Common Characteristics of Small Business Owners

at the Young Entrepreneurs in Property meeting in London on 17 May 2011. Picture 4No matter which industry or position an entrepreneur holds, all home based business owners must have some characteristics in common to become a successful small business.

Like any activity you pursue, there are certain musts that are required to be successful in a chosen activity. If your goal is success in business, then the formula is no different. There are certain musts that have to be fully developed, implemented and managed for your business to succeed.

This article contains 25 common characteristics, of those I will highlight five which I believe are the most vital:

1. Do what you enjoy. Enjoy what you do enough to live it, breathe it, feel it, smell it, and perhaps taste it. Your whole heart must be in your business. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you may wake up one day and no longer wish to run your business. The love for your business can be seen by others too. A potential client or partner may see your love or lack there of and make their decision to do business with you based solely on this.


2. Take what you do seriously. Working from home can sometimes put you in a motivation rut, but you must have the discipline to get up on time, do your work and complete your work within a schedule, just as you would if you were going to work in an office outside of your home. Also know that you must project your business as competition to the other businesses in your industry. Your potential customers should not guess that you run your office from your house – answer the phone professionally, get business cards, a website, you get the point.

3. Project a positive business image. Work hard on your business image – possibly extra hard since you have no marketing department. If you’re not comfortable with branding and marketing your business then clearly define a marketing budget and find someone great to do it for you. Part of your brand is you – if you are out in the public with a shirt or vehicle with your company logo on it then go by the same rules as any other company would. Drive safely, do not smoke in your vehicle, no stopping off for a beer, etc.

4. Remember it’s all about the customer.  Every company has their own “the customer is always right” policy, and you will become known for yours. This policy may gain or lose customers so make sure you think seriously about this. You will at times, need to swallow your pride and do what the customer wishes. On the other hand, your customers will give you referrals, provide valuable feedback, help grow your business, and pay your salary, so being great to them should come naturally.


5. Create a competitive advantage. Set yourself apart from your competition, this can be done in many different ways. A few examples on how to set yourself apart:

  • Provide exceptional service
  • Have an exceptional website
  • Competitive pricing
  • Have a bold or outstanding image
  • Go out of your way to show appreciation
  • Be known in your community
  • Become an expert in your industry

What characteristics do you possess that have helped in running your small business?

Full article: 25 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Image courtesy: Carissa Dunphy, Director at Small Businesses Do It Better, is very passionate about supporting small businesses, providing valuable resources and sharing her knowledge about entrepreneurship.
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