.
10. DO be personable on social media and your blog but don’t air your dirty laundry in public.

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11. DO take regular non-working holidays and breaks. They’re good for the soul.
12. DO make friends with bloggers and journalists.
13. DO save your taxes!
14. DON’T stretch yourself too thin.
15. DO something that you’re passionate about.
16. DON’T be afraid to make changes if things aren’t working or you aren’t enjoying it any more.
17. DO set goals but…
18. … DON’T put too much pressure on yourself
19. DO give back.
20. DON’T get obsessed with your traffic or social media stats. A smaller, engaged audience is much more beneficial.

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21. DON’T say yes to every opportunity that comes along.
22. DO have attention to detail.
23. DON’T follow the crowd.
24. DO have a scheduled logging off time… and stick to it!
25. DON’T beat yourself up for the things you get wrong. Learn from them and move on.
26. DO work on personal projects.
27. DON’T always think of the money.
28. DO outsource the things you can’t – or don’t want to – do yourself.
29. DO look after your health. Eat good food and limit your alcohol intake.
30. DON’T worry about catching up with everyone else. Remember, people only show the best of the best online.

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31. DON’T be afraid to share your personal story and experiences.
32. DO use social media but don’t feel like you have to use every platform.
33. DON’T be spammy.
34. DON’T sell out.
35. DO spend time with the people you care about.
36. DON’T listen to negative people… and never feed trolls. Always rise above it.
37. DO it for the love.
38. DO have some budget set aside for marketing. Having a great business is one thing, but if no-one knows it exists then you’re not going to get very far!
39. DON’T beg people for social media follows or likes.
40. DO attract and repel people by sharing your opinions. You don’t want to be forgettable or bland.

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41. DO be inspired by people outside your industry and niche.
42. DO keep things simple.
43. DON’T underestimate the power of an incredible testimonial.
44. DO make customer service a priority.
45. DO ask for honest feedback from people you trust.
46. DON’T worry too much about the future. Focus on what you’re doing now.
47. DO strive to be the very best at what you do.
48. DO send thank you cards.
49. DO under-promise and over-deliver.
50. DON’T give up. You can do this!

Have I missed anything? I’d love to hear about your small business dos and don’ts in the comments!



  1. Fab list. Total business advice gold.

    DO remember: we only see the public highlight reel from other people’s businesses. It’s just as much hard work behind the scenes as your business is.

  2. Stacey

    I run my own hairdressing and nail business from home and I’m proud to say I already do most of these! But this is an amazing ultimate checklist 🙂 x

  3. DON’T undersell yourself – if you start selling your services/product at a low price you will find it very hard to raise the price as you go. Plus (providing your presentation and product are great) if you start at a higher price, your product/service may be viewed as “Premium” and will happily pay for more it!

    DO stay organised – I live by lists and to do apps that sync with my computer and phone. Would be lost with out these.

    DO look for free things – we have been to numerous free networking meetings, courses, advertising – there’s loads of help for start ups and small businesses, you just have to look for it!

    There’s probably loads more (we’re in the first year of start up and its an amazing journey!)

  4. Ayla

    I absolutely love your advise. I just work my online business in health and wellness daily, around my full time job and my life.

  5. Yes this!

    Don’t rush anything, keep plodding away and things will start to come together.

    Also bullshit, a lot – it’s the small business secret fertilizer!

    And you’ve got to spend money to make money, but be very discerning about where you spend it – if the potential rewards far far exceed the costs then do it.

    Oh and trust your gut instinct.

    One last thing, never look back with regret, everything you do, be it wrong or right, felt right at the time and if it wasn’t the best decision it was a learning experience to make better decisions in the future!

  6. Absolutely brilliant post and it arrived at just the right time for me. I’ve been filled with a lot of self-doubt about my little venture recently, wondering if it’s just a pipe-dream or whether I really do stand a chance. Your words of wisdom are exactly what I need to carry on – especially #30!!

  7. Madison Moore

    I loved this, such a great list of things to point me in the right direction! Very useful and straight forward tips.

  8. What a great list – I have just come across this two years after it has been posted but can honestly say that its all totally relevant to me currently. Thank you for posting.


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