Whether you're selling houses or tomatoes, these are my five bits of wisdom that I think apply to any small business:
1. Know your product. Know everything you can about it. Read, read, and read some more. Google can be your best friend. Learning never stops.
2. Know people. Remember names. Get to know your customers, suppliers, and your competition. Sincerely ask how people are doing. Care. (Remember the names of kids and you'll get bonus points.)
3. Know your limits. You will never finish everything you want to finish in one day. You will never have all the money you think you need. The sooner you realize that everything needs to be broken down into manageable parts, the happier you'll be.
4. Know what has happened in the past. Keep a paper trail, or in today's world, a digital trail. Get organized. Don't reinvent the wheel. Whether you are completing a credit application or doing your taxes, scribbled notes on Post-Its don't cut it.
5. Know that someone is always watching. Think before you speak or act. In today's world, everything is shared. Make sure what's shared about your business is something that makes you proud.