Of course we can’t all be business owners, nor would we want to be. Just as with any worthwhile undertaking, it may ‘take a village’ to make it shine. Not everybody has the capacity to lead others to their strongest places; even the best entrepreneurs have their own list of limitations.
Putting Everything into Perspective
Knowing you can do a specific thing better than someone else is not enough of a reason to order your business cards. Can your concept actually be turned into a real business model? Research the market and make sure you are supplying a service or product that is in demand. Building a better mouse trap may be an intriguing idea, but does the world really need another one?
The UK is amazingly supportive of business – providing new startups with everything from government grants and funding opportunities to sponsorship of mentoring organisations – and it’s all available at the click of a mouse.
Building Your ‘Village’
As you create your workforce or develop a partnership, focus on what you are best at, and then fill in the empty spaces. You might want to pool together talented friends and former business associates, with skills and knowledge that fill in the gaps of what you don’t know.
Search for born organisers (who make awesome administrators), and multi-tasking wizards (great manager material). You’ll also want a few workers who are just happy making a living with a smile; punching in and out and leaving the job at the office. Not everyone is built for ownership, which leaves room for you, and them.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Owning a business means you are literally on your own at times. You have to wear many hats to make sure the job gets done. It doesn’t mean you have to be a genius, but it does mean you need to have some character and self-preservation in your toolbox.
Here are several characteristics a successful business owner should possess, and why they are necessary.
- Tenacity – Continued efforts and a persistent nature is a quality needed to see projects through to the end, without giving up. Sometimes you will need to hold your ground, against all odds.
- Ingenuity – Having inventive talent, with the skills to figure out ways to achieve things, is a characteristic highly desirable for business ownership.
- Decisiveness – An owner has to be able to make choices continuously, in the company’s best interests. Even if the decision is not to make a change, you must be able to define a path for others to follow.
- Discernment – Demonstrating good taste and judgement will serve you well, with your workforce as well as the clients with whom you interact.
- Stamina – Because an owner will put in longer hours, having enduring energy will be a definite advantage. At the bare minimum, you should hold yourself accountable for getting the breaks and physical exercise necessary to maintain good health.
- Vision – The ability to know a great idea when you see one is a gift. To expect others to follow in your footsteps, you must be able to inspire them. Speculative dreaming won’t get it done; in order to lead, you will need to have strong and original ideas.
- Resourcefulness – Resolving situations is necessary to having good workplace morale, and being open to new input is essential in growing your company. Asking questions and listening to the answers demonstrates your bright and imaginative side, for others to see and collaborate with.
- Survivor skills – Basically, you should be able to swim to shore instead of merely stay afloat, find another stronghold when you fall, and believe there is something worth striving for in the future. You’ll need every bit of this strength to run your own company, and more.
- Self-confidence – If you don’t have faith in your abilities, you can’t expect it from others. Everyone can lose their footing at times; however, confident people exude resiliency and are able to learn from failures.
- Humility – In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Asking for help, preferably before you are in dire straits, means you don’t always have to be right.
- Intuitive – Knowing something is right, in your gut, and paying attention to your instincts will not only do you well in business, it will also instill trust in those who depend upon you to do the right thing.