Are you a risk-taker and a people magnet? Whether you are a budding or seasoned entrepreneur, there are common abilities seen over and again when running a successful business. You will probably easily recognize some of these traits in yourself; and others you may need to work on.
1. Perseverance--An Integral Component
As an entrepreneur, there will be rewards and challenges. This is why perseverance is very important for an entrepreneur. For example, securing a business loan can be very difficult. If you are turned down for a loan from one bank, you need perseverance to approach additional financial institutions and secure funds for your business. Entrepreneurs should be energetic and have a strong tenacity to pursue their goals. Whether you are a new or seasoned entrepreneur, you should appreciate little steps that lead you closer to having a successful business. A client calling to seek your services, securing a business deal and networking with other businesses are all important milestones that can prove beneficial to your company.
Entrepreneurs need to exude confidence during business meetings, sales calls and presentations. If you are just starting a new business, it can be difficult to have confidence in your skills to land a big contract or high-profile client. If you are shy or get nervous talking to people, take baby steps to overcome your fears. If you are hesitant to talk about your business during networking sessions or large crowds, practice talking about your business in front of the mirror. You should be comfortable with developing your elevator pitch about your business. Perspective clients want to work with businesses that produce successful results. As an entrepreneur, you should be confident that your business can provide positive results to your clients.
Successful entrepreneurs are innovative and unique with their services and products. As an entrepreneur, you should always be thinking about how to do things differently. How can your business provide solutions for everyday problems or offer services that are unique in your area? Think about ways to make your business stand out from other businesses in your area. Being unique can lead to increase recognition and accolades for being a leader in your field.
4. Financial Skills
As an entrepreneur, you should be able to handle the finances for your business including interpreting financial statements. Cash flow, income and balance sheets are all integral business documents that entrepreneurs should understand. Even if you are not a finance whiz, it is still important that you can manage the cash flow for your business. If you need guidance in handling your company's finances, consider hiring an accountant to assist you.
5. Ability to Take Risks
Starting any business can be risky. As an entrepreneur, you should be able to take risks and realize that mistakes happen. If your gut is telling you to sign a contract with a new client, then you should be willing to take the chance regardless of the outcome. When making a major decision regarding your business, ask yourself the three questions listed below:
- Will this decision be an asset for my business--financially or professionally?
- What will be the long-term results due to this decision?
- Does the rest of my team (staff, board of directors, investors) agree with this decision?
Remember, mistakes and setbacks are a part of growing a business. Do not become discouraged because a business deal didn't go as planned or your decision resulted in challenges for your company. Through trials and tribulations, entrepreneurs learn from their mistakes which can lead to having a more successful business.
6. People Skills
Entrepreneurs should enjoy meeting people especially for networking, speaking at business seminars and increasing sales. Join Toastmasters International or local business groups in your area to develop your speaking skills and become more comfortable speaking in front of others. Although perspective clients want to make sure that you are qualified to do the work, they also want someone who is amicable and enjoys working with others.
7. Media Awareness
If you have a niche product or service in your area, media outlets might be interested in using you as an expert for articles and television news segments. Along with being a people magnet, entrepreneurs should be able to speak with the media on issues relating to their business. Distribute press releases to inform your local media about your business and any notable recognition that you are receiving due to your company's products or services.
8. Generosity--With Time and Money
As an entrepreneur, you will come across nonprofit organizations that might want you to volunteer your services or time to help others in need. Many entrepreneurs incorporate volunteering as part of their company culture. The great thing about giving back is that your company's name will receive positive publicity which can result in increased customers for your business. Whether it is tutoring children or donating funds for a scholarship luncheon, good deeds can prove beneficial for you as an entrepreneur.
Starting a business is not always easy and can also lead to many challenges. However, these attributes of an entrepreneur can help you develop a successful business.
Bowers, Brent. 8 Patterns of Highly Effective Entrepreneurs, Crown Business, June 2007.
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