Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

What Characteristics set Entrepreneurs apart from Everybody Else?

Confidence-Confidence is one of the most essential characteristics of an entrepreneur. You must be confident in your business idea. If you don’t believe in your business nobody else will. Doing the proper research and planning when starting a business can help reassure you about your business idea.

Determination– An entrepreneur must be determined to succeed. Expect to face obstacles. Starting a small business is no easy task but it can prove to be worthwhile if it becomes successful.

Persistence– Persistence is a valuable characteristic of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs will have to face obstacles and struggles when starting and running a business but they must be able to persist through the through the rough times.

Goal-oriented– Entrepreneurs know what they want, and they are determined to achieve it. To an entrepreneur obstacles are merely challenges to overcome.

Problem solver– An entrepreneur will face many problems when starting and running a business. They must remain calm and not be afraid of making decisions. They will have to deal with problems big and small and may be pressured to make quick decisions.

Leader– An entrepreneur prefers to be the one directing rather than the one taking orders. Entrepreneurs take on more control but along with that comes more responsibility. You must be able to take full responsibility for your actions.

Creativity– Creativity can be a useful characteristic for an entrepreneur. Creative entrepreneurs think of new ways to advertise their business.

Entrepreneur Profile Assessment

An entrepreneur profile assessment helps you asses all the roles of an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur takes on many different roles when starting a small business. They have to manage money, manage employees, plan their business, ensure they are complying with laws, keep up with changing markets and more. One reason small businesses often fail is because the owner lacked the necessary skills. Assessing your strengths and weaknesses as an entrepreneur can help you determine which areas you need help in. Luckily for us we live in an age where if we lack certain skills we have the option to learn it or pay someone else to do it. When debating whether to hire someone to perform the task or to learn the task and do it yourself, keep in mind learning a new skill takes time and effort. Sometimes its better to stick with what you are good at and what you enjoy doing.

Assessing your strengths and weaknesses

As an entrepreneur you should be able to determine what areas are your strong points and what areas you need help with. It is a good idea to get other peoples’ perspectives as well. Ask friends and family what they think your weakness and strengths are. They may see something in you that you don’t. Below is an Entrepreneur Profile Assessment that will help you asses what areas in your business you may need help with.

Customer Service
Are you a people person? Are you able to negotiate a sale? Do you like helping people? Can you keep your calm when dealing with customer complaints? Whether it’s dealing with customers or suppliers a good entrepreneur should be able to work with all personality types.
Is this your Weakness?It is important to keep good relationships with your customers because if it weren’t for them your small business would fail. If you lack people skills you can choose to hire an employee to handle the customer service. You can also take classes to improve in this area.
Budgeting
Are you able to effectively manage your small business budget? With limited funds and various business expenses being able to work with a budget will help prevent overspending.
Is this your Weakness?If you lack skills in budgeting and money management consider hiring a financial planner.
Marketing
Can you utilize a marketing strategy that will bring profits to your Small business? Can you keep up with the competition and changing markets?
Is this your Weakness?Planning a successful advertising campaign can bring in a high quantity of customers to your business. If you lack marketing skills consider hiring a small business marketing expert. You can also get valuable advice from small business experts at a small business development center or SCORES center near you. Read Small Business Marketing Strategy for marketing tips.
Management
Can you effectively hire and manage employees? Are you able to motivate employees and delegate tasks?
Is this your Weakness?If you lack management skills you should consider hiring a manager or taking a class to improve in this area. Read hiring employees and managing employees for tips.
Accounting
Financial Statements, taxes and bookkeeping are all responsibilities of the entrepreneur. If you lack accounting skills consider hiring an accountant.
Is this your Weakness?When running a small business you will be dealing with lots of numbers. If you lack accounting skills consider hiring an accountant. You can also purchase small business accounting software to help you in this area.
Market Researcher
Can you conduct market research to find out if there is enough demand for your small business idea? Can you research trends?
Is this your Weakness?Researching information takes time and effort however it can make all the difference to the success of your small business. Market research will provide you with valuable information about your potential and current customers and their wants and needs. If you lack skills in this area consider hiring a market research firm or take a market research class where you will learn about different research techniques to effectively collect data. If you are able to find a college near you that has available a market research class try asking the professor if he/she are looking for any projects for the students. Students are eager to earn credit for their class, and can perform the market research for you. Read the Market Research page for tips.
Motivated and Confident
You must be motivated and confident about your small business idea. If you are doing something you love that will help motivate you. You must be able to cope with stress. In the majority of small business success stories the owner had no doubt they would succeed. You must be able to bounce back from rejection.
Is this your Weakness?If you are not motivated and confident about your small business idea than you should hold off starting a small business at this time. Starting and running a small business is an emotional roller coaster ride. The work hours are long and often stressful. You must be persistent, dedicated, and confident in your business. If you don’t believe you can do anything you set your mind to figure out what is standing in your way and how you can fix it. You must eliminate any doubts you have in yourself, and your abilities.
Business Experience
Have you worked in a small business before? Are you prepared for the obstacles you may face?
Is this your Weakness?If you lack experience in the field of your business you can get a job in an existing business to gain experience. For example if you are opening a restaurant you should get a job in an established successful restaurant where you can learn the ins and outs of this business. When raising funds for your small business investors are reluctant on lending money to inexperienced entrepreneurs so gaining experience in a business will be helpful. An alternative is hiring a manager or partner who has experience and knowledge in your type of business. You can also get advice from small business professionals at a small business development center or SCORES center near you.
Comply with the Law
Are you able to get the permits and license you need for your small business? Are you able to choose a form of business ownership on your own?
Is this your Weakness?You can consider seeking services from an attorney who specializes in small businesses to ensure you are in compliance with the law. An attorney can help you decide on a form of business ownership as well. An alternative is going to town hall in your area and asking them what licenses and permits you need to operate your small business legally. You can also call local and state government offices to find out this information. You may also consider getting advice from small business professionals at a small business development center or SCORES center near you.
Time Management
Are you able to effectively manage your time? Are you a procrastinator? Are you able to meet deadlines? Being able to effectively mange your time will help you better manage your small business. Many entrepreneurs find that running a small business involves performing 10 days of work in 7 days.
Is this your Weakness?If time management is your weakness consider hiring an employee who can help you in this area. You can also develop a schedule to keep you on track to what needs to be accomplished. You can also read books on time management or take a time management class.

