18 Traits a Successful Business Owner Has
Have you ever fancied yourself as a successful business owner? Does the thought of being your own boss excite you? Well, in that case, take a look at these traits a successful business owner has to see if you make the cut.
1. Being Passionate
If you’re setting up a new gym, but hate exercise… well, you don’t need to be a genius to understand that it isn’t going to ‘work out.’ To be a successful business owner, you need to be passionate about your concept to enable you to come up with new and innovative ideas to achieve your goal – a successful business. Without this interest, it is difficult to really sell your product or service with the strength that customers want and deserve.
2. Having/Creating A Detailed And Strategic Business Plan
Whether you do this yourself or get an expert to do it for you, a business plan is essential – otherwise, nobody, even you, has the foggiest idea what is going on with your business or where it is headed. Your plan should include your realistic, achievable goals for the business, concerning clients, marketing strategy and money for the next twelve months. This gives you something to strive towards.
3. Knowing Your Customer
Long-story-short, if you don’t have any customers, you don’t have a business. Knowing your customer is incredibly important when running your own business, as you no longer have the security of the same monthly payslip from your employer, whether you make a sale or not. This time, the customer is directly paying you. Make sure you do your research and work out the demographics of who you are targeting with your business and ensure you cater to their needs.
4. Promoting Yourself
To grab a sale, you need people to know about you. As your own boss, you are the one responsible for pulling in your customers. If you have a passion and believe in what you do, promoting yourself and your business should be a doddle! But it’s knowing how to work it – build up business contacts, promote yourself on social media, create a website, ensure word-of-mouth promotion. If you do this, you build a brand for yourself and your business.
5. Knowing Your Stuff
Part of running a business is being an expert in your field. Nobody wants to buy a Laptop from somebody who doesn’t have a clue about technology. As your own boss, every day should be a learning curve. Every day you should be educating yourself on something new to help your business to grow. Not only is this beneficial to keeping clients, but if the word gets out there that you know your ‘stuff,’ others will come to you, and you will build your clientele even more.
6. Offering Something That Big Businesses Can’t
If you’re a small business, finding your ground against similar businesses that are on a larger scale can be difficult. But you have that one big advantage – you’re personal. Often customers like to know who they’re actually dealing with when buying a product or service, rather than talking to a machine. In the event where there is a fault or complaint (which of course there won’t be), you are on hand to deal with it there and then, an ease that customers want. So go out there and work your personality!
7. Setting Yourself Some Short-Term Goals
Often setting long-term goals, although necessary, can be stressful. If you set yourself some short-term goals, they can seem more achievable. For example, each week you can tell yourself, ‘I’m going to reach out to one new client/customer.’ If you do this every week, that has the potential for earning yourself 52 new clients/customers for the whole year. And if you do more, then great! But set realistic goals that won’t get you down if you don’t achieve them.
To be a successful business owner, you need to have thick skin. You will often get knocked back, feel like you’re failing, and wonder if this was the right decision for you. If you want to make it big, you need to push through the bad times. Be determined to carry on through, to come out the other side and continue to build your business. Don’t fall at the first hurdle.
9. Being Financially Prepared
Yes, Alan Sugar started out with just £100. It does happen. Nevertheless, it is always better to be financially prepared for any business venture, to protect yourself and your family. This allows you the opportunity to start up your business on a high note. You can purchase everything you need and can start producing and selling your product/service straight away. If you’re not, try starting your business as a side-business before you quit your full-time job.
To be a successful business owner you need to have the ability to make quick and smart decisions. Sometimes you may be faced with difficult and confusing decisions, which could potentially have a negative effect on your business. It is your ability to stay focused, think calmly, and take risks in your decision making that could put your business ahead of the others. If you make slow and safe business decisions, you’ll have a slow and safe business. Which is great, if you like that kind of thing…
11. Balancing your work/life environment
One of the main advantages of running your own business and being self-employed is your ability to work whenever and wherever you want. Woo-hoo! But to make your business work, you need to be strict with yourself and create a work/life balance that is beneficial to your family and your business. If your business is just starting out, you can’t afford to spend two hours a day at your desk, and the rest watching TV and surfing the web. The best way to manage your work time is to set out your own working hours e.g., ensure you work from 9 am to 5 pm each day, with breaks where necessary. If you stick to this, you will utilise this work time, and appreciate your family time even more.
12. Choosing The Right Workers
If you choose to employ people to help you run your business, you need to make sure that you pick the right ones. When entering the hiring process, it is crucial to take the time and effort to understand what you can offer them, and what you want them to offer you! Nobody wants a slacker as that wastes your time and money. Your suitable applicant is down to your own specifications, so you need to have a real think about what you want from your worker. It is also important to make sure that you get on with them! If you don’t, you’ll have a problem.
13. Keeping On The Look-Out For New Opportunities
Building your business is about just that… building it. If you don’t keep up with the times, and keep changing your business to suit the needs of the customer, your business will plateau. Embracing new opportunities will keep your business fresh and exciting to potential users.
14. Knowing The World Of Business
This is quite straightforward really – you need to know about business to do business. You don’t have to be degree educated or the previous CEO of a large company to be able to run your own business, but you do need to be a bit business-savvy. There will be a lot of things you learn along the way through trial and error while running your business, but if you have a brief understanding of how it works… it’ll be a bonus.
If you want customers to return to you, you have to be honest. The worst thing for you as a successful business owner would be to lie to a customer, for them to find out, and your credibility is crushed. If you’re honest with them from the start, you will gain their respect, as well as their custom.
With our own ideas, we’re all stubborn. We never want to stray from what we think is right for us or our business. But sometimes we need to zoom out, look at the business from an outsider’s point of view, and realise that whether we like it or not, something needs changing. It may go against your business plan, it might go against your own ideas, but if it’s best for you company, you’ll have to suck it up!
17. Being Hands-On
Delegating work to employees sounds like an easy road for the boss, right? No. Knowing your own way around your own product or service is the most important aspect when it comes to running your business. When you can, try to get hands-on with what you’re selling.
18. Celebrating Your Success
If you’ve done well… acknowledge it! Congratulations on being a successful business owner!