Every year in the United States, about 600,000 new businesses are started. Some go on to be extremely successful, and many fail, especially in today’s reality of economic challenges. What are the deciding factors in success or failure? Here are 11 entrepreneurial traits or characteristics that can lead to success:
- Confidence. In order to successfully operate a business, you must be completely confident in your skills, your self-worth and the worth of your business.
- It is not rocket science. Business success is common sense supplemented by a thorough understanding of proper principles, supported by appropriate techniques, taking action, and monitoring results.
- Sense of Purpose. A successful owner knows exactly what he or she is doing and why. An unwavering vision of direction is the only way to assure a successful arrival.
- Passion for What They Do. Without it, your business does not stand much of a chance. Enthusiasm is contagious, and if you are passionate about your enterprise you’re sure to draw others into your excitement. Do what you enjoy, and you’ll naturally exude a level of delight that is catching.
- Money Management Skills. The old adage “you must spend money to make money” is true. But it’s extremely important to be prudent in your financial affairs, carefully managing inventory, debt and income to keep the cash flowing and ensure your success.
- Understanding of technology and trends. Getting hung up on the latest technology has its hazards, but staying on the cutting edge can give you the competitive edge. Use technology that helps you succeed; don’t get caught up in technology just because it’s impressive.
- Willingness to Listen to Others. Effective listening can be invaluable. Never be afraid to listen to others. You never know when it will be the solution for a problem you might not even know you have.
- Good Support System. The team with which you surround yourself can mean the difference between success and failure. A competent business operator understands that they cannot competently do it all. A professional “outside” team (legal, insurance, accounting, banking, etc.) and an “inside” team are an absolute must.
- Proficiency at Planning. A well-ordered plan is like a road map, pointing you in the direction you need to take to reach your goals. Without a plan, you cannot hope to succeed, but it should not be “cut in stone”. Plans need to be flexible and are always subject to change.
- Customer Skills. A successful business owner understands a business cannot survive without customers. If “customers” do not buy, you don’t have a business. But remember, customers do not make a business.
- Expert Negotiation. A business operator must be skilled at negotiation in every aspect of the business. Whether dealing with vendors, customers or staff members, being able to orchestrate win-win situations is crucial to running a business.
A lot can depend on the market, the economy and the business itself. By employing the above characteristics, using common sense, employing proven business principles and techniques, taking focused action, and measuring all important business metrics, you can increase the probability of your sustainable business success.