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What It Takes To Be A Successful Small Business Owner

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 6/5/2014

Do you have the right stuff to succeed as a small business owner? New Gallup study shows the top 10 characteristics shared by successful entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurism isn't for everyone. The risks and rewards for entrepreneurs can be great. But the sacrifices entrepreneurism requires can be daunting--even for seasoned business professionals who decide to strike out on their own after a successful career as a salaried employee.

Why Are Entrepreneurs Successful

Ultimately, there are many different variables that will impact your success as a small business owner. But a recent Forbes report sheds light on the traits that can improve the odds of success. Citing a Gallup study of 1,000 entrepreneurs, Forbes identified 10 characteristics that the most successful entrepreneurs seem to share:

  • Business Focus -- focusing on profit potential
  • Confidence -- knowing your own abilities and limitations
  • Creative Thinking -- improving products or ideas
  • Delegation -- delegating responsibilities and work to others
  • Determination -- overcoming hurdles to success
  • Independence -- doing what it takes to reach goals
  • Knowledge and Learning -- being a constant learner
  • Promotion -- always speaking on behalf of the business
  • Relationship Building -- creating relationships to grow the business
  • Risk Taking -- embracing and managing high risk situations

In a separate study, Gallup found that successful entrepreneurs achieve 22 percent greater year-over-year profit growth than their peers by focusing on a handful of routine practices:

  • Clearly explaining their competitive advantage to clients and customers
  • Adopting a customer-centric approach to pricing and product development
  • Planning for growth and connecting employee responsibilities with company goals
  • Matching employees' roles with their strengths and company goals

It's important to note that many of the traits that determine success in entrepreneurism aren't genetic. Instead, these characteristics can be acquired through diligence, patience and the hard work ethic that has always helped the best entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd.

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