Starting a Business Advice

Preparing for a Small Business

Below you will find starting a business advice and tips that will help you prepare for your small business venture.

1.)Should you quit your job?– If you can start a small business while keeping your job even part-time, the extra money will help you greatly. Keep in mind small businesses can take months or even years to start making profits. If you decide to devote to your small business full time be sure to have enough money saved up.

2.)Budgeting Living Expenses– Determine how much money you need to live on for the 1st year of your small business venture. You should have enough money to support you and your family during that time. If you have a partner such as a wife or husband that can take care of the expenses while you launch your small business that can be very helpful.

3.)Estimate the expenses of starting a small business– Usually costs of starting and running a small business turn out to be more than expected. One major reason why small businesses fail is because the owner did not have enough funds. That is why it is a good idea to have more money than you think you’ll need. Create a small business budget which includes all the expenses of your small business. In your budget you can include costs of insurance, equipment installation, location, employees, licenses, permits, remodeling, marketing, website development, repairs, unexpected costs and more. This can help you estimate the costs of starting a small business. Learn about different ways of raising capital for your small business.

4.)Get experience– Once you decide on a small business idea, research that business industry. If it is an area in which you have no prior experience consider getting a job where you can gain experience. For example if you are planning on opening a restaurant, it would be a good idea to get a job in a restaurant first. This way you can gain valuable knowledge and insight about the restaurant business. You can use this experience as an opportunity to uncover the restaurant’s strengths and weaknesses, and how your restaurant can be better. Be sure to seek successful businesses to work in. You can learn a lot about a business even in the low level positions. In fact many entrepreneurs get their start that way.

5.)Consult with experts– During the process of starting a small business it is a good idea to seek advice from experts. Don’t underestimate the value of information from professionals who have useful business knowledge and experience. You can find experts at little to no cost at a small business development center near you. You can also consult with experts at a SCOREs Chapter near you. It is a good idea to seek the following experts to consult with frequently as well.

  • Attorney– Make sure the attorney has experience working with small businesses. You can ask a small business owner to recommend a good attorney. An attorney can help you choose from the forms of business ownership and ensure you have the required permits and business license. They can also ensure that your small business is in compliance with the laws. When hiring employees they can help you form an employee contract.
  • Accountant– An accountant can help you form a book-keeping system, produce financial statements and help you do your taxes.
  • Banker– A banker can issue you a small business loan or recommend other ways to raise capital for your small business.
  • Insurance Agent– A good insurance policy can protect you and your business in the case of an unwanted event. If you hire employees you are required to have workers compensation insurance. Be sure you are in compliance with your state’s insurance policy.

6.)Perform an entrepreneur profile self assessment– find out which entrepreneurial tasks you are good at and which ones you need help with. Once you have accessed your strengths and weaknesses you can then decide if you want to hire a professional to do the tasks you need help with, or learn the task and do it yourself. Often times it will save you time and money if you hire an expert to do the job than it would for you to learn it and do it yourself.

7.)Find a Mentor– Ask people who run similar businesses as yours for advice. Many small business owners will happily offer their advice, however some business owners will get offended if they find out their competition is trying to get advice from them. In order to avoid your competition you can ask business owners in neighboring areas. If you are able to find a small business owner who is willing to give you advice be sure to ask these questions. Find out what were the biggest problems they faced when starting their business. How did they overcome those problems? Business association meetings and local Chamber of Commerce can provide you with the opportunity to meet other business owners.

8.)Have a supportive team– Starting a small business is an emotional roller coaster ride. You may be happy one day because your small business is gaining profits and then hopeless the next day because you found out you have to spend thousands on replacing broken equipment. This is why it is important for an entrepreneur to be able to handle stress. Having encouraging friends and family can help you through the rough stressful times. A supportive spouse can help motivate you when you become discouraged. Surround yourself with people who share your same vision and dream for your small business. However if your friends and family don’t support your business idea don’t worry. There are many successful entrepreneurs who became successful despite the non-support of thier friends and family such as Bill Gates. You just have to be that much more determined and confident in your business idea.