Test yourself: Do You Have What It Takes to be a Successful Business Owner?

April 16th 2014 | Small Business Tips

You have a great business idea. You even have a clearly laid-out business and financial plan.  This new business of yours cannot possibly fail.

But wait. Have you ever considered that the weakest link on your plan might actually be YOU?

No less important than great business ideas are the actual people who bring these ideas to life.  In fact, your personality plays a huge role in determining whether your business will stand on its own feet or crash.

But what are the qualities that distinguish great business owners from other people?

Let’s track the anatomy of great business owners:

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What Makes a Winning Business Owner?

Decisiveness: Demonstrating a strong sense of leadership is important even in very small teams. Business owners need to be able to show they’re capable of making hard decisions on a daily basis. Listening to advice and keeping an open mind is great, but at the end of the day, it’s your decisions as a business owner that will set the agenda.

Creativity: In the professional world, visionaries are not naive. They are innovative thinkers who have the ability to think outside the box and see solutions that other people can’t. Creative intuition is essential in establishing the foundations of a successful business – great ideas and unique solutions that are packaged and branded in a smart way.

Boldness: You have to be a bit of a risk-taker to even think about starting a small business. If you always play it safe you will miss out on opportunities to grow and excel. Remember that boldness is not identical with foolhardiness. As a business owner, you are expected to think things through and take calculated risks.

Excitement: If you’re not excited about your business, don’t expect anyone else to be. Running a business is a challenging task that can easily wear you down if you don’t keep energy levels high and stay focused on your goals.

Resourcefulness: Nothing in life and in business ever goes exactly according to plan. Thinking fast and reacting to unpredictable situations are quintessential for a smooth business operation. Don’t expect to know everything in advance, but be prepared to improvise when you have to.

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Honesty: Be honest with your customers, with your vendors, with your employees, and also – be honest with yourself. Don’t set goals and deadlines that are not really attainable, and don’t bother selling clients and partners a product that you can’t provide. The better way to approach branding and marketing is to decide what your business CAN do and then do it the best way you can.

Sociability: You don’t need to be a slick talker or everyone’s best friend to run a business successfully, but you do need to have a developed sense of how to communicate with people. As a business owner, you will find yourself in contact with a large variety of people, and you want them all to think highly of you as a professional and as an approachable person.

Dedication: Running a business is not a task that can be done halfway. Be ready to devote significant amounts of time and effort into keeping the operation running. Try to optimize your schedule in a way that will not interfere with your work-life balance, but make sure you stay focused on achieving daily, weekly and monthly tasks you set for yourself.

Thinking Ahead: Business owners don’t have the luxury of living entirely in the moment. One part of you always needs to be preparing and planning for future scenarios. You know how a good driver is the one who keeps their eyes on the road ahead? That’s how you need to think of your business model.

Flexibility: When all is said and done, you will find yourself occasionally facing a situation that requires practical thinking, and in these situations you need to be able to show pragmatism. You won’t be doing your business any favors if you stick to original plans that don’t correspond to reality. When interacting with clients, contractors, potential partners and so on, you will be more appreciated if you demonstrate flexibility than if you stubbornly try to prove a point.

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