When it comes to successful entrepreneurs, there is no ‘one size fits all’ mould. However, there are without a doubt several key traits that correlate with all round business success.
Through years of working with hundreds of business owners, Matt Perry, Managing Partner at Haines Watts London, has identified some key characteristics he feels are most associated with success and the ones which every aspiring entrepreneur should aim to champion.
Single-mindedness, focus and dedication
More so than any other personality traits, this trio is the most important. I’ve grouped these three traits together since not only do their attributes crossover significantly, they’re also completely integral to each other.
A business owner can be single-minded with their goals, but if they’re not dedicated enough, then it’s unlikely they’ll ever reach them. Running a business is tough, time consuming and more often than not, one will be overcome with feelings of doubt.
A business owner must keep themselves focused on their business plan and be determined to put in the hard work, each and every day. The owners that showcase this attitude in a relentless, consistent manner, are the ones I witness being most successful.
The road to a successful business can be a rocky one, so having the mental resilience to ride out the tough times is an important attribute to have.
Have no doubt, there will be failures along the way, as well as times when you might feel out of your depth. Without overcoming these obstacles, it can be hard to succeed. The greatest teacher is failure itself. Embrace it, learn from it and move on.
Being able to see the bigger picture
This means taking the time out to work ON the business, and not IN the business. Business owners that are too bogged down in the daily minutiae are at risk of missing bigger issues that may not be immediately obvious. These could be detrimental if not addressed early enough.
Foreseeing future cash flow problems, long term staff planning and regular strategy sessions are prime examples of this.
Not being afraid to take advice
Entrepreneurs who work with business coaches can benefit massively from the accountability it provides you with, as well as support and advice on being an effective leader.
Not being afraid to seek guidance from those who have been through the business owner journey is key to success. It goes against the business owner grain to ask for help, but it can provide you with a completely different perspective which is likely to lead to quickly solving issues you may have grappled with yourself for months.
Knowing how to delegate
This is one of the biggest challenges for many entrepreneurs as they grow. Knowing where their direct input is truly still needed and thus making efficient use of their time.
No business owner can do everything, so it’s vital to identify what exactly requires your time and hire the right people to do the rest. The final part of this is trusting those people to get the job done!
In business as in life, things don’t always turn out exactly as we expect them to. For this reason it is important to have a degree of flexibility which allows you to reassess situations, and take action accordingly.
There is a fine balance between staying focused on your objectives and sticking to a plan, whilst also allowing for adaptation along the way. I’ve seen businesses rocked by sudden changes and the owners who were able to quickly adapt were the ones that came out on top.
Every now and then you will have to roll the dice – after all, isn’t starting your own business taking a risk in the first place?
Whether it’s employing staff, making a new investment or entering new markets – none of us can predict the future, but it is important for the successful business owner to gamble at the right time.
Read about the secret life of business owners here.
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