Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What it Takes to be a Succussful Entrepreneur

Many experts in business consulting claim that it takes certain characteristics and personality traits to be successful in running a business. But, what are these traits? Do you need to have them all? Can you still be successful without having any?

Although these questions are hard to answer, and most likely everyone will have a different answer, there are certain traits that seem to be agreed upon over and over again.

Successful entrepreneurs are chock full of the knowledge required to start up and run a business. They take classes, read books, research and talk to other successful business owners. They also have detailed business and marketing plans in place, even if they don't need to present these plans to a bank for a loan. They realize the importance of a solid foundation before they even think about opening up their doors. Please, don't dive head first into a business venture without first securely fastening your safety vest.

After you have the basics down, there is that little thing known as personality. We all have a personality (well hopefully!), but certain personality traits seem to constitute what makes a great entrepreneur vs. a mediocre one. Are you a people person? Can you talk to strangers with ease? Are you open, honest and sincere? Do you have good listening skills? Are you aware of opportunity wherever you go? Are you hard working and willing to put in long hours? Can you take stress and turn it into a challenge? Do you have passion? Do you have drive? Taking a sincere look at what qualities you do have and which ones you don't will help you in deciding if owning a business is really the right thing for you.

Once entrepreneurs start a business, they usually grasp the concept that building relationships with prospective cleints will ensure long-term business growth. After all, relationships are the heart of any business community. Yet, many don't realize the importance of utilizing current clients and employees as partners in a different kind of business relationship. Start employing the givers gain approach with clients (the adage of give and you shall receive) and be instrumental in driving their success beyond your product or service. This could mean something as simple as referring them out to prospects whenever possible. Remember, helping others will not only give you that gratifying feeling of "I did something nice for someone else!" but you'll be rewarded tenfold.

Employees can be your partners as well. View them as equals and not subordinates. Listen to their ideas and trust in what they have to say. Encourage them to give constructive criticism about projects. They are at times the frontline of your business and could very well be beneficial in helping your business to grow. Treating them as partners also promotes goodwill and loyalty within your company. I've read in many different articles that employees don't leave because of the company; they leave because of their boss.

All entrepreneurs are different in personality and how they want to run their business, but certain traits will keep some from just barely breaking even and others rising to the top. What kind of entrepreneur do you want to be?

Laura Schutz

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