To be a great entrepreneur you have to have certain characteristics to ensure that your business is going to thrive. For some entrepreneurs, these characteristics just come to them naturally, but for others, they have to work extra hard to be able to have these characteristics. Entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Lori Greiner, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey all have these characteristics in some shape and form.
Every entrepreneur can better themselves to strive to have these characteristics!
1. Risk Taking
While starting a business there is going to be more risks than you could even imagine. Not taking risks could be the difference between you having a business or not.
A great example of an entrepreneur who took tons of risks is Vera Wang. Vera started out as an ice skater who didn't make the Olympic team so she turned her sights to being a fashion editor.
She ended up not getting the position of Editor-In-Chief for Vogue. She didn't let that stop her. She worked for Ralph Lauren and ended up creating her own brand of wedding dresses. She is one of the top names in the business.
Don't let some negatives deter you from creating your business into something huge. Take the risks, get your name out there, and don't take no for answer.
When a person first starts a business they might be the only staff member for quite a while. A lot of entrepreneurs are solopreneurs for a couple years until their cash flow is on the positive. In the beginning years, an entrepreneur can be the book-keeper, office manager, secretary, and much more. An entrepreneur must know how to do different roles so their business can function properly until they are able to hire a staff.
The CEO of Under Armour, Kevin Plank, was on his own at the beginning of his business journey. He had 20,000 in cash and $40,000 in credit card debt to start his business. He couldn't even afford to eat let alone pay a staff. He had to be the CEO, designer, accountant, and so much more. That versatility paid off, Plank's net worth is almost $500 million.
3. Humility & Awareness
The time will come when having a staff is necessary for success, make sure those hires are worthwhile. A good entrepreneur knows that they aren't the smartest business person and knows that they have weaknesses. Being able to hire people who make up for your weaknesses is key. Being able to know when to delegate tasks to people who might be able to do the job better than yourself is an important part of being successful. Also, being able to delegate parts of your business to external operations to take some of the workload off. For example, having your communications come through an answering service.
Sir Richard Branson says, "to be successful in business, you need to connect, collaborate and delegate."
4. Cost Efficient
Every dollar counts, especially when first starting out. A first priority is to keep a record of every purchase, sale, etc. Make sure you do a complete analysis of what is being purchased for the business. A lot of entrepreneurs can make a bad decision with money at the beginning, and that can lead to debt really fast. Even when the business is on a positive cash flow it is important to still be cautious with money.
A lot of start-ups ditch the traditional office space and have remote employees. This saves an entrepreneur money that could be important to the business. CEO of DropBox, Drew Houston, is an entrepreneur that believed heavily in having remote employees to save costs.
No matter the industry, things are constantly changing. Some jobs now never existed a decade ago. Industries that are great examples of this is communications and technology. Companies have to keep up with the changing technology/communication practices to stay relevant in the marketplace. Social Media is an aspect of communications that didn't exist before. Companies now have to interact with costumers through social media channels to stay on top of the competition.
A company called Odeo began as a network where people could subscribe to podcasts, but with the creation of iTunes, the owners feared that their network would get run out of business. They had their employees take two weeks to come up with new ideas for the platform. This is where Twitter was born. If the owners did not adapt their business they could have lost everything.
Without any customers, there is no business. A lot of entrepreneurs who have been in the game for years need to remember that statement. The customers, in reality, are going to be the driving force whether your business succeeds or fails.
Having customer surveys every quarter is a great way to see how the customer experience is going. It is always great to have an incentive for the customer to complete the survey (free appetizer, app download, accessory, etc.)
Having an answering service is also a way to have great customer service. The service would be there to answer all your calls 24/7/365 with trained customer service professionals. Your customers would never have to go to a voicemail or automation again. That is HUGE for customer service.
There are more characteristics that successful entrepreneurs have, but these six are very important. Being an entrepreneur can be stressful, but being able to be self-aware can make the job a lot easier.
What happens if a person doesn't have one or more of these characteristics? It will probably be a lot harder for the business to succeed. An entrepreneur can always gain these characteristics! A person can always learn and grow as a business professional. It is just whether or not they decide to.
Sources: Forbes.com, Levo.com, Investopida.com, Monster.com, Google.com