The 4 Best Characteristics a Business Owner Should Have
While just about anyone can dream about starting a business, not everyone does so successfully. In fact, while about 80 percent of businesses survive their first year, half fold after five years, and only 33 percent survive to see ten years. The high percentage rate of failed businesses is due to several factors, but some businesses fail because the owners lack the characteristics needed to succeed. We explore some of those characteristics here, to help you decide whether you should attempt to run your own business.
1. You Are a Risk Taker
Business, by nature, is risky. There are no guarantees, especially as technology, markets, and the role of the customer evolve. Many new business owners leave lucrative positions, make financial sacrifices, and put everything on the line to get off the ground. You have to be willing to put your security, relationships, and pride on the line when you venture into business ownership.
Still not convinced that you need to be willing to take risks when you start a business? The Houston Chronicle highlights the most common risks you will have to be willing to take:
● Financial risk - You will have to invest some of your own money and other people's.
● Legal risk - The rules and regulations regarding business change rapidly, and it's your responsibility to stay on top of them.
● Personal risk - There are no guarantees that you will hire the right people, that you will be a capable leader, or that your relationships and mental health can withstand the stress of starting a new business.
● Market risk - Your business plan is not a guarantee of consumer interest, and markets change all the time.
2. You Have Tenacity
Many characteristics of successful business owners are traits that exasperated their parents and teachers when they were young. Thankfully, those characteristics that tend to be challenging in childhood help you remain strong in adulthood. For example, to succeed in business, you must have spunk, determination, stubbornness, and tenacity.
Why do you need to be tenacious when you decide to go into business for yourself? At times, it will seem as though the world is against you, and you will have to buckle down, keep your eye on the prize, and make it through if you want to be one of the few that remains in business at the five- and ten-year marks. As Freedom Fast Lane puts it, you have to be more than persistent to succeed; you must be tenacious so you don't stop when things are just good enough.
3. You Can Adapt
One reason that people want to go into business for themselves is that things never get stale. Indeed, each day brings new challenges and opportunities when you are a business owner, so you need to be adaptable. Responding to change is a must, as markets, technology, and customer needs change. You must be flexible and prepared to handle whatever business throws your way if you hope to succeed.
Adaptable people also are better leaders. You don't get bogged down when change occurs, but you see it as an opportunity and capitalize on it. You lead by example and show that you can make decisions no matter the situation.
4. You Are a Problem Solver
Starting a business is, in itself, solving a problem. Businesses only succeed when they address a need, so starting a business begins with solving a problem. As a business owner, you need to continue to find ways to address problems and solve them cost-effectively. You also will need to solve challenges caused by vendors, regulations and requirements, employees, and customers.
To be the best problem solver you can be, you should define the problem, consider it from every angle, select the best solution, delegate to solve it, and evaluate your success in doing so.
If starting a lasting business were easy, everyone would do it. The best way to become a successful business owner is to take stock of your personal traits and determine if you have what it takes. At the very least, you should be a risk taker, tenacious, adaptable, and a problem solver.