Life as a small business owner has its ups and its downs. It is a chosen profession that can test even the smartest, hardest working, and most ambitious individuals. However, most small business owners would not have it any other way.
While there are probably dozens, if not hundreds of traits that define successful small business owners, I wanted to take a few moments to discuss a few that I have noticed over the past two plus decades.
They Select a Business That They Will Enjoy
One of the commonalities among successful small business owners is that most of them have chosen a business or industry that enjoy. They selected something that would inspire them to get out of bed every morning and embrace the challenges and opportunities of the day. If you are doing something, or thinking of doing something that you won’t enjoy, it will eventually catch up to you. Employees and customers can always tell if the owner of a business is happy or unhappy with what he or she is doing. It is reflected in their face and body language and how they treat everyone around them.
They Take Time to Plan for the Future
Another important trait of a successful small business owner is that they allocate time on a regular basis to plan for the future. Planning is vital to the success of any business. The planning process enables you to research, compile and analyze data, helping you make decisions based upon facts rather than opinion. In addition, planning also forces you to identify short-term and long-term goals. By executing your plan with the objective of achieving a specific set of goals, you are ensuring your business is always moving forward. Each set of goals builds upon the previous set.
They Take Their Business Seriously
Still another trait of successful small business owners is that they are serious about what they are doing. No one says you should not have fun. However, if you don’t take what you’re doing seriously, you may be vulnerable to complacency or take an easy way out that will lead to disappointment and failure.
They Manage Cash Flow Carefully
A fourth trait of successful small business owners is their ability to diligently manage their cash flow. Your business can succeed or fail based upon how you handle your cash. There are a lot of competing demands on your company’s checkbook, whether it is paying for services, purchasing inventory, promoting your business, paying for overhead expenses, repairing and updating equipment, or paying yourself (for once!). So, it is vitally important to manage your available funds well.
They Are Laser Focused on Their Customers
Finally, most successful small business owner know they must always treat their customer or clients well. Your business should be laser focused on meeting the needs of your customers or clients. It is your customers who will decide if your business makes it or not. All that you do in your business – from payment options, to hours of operation, to your promotional campaigns, to your customer service function – all should centered on making sure your customers happy and their needs have been satisfied. To be successful and productive, a good entrepreneur must know and understand their customers, completely!
What traits do you believe define a successful small business owner? There is really no right or wrong answer to the question, so I would love to hear your opinion!
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