Are you totally passionate about your business idea? Do you absolutely believe in what you are selling, or the service you are providing? Have you got an in–depth knowledge of your product, your competition and the market you are entering? And, once you’ve got your venture up and running – do you have the passion and the energy to keep going when others are feeling tired and want to give up? Passion is an essential trait in any entrepreneur.
While not necessarily ‘inventors’, entrepreneurs are highly innovative and creative individuals with the vision and insight to spot opportunities and act upon them. They have the ability to carve out a new niche in a market where others might not have seen it – and turn ideas into a solid business strategy.
Have you got the commitment and determination to make your venture a success? Planning, setting up and running a business requires endless hard work and 100% of your time. Your family, friends and leisure activities may have to take a back seat, while you’ll have to give up security such as a monthly salary or a pension. Are you sure you’re willing to make this commitment?
A successful entrepreneur is prepared to make big decisions and take on tough challenges. There will be times when things are not going so well – when the sales aren’t coming in and bills are overdue – so you’ll need the courage to dig deep and not crack under the strain (no matter how much you feel like turning your back on it all!). Having courage also means making the right decisions for your business, no matter how unpopular they may seem at the time.
Ability to set goals
An entrepreneur will set specific and realistic goals and have a clear plan of how to achieve these. Your venture won’t be a success if you don’t do this as you won’t have specific targets to aim for or measure your performance against. Further, having clear goals will enable you to formulate a sound business plan.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a high risk-taker to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s more about knowing which risks to take – and when you should take them. You’ll need sound judgement about your market, competition and your customers (e.g. who are they and how best can you reach them?). You will also have to judge what needs your attention at a certain time and what doesn’t, and prioritise your focus accordingly.
The ultimate Jack-of-all-trades, an enterpreneur has to be flexible. Are you able to cope with the different roles and responsibilities that starting a business demands, such as making decisions on finance, marketing, research and legal matters? Can you secure sales deals and manage new staff? Flexibility also means recognising changes that may need to be made to your business if things aren’t going to plan – and learning from experiences (both good and bad).
One of the main drivers for starting a business is the desire to be your own boss. Enterpreneurs like control and want to be in charge of their own destiny. They want to make the decisions and are prepared to go it alone – especially in the early stages of starting up, before they have built a team around them. If you avoid making decisions or taking responsibilities, then starting up your own business may not be right for you.
Once you have built up a team around you, your staff will be looking to you for strong leadership. This means setting employees realistic goals and targets and being clear about what you all need to achieve and how you can do this. Make sure your employees share your vision and that you are able to steer them through any tough times. Be honest with them and make sure you take responsibility for your actions – for example, if you something goes wrong – don’t blame other people.
Have you got the stamina and focus to keep going until you succeed? Are you able to face up to the challenges and not get discouraged when things initially don’t go to plan? Business requires time, effort and dogged determination, and perseverance is vital if you want to make your business a success.