What makes one entrepreneur a success and the other a failure? Some may say luck, others may cite market conditions, while still others may point to experience. While all three may contribute to entrepreneurial success, there are certain other attributes that today’s entrepreneurs must have. These attributes can spell the difference between achieving your dreams or seeing them fall on the waste heap of life.
1. Passion trumps nearly everything.
If you have a passion for what you want to do, you will cover a multitude of mistakes. Certainly, experience helps but if you have passion to follow your pursuits, then you’ll stay at it when things go wrong. And things will go wrong: a key employee will quit, a supplier may rip you off and your competitors will put on the big squeeze. Passion helps you get out of bed in the morning and stay at it until late at night.
2. The best team will uphold you.
Conversely, the worst team will undermine your business. Make each hire is a good one, looking for growth potential, ambition, camaraderie and business smarts. Your senior team — composed of your best managers — will be the extra set of eyes, hands and feet that you must have. You should endeavor to have people onboard that can manage the business when you are away (or not looking), entrusting them with your most prized asset — your business.
3. Become a money person.
How important is money when running a business? Well, money is nearly everything — if you do not have it, your business will suffer. It may be forced to close due to poor or miscalculated money decisions too. Hire the best accountant, a professional you can trust to tell you the truth, advise you on financial matters and keep your business running. Secure a line of credit as early in your ownership as possible. Stay on top of your receivables and negotiate with suppliers as if your business depends on it. Because it does.
4. Craft a smart business plan.
No lender will provide you with money apart from a business plan. That plan must look into the future, anticipating where your business will be in weeks, months, even years down the line. You should have a good grip on how your business should be doing and outline a strategy on how to get there. Supplement your business plan with action plans, the latter providing actionable steps for a variety of matters to include: hiring and training, sales and accounting.
5. Anticipate and have contingencies in place.
Your small business can be destroyed over night if your building burns down, an earthquake devastates your area or some other natural calamity strikes. You need to have a contingency plan in place, to anticipate every possible problem that may arise. Your untimely death can shut your business too — will a loved one or a business partner be able to take over?
Play to Win
Your winning attitude can go far to help your business succeed. You should play to win, looking for every opportunity to advance your business. Your customers are extremely important and should be treated with much care. Your marketing initiative must be above reproach, carefully targeting potential customers and new markets.
See Also — Establishing Your Market Objectives