You’re young, ambitious, and full of amazing ideas, why not start your own business? With the job prospects for students and recent graduates looking grim, now may be a better time than ever to capitalize on that great idea you have by turning it into a profitable business.
Entrepreneurs serve as the driving force behind economic and social development by creating jobs and introducing technological innovations. While older companies are currently losing close to 1 million jobs annually, new firms add an average of nearly 3 million jobs during their first year of operation. In fact, young firms, which are defined as being one to five years old, accounted for almost two-thirds of job creation in 2007.
Entrepreneurs face many challenges and obstacles, do you have what it takes to make it? Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t just about having a good idea and a strong work ethic, it takes much more. Acquire these 7 Must-Have traits and you’ll be on the road to success:
Choose a Direction (and stick to it)
I know, this sounds like a no-brainer, but trust me, this is a solid piece of advice. Often times, aspiring entrepreneurs have many different ideas and directions they want to take. This can be problematic when they want to combine different ventures into a single business. Successful entrepreneurs choose a single direction, develop a solid business model, and stick to it!
Never underestimate the benefits of having a good mentor! Successful entrepreneurs will seek out a mentor, someone who has been in their shoes and can offer them some solid and knowledgeable advice regarding their new venture. An experienced mentor is an essential asset to any young and growing company, their years of experience can save them from major errors and costly mistakes.
Manage Money Wisely
Money is what keeps the business afloat – inventory needs to be purchased, services need to be paid for, equipment needs to be repaired or replaced, and payroll needs to be made. Therefore, all successful entrepreneurs must be capable of managing their funds. Remember all those math classes you had in high school and college that seemed like such a waste of time? This is where you make them count (no pun intended)!
It’s more than just Business
Good business skills are a key attribute possessed by every successful entrepreneur, but let’s face it, they’re not everything. While academic business skills are a necessary requirement, a successful entrepreneur also possesses amazing interpersonal skills. An entrepreneur must be a leader who has the ability to listen to the needs of his/her clients and employees alike. Just as a successful entrepreneur seeks advice and mentorship from those who are experienced, he/she must also serve as a mentor to his/her employees.
Successful entrepreneurs have the ability to use every social event as an opportunity to build and expand their personal and professional networks. By networking with others, entrepreneurs are able to meet and establish relationships with other individuals who may be able to provide them with assistance in growing the company.
Besides traditional networking, a successful entrepreneur will also effectively utilize different social networking platforms. These platforms serve as communication channels between the organization and the public, and when used strategically, can build and strengthen the organization’s overall network.
Adapt to changes
Young businesses are (hopefully) growing businesses. And as they grow, they undergo change, constant change. All and any type of change is possible during the first few years of operation. A successful entrepreneur needs to be able to adapt to this change, whatever it may be.
Starting a new business is tough, the funds are very limited, the profits may not be there, and shutting down may seem like a possibility at any given time. A good entrepreneur is a strong entrepreneur who has the ability to remain resilient when under pressure. Even when faced with the toughest challenges, a good entrepreneur remains focused and works diligently to ensure the organization continues to move forward.
There are many more important characteristics an entrepreneur must possess if he/she wants to transform their great idea into a successful enterprise, but these are the ones we feel should receive extra attention – these are the musts! Do you feel that you have a great idea and what it takes to start your own successful business? Then maybe it’s time for you to take the leap!