10 Common Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

It would be silly to say that there are magic words or push-buttons to skyrocket your business' success, because there is none.

In business management, you do not only invest money and let the business model or system do its job. Even businesses that may give you passive income require a lot of human input or nurturing before one sees gratifying results. Entrepreneurship has to have added human profile components, which I believe is actually its main driver towards success.

Those who possess the following traits are more likely to become successful entrepreneurs. The good thing is, you can learn these traits. When you utilize available learning resources, such as online courses; business management workshops; or professional mentoring programs, you can develop these entrepreneurial traits. It will be your edge in making your business flourish.

Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

  1. Being accountable for one's self and his/her business' future. I was reading stories of successful entrepreneurs and I've always encountered the idea of these people wanting to take control over their lives. Being directed by somebody else and just receiving monthly paycheck is just not their thing. They believe they can establish, manage, and grow a business and so they start from whatever resources they have to build their dreams. They have the initiative to work on their ideas, and along the way they are able to be more creative and innovative with their products/ services. Although many had initial failures, they remain accountable for whatever comes along and still try to manage it no matter what. They don't let emotions control their decisions; rather they remain objective and solution-oriented in times of hardships.

  2. Always consider proper risk management. Success-bound entrepreneurs, although they have big dreams, do not just plunge to do business and risk everything they have accumulated or achieved. Wise entrepreneurs take time to plan what and how much they will risk in the business. This is significantly important among fledgling business endeavors when there is limited capital. For an instance, if you are working as a full-time employee and you want to put up your own bubble milk tea business, you need to consider how much of your current savings will be allotted as a start-up capital or how much loan are you going to apply for. You also need to consider other factors such as your ability to sustain daily living expenses, especially if you have a family relying on your current job's salary. Starting a business maybe much easier for single individuals since they can have more control over their budget. You may also opt to initially keep your day job, test the market, and if everything goes well, then you can allocate more resources. Adequate business planning can surely help in determining and controlling your risks.

  3. Be a hands-on business owner/ manager. I have an uncle who owns and operates a transportation company. From just one bus, he is able to grow them to more than a hundred over the years. I remember stories of him personally driving the bus when he was just starting out. Up to now, he makes sure he regularly meets his employees-- those from top to bottom. He would go to the his bus garage/ station at least every week to monitor the business. His presence also encourages his workers to perform at their best. Being hands-on gives know-how advantage so you can adeptly deal with most business matters. The more you know about your business' ins and outs the more you'll be able to nourish it towards success.

  4. Remain optimistic. It is easy for entrepreneurs, especially the first-timers, to be optimistic. However, the true test of your determination to succeed is when the road gets bumpy and without certainty. Trials and failures can occur at any phase of the business cycle. If you read about the profile of those who succeed, you will learn that most of them stood the test of time. They remain tenacious amidst struggles. Your sales may come to a plateau or even plummet, but it is important you remain optimistic as long you continuously offer quality products/services that satisfy your customers. Read my article on How Happiness & Optimism Can Drive Your Success for more useful insights.

  5. Focus on your goal/ ambition and set SMART objectives. Keeping your flame of optimism needs fuel, and that is keeping your mind on your goal/ambition. Remember the law of attraction: you attract things in your life whatever you're focusing on. If you have started your own staffing agency, you need to keep on envisioning where do you want to be at after, let's say, 3 years. Your goal maybe to be the best staffing agency in your region, but this is so broad. You also need to have objectives that are more detailed. Your objectives should be S.M.A,R.T.-- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Objectives are your stepping-stones to get on top of your dream (your goal). Examples of SMART objective for a staffing agency are: (a) To maintain a retention rate of at least 90% among our current customers annually. (b) To acquire at least 30% more customers annually. (c) To conduct comprehensive skills training among our talents prior their deployment.

  6. Continuous evaluation of your products/ services' quality. Your long-term profitability depends on how satisfied your customers are with the products/ services you provide them. Do not take the chance of decreasing quality to gain more. It will never work in the long run. In business, we might as well think we are not truly the boss of ourselves but our customers. Customer satisfaction is the totality of all your effort in putting up and managing a business. Only when you get your customers to patronage your business will you reap the rewards of your hard work-- up to the point of financial freedom. The best way to evaluate your products/services is through your customers. Their feedback is of utmost importance. Learn from your mistakes and improve from therein.

  7. Be creative and innovative. Have you noticed how fast gadgets in the market are being updated? Every now and then new features are added; thus giving the companies ability to increase the price. Change is the only constant thing in this universe and many, although not all, enjoy and get excited with change. Do not wait for your sales to go on a plateau before you think of creative or innovative ways of delivering your products/ services. Oftentimes, a surge in demand is followed by a decrease in sales. Everything that goes up must go down-- and this could happen to your business if you remain so confident, yet passive and laid-back. You put your business at risk of failure when you don't listen to what your customers want and what they look forward in the future regarding your products/ services and when you fail to see and incorporate current creative and innovative trends in similar markets.

  8. Be energetic and passionate. I have been watching several small business news on the TV and have seen a lot of small business owners working more hours than regular employees. Many of them who quit the 9-5 job and established their own business wake up earlier and come home later; but still, they reap the rewards because they are so energetic and passionate on what they do. They truly enjoy what they have accomplished and are futuristic to do more of it. Being energetic is essential whether you're in the start-up or the expansion phase. During the start-up phase you need to put in a lot of effort in launching the business. You need to make a business plan, prepare legal business documents, advertise, gather and manage resources, and run the business itself. If your business flourishes and you decide to do the expansion, you still have to exert incredible effort in gathering funds, renovation, construction, purchasing land or building, purchasing additional equipment, and training new employees to maintain the quality of the products/ services.

  9. Be good in organizing. Successful entrepreneurs also work hard to organize every aspect of their business. It is as if you are working on a jigsaw puzzle to put every piece in its proper place. You must be able to organize sources of funds; your staff so that it is made sure the right person performs the right task; building and delivery or execution of products/ services; and collection of business data relevant for its operation-- which may include customer information and potential new or innovative products/services in the market.

  10. Look beyond money. Perhaps your primary reason of opening up a business is to earn more money than what you are making right now. Although there is nothing wrong with that, successful entrepreneurs look beyond money. They take action on what they perceive is their worth and purpose. Their achievement is not solely measured by the money they put into their bank; rather how they are able to make an impact on their customers' lives. By putting this in mind, you will be driven to think outside the box and continuously make progress. You may also want to read my article on 'What Owning a Business Could Do To Your Life'.

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