Essential Attributes of a Successful Small Business Owner

August 21, 2012

Do you have the traits needed to be a successful small business owner?

With so many different types of small businesses, there are a lot of unique attributes many small business owners from different verticals possess. It’s a subject that provokes a lot of opinions, but here are some of the main qualities we think are people, regardless of industry, need to run their own business:

  • Determination to Make Your Business a Reality
    It takes a lot of this to transform a start-up dream into a business that’s actually making money. You’ll need plenty of tenacity to shrug off all the setbacks, persistence to solve all the problems and drive to overcome all the hurdles that you’ll encounter along the way. But, it’ll be worth it in the end.
  • Not Being Afraid to Take Risks
    You’ve got to be happy to be the rainmaker, because no one else is going to build your dream for you. If you’re daunted by the prospect of starting from nothing or if you feel intimidated by having the sole responsibility for the success or failure of your small business, then you’d better keep your day job. Besides running a small business is not just about taking risks, it’s also about managing them. Making sure your business is protected with the right small business insurance is one way to prevent curve-balls from disrupting your journey.
  • Possess True Passion For What You Do
    This is what will help get you out of bed each morning and reassure you that the risks are worth taking. Small business owners need to have a deep passion for what you do: to truly believe you’re building something great, something that is better than all your rivals. It’s a strong, personal attachment to your business. Anyone who says “its business, not personal” has never built a start-up from scratch. Of course it’s personal – that’s why you do it.
  • Ability to Think Creativity To Solve Customers’ Needs
    As Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” You’ve got to be able to think beyond the existing scheme of things, to ask “why” rather than simply “because”. And in the early days you’re going to need to make a splash without having much money. That will take imagination. You’ll want to think of ways to solve your customers’ needs, before they’ve even thought of them.
  • Believe That Patience is a Virtue
    You can’t be in a rush to build your business. If you take shortcuts then often you’ll find it will take you longer to build the kind of business you’re proud of.
  • Delegate Work to Others
    Many people start a small business because they want to be their own boss. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t let a do-it-yourself attitude turn into a belief that you have to run every aspect of the business all the time. Soon, rather than you running the business, you’ll simply be the most senior employee of your own firm. You’ll get burned out quickly and you’ll probably wind up back as an employee for someone else. Your wisest decision will be to hire people cleverer than you, to nurture them and give them the space to help develop the business.

At Hiscox, we know what it’s like to have a real passion for what you want to achieve. We’re passionate about creating a new kind of insurer: one that puts you at the center of all we do and which will help you to fulfill your dream of creating a great business that you’re proud of.

Tell us! Were you born with some of the top characteristics of an entrepreneur and think that you can successfully run a small business? Are there any other attributes you think make for a successful small business owner?