Get All Access for $5/mo

How To Keep an Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive in Your Small Business These three tips will help you keep the spark for entrepreneurship that leads to long-term business success

By Michelle Van Slyke Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • Keeping your entrepreneurial spark alive is so important to small business success.
  • Once your business is off the ground, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and forget the spark that led to small business ownership in the first place.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a small business is no easy feat. It takes dedication, passion and, above all, an entrepreneurial spirit. That entrepreneurial spirit is often what drives small business owners to build something from the ground up. However, once the business is off the ground, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and forget the spark that led to small business ownership in the first place.

It may not seem like managing a small business requires the same entrepreneurial drive as starting one, but that would be a faulty assumption. Kindling your entrepreneurial mindset is key to driving your business forward, pushing through challenges and establishing success long after starting it.

Related: 4 Ways for Small Businesses to Increase Revenue in 2024

Here are three ways you can keep your entrepreneurial spirit alive in your small business.

1. Take a chance on something new

A trait common in successful entrepreneurs is the desire to conquer new challenges and overcome obstacles. Sometimes, keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive in a small business can be as simple as flexing that muscle and taking on a new challenge in your business. Consider ways you can improve your existing business. One option could be to launch a new product or service.

For some businesses, the challenge of launching a new product or service would not only reignite the entrepreneurial spark but also drive business growth. Another challenge some small business owners may lick their chops at is opening a new location. This can be a particularly appealing option for franchise owners, as franchising is a great industry for opening multiple units.

It's also important to remember that taking on a new challenge doesn't necessarily need to be as large an undertaking as a new go-to-market strategy. There are plenty of smaller undertakings that can reignite an entrepreneurial drive. For example, you could offer a new discount, start a loyalty program or invest in a community service initiative. By taking on a new challenge, you will renew the passion that led you to business ownership in the first place and continue to push your business forward.

Related: 3 Ways Gratitude Can Set You Up for Business Success

2. Prioritize purpose over profit

While successful entrepreneurs can be driven by the desire to succeed financially, they are often also driven by passion. One way to reignite this passion in small business ownership is to direct it into a renewed purpose. By prioritizing your business actions around a purpose, you will drive your entrepreneurial spirit forward and often create business success in the process. In fact, according to an Accenture study, 63% of surveyed global consumers prefer to buy products and services from companies that share their values and beliefs and avoid companies that don't.

But what does it mean to prioritize purpose in a business sense? A purpose-driven company will put its people and its mission before its profit goals. This doesn't mean you need to throw accounting to the wind, but instead, lead your goal setting with a mission in mind rather than staying in the black. By piloting your business with purpose as the compass, it will be easier to find passion in your daily activities. This often extends to employees as well. According to Deloitte research, only one in every five employees would stay at a profit-driven organization for more than five years.

To keep the entrepreneurial spark alive in your business, find a purpose that matters to you. At The UPS Store, we are passionate about entrepreneurship, so we find ways to support first-time business owners. This can be seen in our recent addition to our Diversity Ownership Program, where first-generation business owners can now qualify for a significantly discounted franchise initiation fee.

3. Network with people you admire

For small business owners, networking is an important component of success and a key way to keep the entrepreneurial engine running. Growing a solid network of people who share your background can give you opportunities for support and help you build new business strategies for your operation. Above all, networking with other entrepreneurs can reinvigorate your passion for your business. After all, passion can be infectious.

From LinkedIn to local Chamber of Commerce events to industry-specific networking events, do some research to find opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs. Look to build your network with businesspeople and entrepreneurs who you admire, as this will help you better yourself. There are also plenty of outside-the-box opportunities you can find to build your network. Finding a network of people you admire in business will create a support system to help you through challenges; it will also surround you with other individuals who share your passion for entrepreneurship.

Michelle Van Slyke

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, The UPS Store

Michelle Van Slyke is the senior vice president of marketing and sales for The UPS Store, Inc., which provides print and small business solutions to entrepreneurs and small-business owners at 5,000 franchise locations across the U.S.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Business News

Joey Chestnut Is Going From Nathan's to Netflix for a Competition 15 Years in the Making

Chestnut was banned from this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a "rival" contract. Now, he'll compete in a Netflix special instead.


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.