25 Common Characteristics of Successful EntrepreneursWe all have our own definitions of success. However, what makes one a success story, depends largely on some common characteristics shared by those who have already made it big. Read through to find out what you might have missed.
1. Turn your passion into work.
As an entrepreneur, you should love what you do for a living. If you aren't passionate about it, you will not be willing enough to put in the hard work. Make sure your work gives you a sense of personal satisfaction.
2. Be serious about it.
Even though you enjoy your work, you can't let it be all about fun. Instead, be serious about it. If you aren't, you will get sidetracked and lose your motivation. Sometimes, it's easy to start doubting yourself when others don't take you seriously because you work from home. What they don't realise is that over the last few years, more and more people are working from home and earning substantially great incomes.
3. Have a plan for everything.
This is perhaps the most important thing you will need to do. Plan for every eventuality. Think ahead of time and get into a habit of doing things when they need to be done. Set your goals and work towards them, measuring your success on the way.
4. Handle your money well.
When you are working for yourself, you need to handle all aspects of your business, including money. You should be able to wisely distribute the cash flow by managing your earnings and expenses so that you are still earning enough yourself after paying for all the services and bills.
5. Make it sell.
Even though you might be looking to employ copywriters and PR specialists to sell your product/services, you should clearly remember that none of it matters if you don't actually make any sales. Even though they may be perfectly targeted and loaded with cheeky wits, make sure you don't miss out on asking people to buy your products/services.
6. Customer is always the King.
This age old proverb holds true for any business. Always remember that it's all about your customers. They hold the rights to decide whether your business will be a success or flop. Pay special attention to what you do – policies, operating hours, warranties, payment options, etc. and keep it all customer oriented to reap the rewards.
7. Hard sell yourself.
Make noise, be shameless in how you promote yourself and let your prospects notice! If you want to wait for the time that people would eventually notice you through word of mouth alone, you are sadly mistaken. You will need to take the initiative and let everyone know about what you have to offer.
8. Radiate professionalism.
As an entrepreneur, it's especially important that you reflect a positive, professional image of you and your business. Even though you might be working from the confines of your home, you should always create and maintain a true professional image to attract interest of prospective clients.
9. Understand your customers.
You are different from those who work from big offices. You are able to connect with your customers directly! This goes a great way in understanding them and forging bonds which will get you repeat business and ultimately help your own business grow.
10. Make your online identity count.
Nobody knows you are working from your home, and nobody needs to know it too. Make your online identity stand out, take advantage of the available technology and stand out from the rest by showcasing your superiority through your website design and online presence. Remember, you may not need to know every bit of everything new in technology, but should know enough to help your business grow.
11. Build your core team.
Any business in order to grow, needs a well established core team where everyone knows their job. Everyone who works with you, should be as committed to the business as you are. Choose your team wisely and don't forget to value your clients' opinions in the decision making.
12. Be good at what you do. Level: Expert!
Build your reputation not as someone who also does , but as someone who is the expert at it! If you are regarded as an expert in your field, you will get more customers coming in, looking precisely for your expertise.
13. Have a distinct competitive advantage.
Every business needs to have that one unique selling proposition (USP), which makes them distinct not only from other businesses, but also in the eyes of their particular target audience. Ensure that your proposition is something that will interest your customers directly – be it longer working hours or lowest prices! Think carefully.
14. Be a good read.
It's no hidden truth that all big entrepreneurs love reading. You too, need to read around your business and be well informed with all the latest developments that might factor in its growth. Take time out of your schedule to attend events, meetings, seminars, etc. that will give you more insight into the way things should be done to be successful in your field. It will help you grow into the expert authority you aim to be.
15. Make yourself available.
In this day and age, you need to be on call whenever your customers most need you. You would need to make it convenient for them to do business with you. Remember that 24hr food delivery service which is the only place you can turn to when you are home after midnight?
16. Earn your name.
You will need to earn your name in the market. Build on your own reputation slowly by honouring your words. Once your customers know they can trust you, they will be much more willing to trust you with their assets.
17. Emphasise on benefits when selling.
Distinguish yourself from those who focus on features by advocating benefits that come with using your products/services. It will be the only connect you will need with your audience that will always work. Use this approach in every which way you advertise for your products; newsletter, websites, posters, etc.
18. Associate yourself with all that's good.
Right from making correct business decisions to looking after your employees properly, everything you do will get noticed. It's always a good idea to associate yourself with some charity or club working for the community, someone that has the same values and principles as your business. You can advocate their cause to earn the respect of your customers.
19. Make your money count.
It's very hard for small business owners to invest in a long term promotional marketing plan. Instead, you should focus your energies on short engagement activities that will earn you back every last penny you spend to catch eye-balls!
20. Keep your negotiating skills well polished.
Not everyone is born with the art of negotiating, but you can surely better it with experience. Master this art and it would be your best ally in making your business a success. As an entrepreneur, you would need to call on this skill for use in dealing with almost everybody involved on your projects, right from dealers and suppliers to your customers!
21. Tailor your workspace.
Optimise your work area to maximise your own productivity. Ensure that it is cut off from the rest of the house so you are not disturbed by family and friends. Adhere to your tasks at hand and keep the place as professional as you could, as you might even need to meet clients here.
22. Build your routine.
If you think you can work any time when you are working from home, you are mistaken. Thoughts like these will only curb your productivity. Just like going to work is important for those who work in offices, going there on time is equally important too. Working from home, you should remember to build a routine for yourself that you can follow everyday.
23. Reserve some personal time.
It can be easy to be tempted to work as many hours as you can to make more money. However, just like any office, you too need to set aside some personal time that you can use to relax and unwind. Set aside your breaks, set your working hours and also days off when you would not work.
24. Only eat as much as you can chew.
You'll need to agree that a big juicy pie will always be there to entice you. However, if you are going to take a bite larger than you can chew, you're going to choke on it. So, only take on work that you can handle, and finish in time. If you need the help of others, don't be afraid to delegate work. Remember that the only important thing which matters is your word to the client.
25. Ask for feedback.
Once you have sold your product or service, it is important to follow-up on it. Ask your customers for feedback every time you make a sale. It will not only ensure a quality check on your work, but will also provide your customers with an assurance that you only stand for quality in work. It will help you build a better relationship with your customers, making them return to you with new assignments again and again.
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