I am often asked these questions by aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business: What do I need to do to be successful? Where can I receive help? What resources are there? Who can guide me?
Time after time, I hear similar thoughts from hundreds of individuals with the desire to launch a business. Just this morning, I received a call from a fellow who needs help. I am by no means the only mentor in town who might be willing to answer business questions. There are literally scores of successful business owners who could teach the right principles. But before you begin the daunting task of launching your own business, take the time to determine if you have the natural ability, interest and drive to become a winning entrepreneur.
Before launching your venture, learn these 12 key characteristics of wildly successful entrepreneurs:
All successful entrepreneurs have an idea they want to pursue. They see an opportunity to solve a consumer or business need. Do you have a dream? Having a dream is the key. It’s the starting point. It’s a seed that, if planted, watered, nurtured and cultivated, has a wonderful chance to grow. Do you have that new product in mind? Are you ready to go? Then I say: full speed ahead. Go for it now! Don’t wait.
Winners understand and take the measured risks associated with launching a business that may include loss of money, possible failure and health risks. Even with a great product idea that has gained traction with customers, founders face stunning and daunting challenges. Entrepreneurs who are successful have taken significant personal risks to start and grow their businesses. Prior to moving forward, they should have considered, weighed and evaluated each major risk, and recognized the potential consequences of their decisions.
Those who start and grow a business will give up many personal benefits to be successful. Sacrifice will include time, relationships and other opportunities. What are you ready and willing to relinquish? If you have the drive (and support from family) you can become one of the many winners.
Great entrepreneurs never give up. They never stop trying. They somehow overcome every barrier and climb over and around all obstacles. Nothing gets in their way to achieve utopia. This unflagging attribute is a key characteristic of triumphant business leaders.
Successful entrepreneurs know the needs of their customers. They know everything about them. They know what they want, when, where and at what price. Have you done your homework? Those who constantly seek customer perspectives are setting their business up for great achievements.
Winners know how to sell their products or services. They understand the customers’ satisfaction level with the current competitive offering, the price paid for the product, where it was purchased and details regarding product features, warranties and support. They know how to find, engage and close a sale from customers, over and over again.
Great entrepreneurs value their customers and go out of their way to take good care of them. These alert entrepreneurs work long hours to win their customers’ hearts and minds and labor every hour to retain and increase their buying activities. Without question, this attitude typifies the very best entrepreneurs.
Winners know how to find, select, hire, train, motivate, reward and retain great employees. They thoughtfully eliminate workers who don’t contribute. They elevate those who do and assemble the best team possible.
They also know how to keep employees happy and productive. Renowned business builders carefully watch over their employees like a shepherd over a beloved flock. They are kind, respectful, encouraging and highly supportive. This unique attribute is one of the powerful characteristics of award-winning entrepreneurs.
They know that shared values, philosophies and behaviors align and combine to determine the future success of an enterprise. They establish a positive culture that inspires and motivates workers.
They call upon individuals with experience, skills and a network to guide them.
They regularly communicate with employees, vendors, investors, suppliers and customers about what's happening in the business.
In my 40-plus years as an entrepreneur, I have enjoyed enormous success, and equally important, I’ve experienced failure. I have the scars on my back to prove it.
Launching a business takes guts. It takes focus, money, time and there is no guarantee. Are you ready to give up your financial security? Can you handle the stress? If risk leaves you fearful, this is not the path for you. Conversely, if you crave adventure and are the ultimate dreamer, you will find true happiness in taking this wild ride.
Do you have what it takes? You can reach me at @AskAlanEHall or via www.AlanEHall.com. As always, I welcome your thoughts.