Barbara Corcoran is the real estate contributor for NBC’s TODAY Show where she regularly comments on trends in the real estate market. But most people know her as one of the sharks on ABC’s reality hit show Shark Tank. If you really want to question her business knowledge, consider that she turned a $1,000 loan and parlayed that loan into a $5 billion real estate business. Then in 2001, she sold that business for $66 million. This shows that she knows a little about building a business. Here are some of her best tips for small-business owners from an article on the Forbes website (followed by our comments):

“Don’t be afraid to make big mistakes. All the best things that happened in my business happened on the heels of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s proof that you are meant to be a successful entrepreneur. The only difference between people who are hugely successful and those who aren’t, is the time it takes them to get back up after getting knocked down.”

One of our regular training room renters is an entrepreneur who has had several businesses. Some have been successful and others not so successful. Now he teaches other entrepreneurs about the pitfalls he encountered.

“Little companies always move faster. The big guy may have the corner on money, but the little guy usually has the corner on creativity. Take some time to sit down and figure out how your big rival is promoting its brand and plan something smarter and more creative for yours.”

As a start-up, do you really want to be locked into a long-term lease for office space? Renting short-term office space on a month-to-month basis allows you to grow and expand your space without a penalty. But it also allows you to take smaller space at the same address without losing your corporate identity.

“Take full advantage of all the free social media out there. Before you go out and blow money on advertising, capitalize on the free online access that leads you direct to your customers. Blog, Tweet with humour, and make as many friends as you can on Facebook FB +%. You can quickly build a huge following of customers willing to try your new product without spending a dollar on advertising.”

Telsec has learned by experience that social media is the way to attract an audience and turn those views into customers. Many of our new Virtual Office clients found us through social media and this blog. Most of our posts are not about our products, but offer advice to small business owners. This helps to build trust and not be seen as just advertising the services we offer.

“Make a marketplace report. The best way to get some attention for your brand is to publish an industry report chock full of statistics. You’ll be surprised how much you know about your industry once you start putting some numbers down on paper. Reporters need stories, and if you put your report in a short, easy-to-read format and name it after your company, you’ll soon become the expert reporters call when they need a quote. The easiest way to steal market share from your competitors is to steal the limelight – and nothing does that faster than being quoted in the press.”

Since starting this blog and writing articles for other websites, Telsec is called upon from time to time to share advice to small businesses and start-ups. Business articles have even linked to some of our blogs as sources on the changes that are happening in office space.

“Stop putting it off! Procrastination is the enemy of success. The time you waste on stalling breeds guilt, and guilt deflates energy and sometimes even leads to depression. When you feel stuck and can’t seem to move ahead, always remember that you don’t have to get it right; you just have to get it going!”

When one of our office-space tenants had an idea for a new product, he asked us about renting an additional team space for a special project that would require 8 months of teamwork. We had an available team space and did not require them to sign a long-term lease. His team was able to come up with a plan and ended up only needing the additional space for 5 months. The short-term rental saved them a lot of money.