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10 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs

by Elizabeth Harmon

Do you dream of starting your own small business? Becoming an entrepreneur can be extremely exciting and rewarding. It does come with a lot of responsibility though and can be stressful. It also requires a lot of dedication and hard work to turn an idea into a successful, thriving business.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t something that will suit everyone. If you think this is the right career path for you though, read on to discover more about what an entrepreneur does, what characteristics you need and how you can develop your entrepreneurial skills.

What do entrepreneurs do?

The term ‘entrepreneur’ refers to anyone who has started their own business and has taken on financial risk in the process.

You can become an entrepreneur in any area. Just look at some of the great entrepreneurs of our time. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs became entrepreneurs in computers, Oprah Winfrey has become an entrepreneur in the media world, and Estee Lauder became an entrepreneur in cosmetics. All these entrepreneurs had a brilliant idea, developed it, marketed it, sold it, and made money from it. But they didn’t stop at just one idea. They continued to innovate and advance their businesses over time.

What are the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?

Many people want to be an entrepreneur, but not everyone makes it as one. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to have these key entrepreneurial characteristics:

  1. Creativity
    You need to think outside the box, starting with establishing a compelling idea and a clear vision for your business. You need to imagine new and better ways of doing things. You will also need to regularly come up with innovative ideas to develop your business and keep it moving forward.

  2. Motivation
    As a business owner, you’ll face successes and failures. You need to be driven and self-motivated to continue moving forward through any challenges while staying positive and keeping the end-goal in sight.

  3. Communication
    Entrepreneurs need to have excellent professional communication skills. You will be required to talk to employees, carry out persuasive presentations to investors, pitch to clients, market your business to customers and more. You also need to be able to listen carefully to any feedback and advice.

  4. Flexibility
    There may be times when things don’t go to plan. Rather than giving up, you need to be ready to solve problems and adapt your strategy.

  5. Collaboration
    As your business develops, you may need to hire additional support. It’s vital that you can delegate to others and collaborate effectively, freeing up your time to focus on business-critical tasks.

  6. Decisiveness
    To find success, you need to be able to make decisions quickly. Changing your mind several times can have adverse effects, while procrastination can cause you to miss out on opportunities or result in your business standing still.

  7. Risk-taker
    Most entrepreneurs have taken some risks to get where they are today. This doesn’t mean making snap decisions or taking opportunities blindly. But you need to be comfortable with taking calculated risks, to move your business forward.

  8. Passion
    It’s vital that you’re passionate about your business and believe in what you’re selling. This will help drive you forward when there are challenges, or your motivation is waning.

  9. Self-learner
    A love of learning is essential as you always want to be looking for ways to develop your business and improve. Even entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson finds time in his busy schedule to read, to help grow as a businessperson.

  10. Business skills
    While the above entrepreneurial characteristics are important, it’s also invaluable to have a good understanding of business fundamentals, such as business finances, marketing and customer service.

How can you become an entrepreneur?

If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, consider developing your business skills. BSB42615 Certificate IV in New Small Business from Open Colleges has been established to help aspiring business owners, like you. You’ll learn how to create a business plan, establish business relationships, negotiate contracts, provide excellent customer service, plan small business finances, market your business, monitor business performance and much more.

Now you have the essential business skills, you’re ready to start your own small business. Good luck!

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