There are lots of reasons people start their own businesses. Some start with a great idea they want to grow, others dream of escaping their day job to follow a passion, and a few just want to be the next Alan Sugar.
Whatever your motivation for starting your own business, you’ll probably share some common characteristics with fellow entrepreneurs.
Ready to become the next big thing in business? Here’s the combination of creative thinking and steely determination that we think all entrepreneurs secretly share.
They say that if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Because people who do something they’re passionate about don’t think of it as work. They love it, live it and breathe it. They don’t mind putting in extra hours or working at the weekend. They believe in their business and they’ll do everything they can to make it a success.
If you’ve got a brilliant business idea bubbling away, you’re already tapping into your creativity. Creativity is a vital skill for everything from product development and problem solving, to marketing and managing your time. Creativity adds individuality and value to your business by bringing your unique perspective to bear.
When you run your own business, you can’t wait for someone else to tell you what to do. It’s important to use your initiative and take a proactive approach to work. Entrepreneurs are self-starters that go out there and make things happen, rather than waiting for work and opportunities to come to them.
Running your own business means wearing a lot of hats. Often you’re CEO, marketing manager, accountant, cleaner and chief tea maker. So having a strong work ethic is essential if you’re going to tackle your to do list with energy and good humour. And when you have staff to share the load with, working hard sets a great example and encourages others to do the same.
Being strategic is a sure-fire way to increase your chances of success. Having a strategy means knowing what you want to achieve and the steps you’ll take to get there. It helps you focus on priorities that drive your business forward and eliminate anything that doesn’t.
When you’re used to working for someone else, the freedom of self-employment can be both liberating and daunting. With days, weeks and months stretching out ahead of you, self-discipline is essential if you’re going to be productive and achieve them your targets. Self-discipline means knuckling down and doing everything your business needs to succeed, not just the parts you enjoy.
Successful entrepreneurs make decisions quickly and confidently. They’re not reckless. But they understand the value of making a choice and following it through. They are focused on action and outcomes, rather than endless deliberation. They make informed decisions based on available information. And if they make a mistake, they make a decision about how to fix it.
8. Financially aware
Cash is the life blood of your business. You don’t need an accountancy degree to succeed. But you do need to understand the importance of financial planning. Budgeting and managing your business cash flow will help you prosper. Business owners who just hope for the best often fare the worst… Check out our blog post on budgets, cash flow and pricing.
You’ll experience knockbacks along the way. But your determination to succeed will propel you onwards towards your goals, even when the going gets tough. The most successful business owners learn from their mistakes. Reframing failure as opportunity is one way entrepreneurs bounce back…often bigger and better than before. They are resilient and know that the fastest way to fail is to give up. So they don’t!
10. Always learning
Successful entrepreneurs are always learning and never assume they have all the answers. They know that investing in knowledge will pay dividends. Informal networking, training and conferences all help them stay ahead of the game. Great leaders appoint skilled staff that they listen to - and learn from - daily.
Your customers are the heart of everything you do. Or they should be! Without customers to buy your products or service, you have no business. Savvy business leaders know that meeting and exceeding customer expectations is their fast track to business success. They focus on improving products and processes to keep customers coming back.
12. Confident… in time
We can all picture a confident entrepreneur striding purposefully through life, head held high. And whilst that is true for some business owners, it isn’t for everyone. Maybe you’re taking your first tentative steps into self-employment and you’re not really sure what you’re doing. Hearing that successful entrepreneurs are ‘confident’ isn’t very helpful at this stage. So don’t worry if you’re not feeling confident right now. Harness the qualities described above and confidence will follow.
Still wondering if you've got what it takes? Try our personality quiz to test your appetite for entrepreneurial life.
Feeling inspired? Ready to unleash your inner awesome and launch your own business? We’re with you. Visit www.transmitstartups.co.uk to read success stories from people who've already taken the leap.