What it take to be a business owner?
By Steven Bennett
Owning and running your own successful business is the ultimate dream for many of us. The thought of having no boss, no office politics, the ability to run things our own way and keeping the lion’s share of profits is everything we could ever wish for.
It is true that having your own business can have many perks. It is however, very naïve to look at being a small business owner through rose tinted glasses. The truth is 60% of small businesses fail within the first five years.
Why do so many businesses fail?
There are many reasons why businesses fail. Bad planning, bad ideas and lack of funding are some of the more common ones but one thing we seriously have to ask ourselves when considering to start a new business is, do I have what it takes to be a business owner?
Many of us will have grown up hearing the phrase “The price to success is hard work” and although this is true. Working hard is only one part of the many personal attributes you will need to be a success business owner. What we really need to be a business owner is DORKS.
There is no way around it. Working hard is essential if you want your business to be successful. It doesn’t matter if we are working hard though manual labour, mentally taxing work or both. If you want to run a business you are going to have to commit time, effort and energy.
There may be business models promoted online, in seminars or in books that claim this doesn’t have to be the case but unfortunately, nine point nine times out of ten, these are get rich schemes that are never going to work. After all, if running a business without diligence is so easy, why is there so much time and effort committed to planning, building and promoting courses that teach you how to earn money with little effort?
If you want to start and run a successful business you have to be organised. Your plan, finances, efforts, staff, client management, paperwork and time all need to managed and organised so they perform effectively and efficiently.
Without organisation your business, physical wellbeing or mental health will eventually give and if one or all do, there can be a lasting effect on your health, finance and/or future success.
Simply put, to be a successful business owner you need to get organised.
Commercial break – if you want to be more organised we offer a suite of tools to help. From documents and clients to project and job management, you can organise your business efforts in one convenient place.
It’s common to hear people talk about making decisions based on their gut instinct in the business world. Although this may feel like the driving factor behind their success, it may also be their experience that allows them to make good decisions. Or they may have just got lucky once or twice.
The facts are, if you want to increase your chances of success in business. Good logical reasoning, based on experience and knowledge (see below) is essential.
Thinking about something in a logical sensible way is the only way to make a decision without taking a gamble. You may use your instincts to sway a decision where facts don’t tell the whole story, but basing your decision purely on gut instincts is simply gambling with your time, money and resources.
Reasoning is something you need to do from the moment you consider starting a new business. Acting on instinct alone, with no logical reasoning, is a great way to set your business on a path to failure, days or even years down the line.
To be successful in business it is essential that you know everything you can about your business and the industry that it operates. Too often, people dream of opening a business in an industry they have no experience, only to fail because of simple mistakes.
Committing time to learning about your chosen industry is one of the most important things you can do. Without this knowledge you are opening yourself to potential financial loss, a bad reputation or lawsuits.
Knowledge about your business on the other hand should hopefully come as second nature. Before starting, educate yourself on running a business and then continue to learn and grow as your business does. The truth is, nothing beats experience.
You don’t need to know everything. Your job is to know the core areas of your business and leave the rest for employees and others you have entrusted. Don’t micromanage but don’t let the wool be pulled over your eyes.
Strength of will
If you run start or run your own business, at some point you are going to hit challenges that are big enough to make you want to stop, turn around and say goodbye to your business owning dreams. This is where your strength of will is going to determine how your business journey continues.
Strength of will can help you break down your doubts and push you through adversity. Without it, a poor opening day or small disaster five years down the line can be enough to close your doors.
Some are seemingly born with it, whilst others are rewarded with it over time or after difficult circumstances. The fact is, strength of will is essential if you are running a business as there is a big chance that unpleasant things are going to happen.
There is however a caveat to your strength of will. Sometimes stopping what you are doing is absolutely the right thing to do. If you have an awful business idea, no amount of determination to make it work will change that. Being persistent with a bad idea is not only harmful to your business, it can also have huge consequences to your personal life. Thankfully we can turn to logical reasoning to assess the situation and decide whether we need to ditch or adapt our idea.
What about skills as a business owner?
Of course, we need many skills to be successful business owners. People skills, creativity and leadership are all key to having a successful business but these are things that we can easily learn or outsource.
Identifying the strengths and weaknesses in our personality and skills is what allows us to be better business owners. It can allow us to have a clear vision of where we need to focus our efforts and how we can utilise the skills and traits of others.
If you like this article and would like to see more in the future, please consider signing up to our newsletter below or share it with others who might find this useful.