Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur: Part 2

A successful entrepreneur is a multi faceted individual. In part 1 of this two part post, we introduced some of the characteristics that make an entrepreneur successful. Here in part 2, we will continue that discussion with some more of the personality traits that do the same.

1. Master the art of negotiations.

Successful entrepreneurs are master negotiators. They know the ins and outs of conversation and they know how to bring a situation to a successful close for both parties involved. In business, negotiation skills are a necessity and are used daily. Mastering the art of negotiation means that the business owner can always close a sale and not make the customer feel swindled or taken advantage of. These win-win arrangements mean that everyone involved feels they have won. This is the basis for any long term, successful relationship.

2. Get and stay organized.

Organization will undoubtedly make life easier for any business owner. The most successful ones make sure that their finances, day to day tasks and both their daily, monthly and yearly calendars are clean, organized and running efficiently. The key to staying organized is not about the use of brand name organizers. It is about having a clear cut system for doing things that keeps your business running efficiently.

Part of this is the establishment of a daily routine. Your routine on a day to day basis should be supported by the systems you put in place. This helps the most successful entrepreneurs accomplish a number of tasks in a given day. It helps to cut down on wasted time and an inefficient workflow. This routine should include small things such as creating a to-do list and placing files that need to be filed into the correct space at the end of each business day. The routine can also include creating a calendar to work from and timeline to accomplish work on a daily basis.

3. Take time off.

No one wants to work without having a little bit of fun. The temptation to work around the clock is very real but is also very dangerous and smart and successful entrepreneurs reward themselves for their hard work.

It is very easy to experience burn out if you are working crazy hours every week. Successful entrepreneurs know that vacations and time away from the office is invaluable to their personal health as well as the longevity of their business.

4. Limit the number of hats you wear.

Most entrepreneurs are micro managers. They want to be involved in every aspect of the business. However, the successful ones know that micromanaging can be a vice. Success comes when entrepreneurs do what they do best: lead, develop vision and lead morale. Many times, it is better for them to hire people to do other aspects of the business for them. This is because very quickly, they can become a jack of all trades and a master of none. This means that they can get burned out doing too many things or they can be less effective because they are being spread too thin. Those who are successful know that it is better to do a few things greatly than to do many things in mediocrity.

5. Showcase your expertise.

Successful entrepreneurs establish themselves as experts in their fields. People want the advice and opinion of someone that they trust when they seek out a service.  A customer does not seek out an accountant when they have a plumbing problem and if they are hungry, they seek out a chef and not a dentist. As a successful entrepreneur, you must establish yourself firmly in the knowledge required for your business. This might mean going to school or seeking out additional education.

The reason that this establishes success for the entrepreneur is because it will help grow their customer base and establishes trust. Customers are more likely to return and to make recommendations to others when they know that a service or product is credible. Becoming known as an expert is actually a marketing and prospecting tool.

6. View yourself as an investment.

Top entrepreneurs know that if they want longevity, they need to invest in themselves. They are committed to educating themselves as well as to investing in their physical, emotional and financial well being. These types of business owners buy and read business and marketing books and they network and talk to people who can help them grow as leaders. They join business associations and clubs, and they collaborate with like minded individuals in order to get to a common goal. Basically, when all is said and done, top entrepreneurs see themselves as their most valuable asset.

7. Protect your name.

All a person truly has is their name and reputation. A good business owner knows that they will garner success if they protect their reputation. This means that they establish themselves as experts in their fields, they protect client/customer confidentiality and they take pride in the product they present for sale. A good reputation goes hand in hand with integrity; top entrepreneurs protect and honor their word. This allows for a culture of trust in the workplace and votes of confidence on the customer’s behalf. Consistency in what an entrepreneur offers is key. If you cannot come through with a consistent level of service on a regular basis, it will be really hard to remain in business. Without trust and integrity, they won’t have a sustainable business and they won’t garner  a good reputation.