It’s the dream of many people to start their own business and be “free” of a typical 9 to 5 work week. Afterall what’s not to like about making your own schedule with no restrictions on how much money you can earn? There is no denying the appeal although it’s said that 90% of all startup businesses still fail and realistically that number could even be higher.
So what are the deciding factors that determine which people “do” their own business and which people just “want to do” their own business? The difference is very rarely intelligence, education or even work ethic. In most cases it’s characteristics or traits that business owners have (or develop over time) that allow them to succeed where others fail.
The Top 11 Traits Of Successful Small Business Owners That Give Them An Advantage Over The Rest
Love What You Do – If you are going to have your own business at all, make sure it’s something you love and would almost do for free. Failure is life for any business owner, you will get knocked down many times and will need to constantly keep getting back up. Working on a business you love gets you through the hard times, sleepless nights and the many times you’ll consider quiting because all your hard work doesn’t seem worth it.
Constant Desire To Learn – Being a business owner means you are always learning all the time….and if you are not learning your business skills are ctually getting worse. You will never be an expert in your industry completely no matter how much time and effort you put into it. Your ability to WANT to improve and bring something new to the table each day always needs to be a priority.
Unwaivering Belief – How do you know if your one of those people who gives a 100% each and every day but it will still never be enough? You don’t for sure but succesful business owners always live by the slogan “if others can do it so can I”. Succeeding in business is liking putting a puzzle together, once all the pieces fit success is inevitable. You must believe that if your business hasn’t generated the results you want you haven’t failed just haven’t figured everything out yet.
Willing To Do What Others Won’t – One of the key factors that determines victory or defeat for most business owners. Anyone can work hard but you must have the courage to step out of your comfort zone and do things others won’t. If you’re not good at networking, too bad learn. If you don’t like public speaking, too bad learn. If you don’t fancy yourself a”techical person” you may need to improve your computer and internet skills if you want your company to survive.
Love To Compete – People who love to compete always envision what success will look like, not failure. Worry, doubt and frustration all come from the inability to believe you can do something just as good as anyone else. There’s an old football saying that winners “want the ball in the last play of the game” and for business owners they know (and sometimes revel in the fact) that their success may come at someone else’s expense.
Networking Abilities – If you don’t consider yourself a “people person” don’t worry most people aren’t and (in the beginning) have no desire to be. The ability to meet new people and gain new contacts is a skill that is mostly learned but has the biggest payoff for your business. There is no truer statement than “it’s not who you know it’s what you know” so you’ll have to invest some time in building your list of allies.
Customer Service Skills – Your business is all about your customer and how you treat them from the start to finish of any business transaction. Anyone who does business with you is doing you a huge favour by choosing to work with you over any of your competitors. Make sure you are courteous, attentive and always checking in on clients to make sure their needs are met. This is where referrals come from which are still the best (and cheapest) way to advertise.
Work For Free – It’s nice to be your own boss but you better get use to spending a lot of extra time promoting your business during your days off. You won’t be paid an hourly rate for networking, attending business seminars, additional training or meeting with clients that don’t lead to a sale. Any spare time you think you have will need to be put back into your business free of charge, and that includes evenings or weekends.
They Understand The Odds – There is a reason 9 out of every 10 businesses fail. Going into business for yourself is HARD and you’ll need to bring something special to the table to defy the odds. True entrepenurs understand from the start that they are fighting an up hill battle that few others will win. You are taking a gamble that in many cases doesn’t pay off and you need to be okay with this (or even thrive on this) to be the last person standing.
Adapable To Change – The one gauruntee in business is that things are always changing, whether you’re ready for it or not. Technology and trends will always continue to evolve and it’s your job to stay ahead of the curve. Succesful business owners accept change and even embrace it as an opportunity to be one step ahead of their competition. Many businesses fail not because they get off to a bad start, rather they are uneqipped to adapt during slow periods or major changes in their industry.
Willing To Sell – One of the biggest differences between business contenders and pretenders is the willingless to sell. You may spend a lot of money on a nice website, social media ads, and flyers but if you’re unable to get out there and sell your product or service you’re at a big disadvantage. Success doesn’t come to you in the comfort of your own office, it’s something you have to go out and get. If you hate sales or it makes you uncomfortable get over it….the fate of your business hangs in the balance!
Jeff is the owner of Advance Web Solutions a professional web developer & internet marketing professional, based in Calgary, Canada. He has been featured in several high profile newspapers and online blogs. To contact Jeff regarding any of his services visit our website or call (403) 374-2727.