by Don on March 1, 2013
Today, the term “entrepreneur” is tossed around loosely. The official meaning has to do with a person who develops and operates a business. In addition, someone who is a true entrepreneur has the responsibility of coming up with capital to launch and run the company. Even though there is a distinct description and specific qualifying criteria, millions of people across the country promote themselves as entrepreneurs when in fact, they are not.
Having the title of “entrepreneur” is honorable and something that a person works very hard to achieve. This type of individual is hard-working, dedicated, determined, focused, and relentless. In fact, these are the very reasons that so many achieve the ultimate goal of success. In comparison, someone with a dream but no execution or who moves from one idea to another does not qualify as an entrepreneur nor become successful.
Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur
Regardless of the industry, product, or service, genuine entrepreneurs often share many of the same characteristics. Although a few have been mentioned, we wanted to provide a more comprehensive list. Remember, not possessing all of these traits does not automatically disqualify someone just as possessing them does not equate to success however, this list is a good representation of the type of people who generally have an entrepreneurial spirit.
- Enjoyment – There is definitely a sense of enjoyment in the type of work being performed and the overall business itself
- Serious-Minded – Someone who develops and/or operates a business is and serious-minded and determined to succeed
- Focus – Sights are set on the benefits and rewards of the work but this person would also have a grip on the demands and challenges involved
- Determination – An entrepreneur recognizes and accepts that to take a business from conception to reality requires long hours and a tremendous amount of work
- Planning – Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit is also an excellent planner, putting ideas, plans, and actions into a well-written business plan during the startup but also once operations are underway
- Financial Management – An individual must have good financial sense and the ability to properly manage money. Often, for entrepreneurs, capital comes from a bank loan. credit cards, such as American Express or financial investors, therefore, someone in this position must be able to make sound decisions, follow a budget, and stay in control over all financial matters.
- Advertising and Marketing – Advertising and marketing strategies must be carefully chosen according to the type of business but also goal. For instance, if someone opened a brick and mortar business, efforts might consist of handing out fliers or going on local radio whereas for an online business, advertising and marketing would entail a professionally designed website, great content, guides and surveys and implementation of the right SEO techniques.
- Customer Oriented – A common misconception about entrepreneurs is that they are self-motivated, meaning they focus solely on what they will get out of the business. In truth, success comes from being customer oriented and having a viable interest in customer satisfaction. For this reason, this person understands the value of the customer and is willing to do whatever it takes build and maintain a connection.
- Promotion – The importance of self-promotion is also understood. In addition to more professional advertising and marketing strategies, there is always going to be promotional opportunities such as handing out business cards, attending trade shows, seminars, or conferences, or even volunteering for something that would put light on the business.
- Image – In order for the efforts of an entrepreneur to be taken seriously, by other businesses, customers, and the public, this individual must be portrayed as a true professional. This means dressing and behaving in a professional manner even when not working, but also being careful about people that are being hung out with and places visited. The goal is to be the best representation for the business possible, anytime and everywhere.
- Networking – Networking is critical, which would involve making every effort possible to get to know both potential and existing customers. Obviously, it takes time to learn about family members, hobbies, and other personal information but the effort would pay off since even small tidbits would leave a lasting impression.
- Technology – For any type of entrepreneurial endeavor, technology is critical to success. Even though someone would likely be challenged due to funding, at least initially it would be essential to understand the value of using certain technology to get and keep the business running.
- Expertise – Something else that sets a genuine entrepreneur apart from a “wannabe” is doing everything it takes to become an expert. Therefore, no matter the industry, product, or service, the individual would have all the right answers. The more knowledgeable someone becomes in their field the more chance there is for success.
There are many other characteristics that entrepreneurs possess not found in non-entrepreneurs. Starting a business of any kind or on any level is challenging. Because there will be many obstacles to overcome throughout the process, an ordinary person would have a very difficult time.
Remember, just because someone wants to start a company and succeed or has already developed a business does not mean that person is an entrepreneur. In addition to the three “D’s”, being desire, determination, and dedication, the term “entrepreneur” is about spirit, heart, compassion, and 100% belief in the business.
About the Author
Take a look at the top transfer deals for 2013 Don has a heart for ambitious entrepreneurs and small business owners. Don Miller is the VP of Marketing and Consumer Advocacy at CreditCardForum.com