Successful small business owners tend to have certain things in common. In other words, there are certain qualities that you tend to find in almost all successful small business owners. These qualities are essential for success in launching and running a small business. And you are unlikely to succeed as a small business owner if you don’t have these qualities. Therefore, if you don’t have these qualities naturally, you need to find ways of acquiring them [yes, they can be acquired] in order to succeed in your small business ventures.
When we take a close look at successful small business owners, we tend to find that (among other things):
1. They are action-oriented individuals
In other words, they are doers, rather than (over) thinkers. Once they have made what they view as a good decision, they start acting on it immediately – as opposed to wasting time on pointless analysis. So they try to avoid analysis paralysis, which is what keeps the majority of the population from being successful in business. They are pragmatic folks. The successful business owners know that when all is said done, what matters is what one does: the action bit. One gets rewarded for the ideas that he or she actually implements, not for the ones that he or she keeps ruminating on for years. They are also aware that in most cases, it is better to do something imperfectly, than not to do it at all. Closely related to that is the fact that the successful small business owners tend to be folks who are capable of following things through to completion. They complete what they start, and don’t allow themselves to lose heart midway.
2. They are (reasonably) frugal
This is to say that the successful small business owners tend to be individuals who know how to stretch/save money. This is usually how they are able, in the first place, to put together enough money with which to start their enterprises. And this is also how, once the businesses are launched, they are able to desist from using the business money for personal expenses. But their frugality is reasonable and within limits. They don’t go to the extreme of being so miserly with money as to compromise their business’ standards.
3. They are (reasonably) optimistic
It is through this optimism that they are able to launch their small businesses, in spite of the obstacles that are always in place. It is also through this optimism that they are able to keep their small businesses running, in spite of the challenges they encounter on a day to day basis. It is hard for non-entrepreneurs to understand, but the reality is that one needs to have a very high level of optimism to launch any type of business. That is because there are always so many things that could go horribly wrong in any line of business. It takes an even higher level of optimism to keep a business running. This is because the dynamic environment that businesses operate in means that all manner of disheartening challenges keep on cropping up… So it takes optimism to reassure oneself — and actually believe — that ‘tomorrow will be better’ on a day to day basis… But the successful small business owners’ optimism tends to be of the reasonable, pragmatic variety. They are able to see the positives and the negatives in every situation. Then they are able to focus on the positives in situations where that is truly the sensible approach to take.
4. They are (healthy) risk takers
Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks. Successful business owners are the ones who are able to take the risks involved in launching their enterprises — in spite of them knowing that all the money they invest in the business could sink completely. Further, successful small business owners are the ones who are able to take day to day risks in keeping their businesses running, in spite of them knowing that the enterprises they are working so hard to build could go bust within a single day. The successful business owners usually choose to focus on the benefits (profits) they stand to earn, after enduring the risks. This analysis tends to reveal that the benefits they stand to earn outweigh the risks – and it is this perspective that keeps them going in their enterprises. But they try to be sensible and ensure that they don’t put their money where it is certainly bound to burn. So you find that they are risk takers, yes, but their love of risk is healthy: unlike, say, that which you find in gamblers.The successful small business owners also take steps to mitigate the risks in their enterprises. On the other hand, people who are completely averse to risk find that they are unable to succeed in businesses. So they opt to invest their money in other ventures: where the returns on investment tend to be minuscule (and often unable to keep up with the inflation rate). Others do worse: they simply opt to waste the money they would have invested in small businesses – meaning that they get absolutely no return on it. All that on account of having too much fear of risk.
5. They are resilient
This is to say that the successful small business owners are able to pick themselves up, after falling, and get themselves running again. You will typically find that the person who is a successful small business owner today is an individual who had previously tried his or her hand at several other enterprises. And failed. Before finally finding sweet success… People who lack resilience give up when they encounter failure in their first business enterprise and never try again. Which means that they never get a chance to grow into successful entrepreneurs. Furthermore, even in their apparently profitable enterprises, the successful small business owners still keep on encountering setbacks on a day to day basis. Yet they keep on going, in spite of those setbacks. On the other hand, people who lack resilience are unable to get themselves going after suffering setbacks — even relatively minor ones. That is why they never grow into successful business owners.
6. They know what and how to delegate
The successful small business owners are humble enough to accept that that they can’t possibly do everything by themselves. So they know how to delegate all the tasks that are capable of being delegated: in order to focus on the few critical tasks that are incapable of being delegated. On the other hand, you have individuals who believe that only they can do all things correctly (typically because of their inbuilt perfectionism). And in their attempt to maintain an ‘hands-on’ approach to everything in their businesses, they end up stalling their growth. Consequently, they are unable to grow into successful business owners — more so because the endeavor to do everything by themselves soon starts taking a toll on them.
7. They have good work ethics
The successful small business owners tend to be individuals who are willing to put in the necessary hours to get their businesses to succeed. In other words, they tend to be individuals who are not lazy. Laziness and small business success are simply incompatible. Whereas the successful small business owners know how to delegate (see quality 6 above) they don’t take it as a license for themselves to be lazy. After delegating low-value tasks, they are constantly trying to find high-value tasks they can perform within their businesses, in order to get the enterprises to succeed.