1. Business Ideas
  2. Business Plans
  3. Startup Basics
  4. Startup Funding
  5. Franchising
  6. Success Stories
  7. Entrepreneurs
  1. Sales & Marketing
  2. Finances
  3. Your Team
  4. Technology
  5. Social Media
  6. Security
  1. Get the Job
  2. Get Ahead
  3. Office Life
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Home Office
  1. Leadership
  2. Women in Business
  3. Managing
  4. Strategy
  5. Personal Growth
  1. HR Solutions
  2. Financial Solutions
  3. Marketing Solutions
  4. Security Solutions
  5. Retail Solutions
  6. SMB Solutions
Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

Harvard Business Professor: How to Start a Business (In 100 Words or Less)

Advice label Credit: Advice image via Shutterstock

You need advice on how to start a business, but who has time to read a whole book? Our experts give you their advice on how to start a small business in 100 words or less.

In her new book, "TEAMING: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy" (Jossey-Bass, 2012) Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson shows that organizations thrive - or fail to thrive - based on how well smaller groups within those organizations work. Here she boils her advice on how to start a business down to 100 words or less:

Aim High,

Team up,

Expect Failures,

Learn Fast.


That’s it. The next 93 are bonus.  

Aim high means go for something important. Identify an unmet need that your experiences compel you to address. Doing something important will attract high quality colleagues. 

Team with them to figure out a path forward.

Expect failures.Uncharted territory requires them to make progress. Getting everything right the first time means you haven’t aimed high enough. 

Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.

See All