Running a business can be challenging, especially in competitive markets. That said, it can also be immensely satisfying for the type of person. If you’re thinking about buying a business, it’s important to be realistic about not just the local market but also your abilities as a future business owner. Before reaching out to a business broker, read on to find out about the essential traits for successful business owners to see if entrepreneurship truly sounds like the right path.
1. A Strong Vision and the Ability to Help Others See It
Whether you plan to start your own company from scratch or purchase an existing one and help it thrive, a strong vision is essential for success. Successful business owners are able to anticipate not just the needs of their customers, although that is important, but also where the industry is going and how the company fits into that progress.
Having a strong vision isn’t enough. Turning it into a reality requires being able to convince a team of employees to follow it, so you’ll also need to be persuasive and willing to hustle from the very beginning. Think of it this way: if you’re not able to convince the staff that the company will succeed, how will you be able to convince enough consumers to buy products or schedule services?
2. A Willingness to Make Personal Sacrifices
Starting a business or taking an existing one and turning it into a fulfilling and profitable venture requires personal sacrifice. New business owners will need to devote a lot of time to learning relevant skills, networking, dealing with daily tasks, and putting out the occasional proverbial fire. Not everyone is willing to devote that kind of time to a project that isn’t guaranteed to succeed.
Business owners often find themselves in positions where they have to sacrifice more than just free time. Because running a business can be stressful, friendships and relationships might suffer. You might also have to turn down friends who want jobs but aren’t a good fit for the company or terminate people you like but don’t see having a future with the business.
3. The Ability to Tolerate Risk
Running any kind of business involves taking on some amount of risk and uncertainty. There’s never a guarantee that a new company will be able to get on its feet or that an existing one will continue to turn a profit. Business owners must be able to take on calculated risks and analyze business opportunities in terms of both potential losses and potential gains.
Just about everyone has heard the axiom, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It applies to all areas of life, but few more than entrepreneurship and investment. You need to be willing to accept that not every venture will pay off without becoming so risk tolerant that the potential for increasing profits completely outweighs reasonable hesitation.
4. A Love of Learning
Business owners don’t stop learning and growing once they’ve figured out how the market works and become comfortable with industry standards. The pace of change in the business world is incredibly fast, and often unpredictable. Product life cycles are short, marketing techniques that work fantastically well one year might yield few profits the next, and industry standards and regulations change all the time.
To succeed in the business world, you’ll have to constantly educate yourself about new products, the latest trends in your market, best practices for the industry, novel technologies that could streamline workflows, and more. If you don’t love learning and view it as a lifelong pursuit, what would otherwise feel like an opportunity to grow might start to feel like a burden over time, and stagnation could set in. When that happens, it’s just a matter of time before the company starts to fall behind its competitors.
5. Determination, Courage, and Will to Succeed
What some people view as stubbornness, others see as determination. In this case, success requires not just a will to succeed but the tenacity to hold onto an initial vision without allowing initial setbacks and failures to get in the way. Business owners must exercise perseverance and not get discouraged by the occasional failure.
If you’ve taken the advice that failures are opportunities to learn, that’s a great start. Maintaining a positive attitude and continuing to push for the company’s success can be hard in the face of setbacks like difficulty finding loans, attracting customers, or expanding to new markets. It will take some serious courage to succeed.
6. An Understanding of Yourself and Your Blind Spots
Everyone has certain areas of expertise in which they thrive. Similarly, all people, including successful business owners, have blind spots. Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to delegate tasks as necessary and focus on what you do best.
If you’re starting a new business or purchasing a startup, you might not be able to delegate effectively for a while. Focus on proving where your best talents lie and remember that it’s your strengths that will help you succeed, not your weaknesses.
7. A Sense of Integrity and Serious People Skills
Running a business requires some serious people skills. From networking with potential partners to managing staff and interfacing with customers or clients, a good business owner can do it all with a smile. Some people skills can be learned, but you should also have a natural aptitude for problem-solving and making connections.
It’s also important to keep in mind that business owners who find long-term success do so by building a reputation for integrity. A company that repeatedly fails to deliver on its promises or develops a reputation for engaging in corrupt behaviors is destined to fail eventually. You need to be the kind of person who prioritizes integrity and personal ethics over instant gratification.
Ready to Jump In?
If you’ve read through the seven traits above and feel that you have what it takes to run a business successfully, it’s time to take action. These are the essential traits for successful business owners. Reach out to a business broker who can help you find a company in whatever niche interests you the most.