Starting a business takes more than a good idea and a cache of start-up capital. Successful business people tend to have certain characteristics in common. These traits do not have to be inborn, though; with determination and practice, just about anyone can develop them.


Here is a list of the ten most common characteristics of a successful entrepreneur:

  1. Good planning: Beyond knowing your vision, plan the steps that will bring you to that vision.
  2. Time management: This can’t be over-emphasized. Staying organized and using your precious time for the most important tasks will keep your business on the right track.
  3. Persistence: The inevitable bumps in the road won’t deter the intrepid entrepreneur. People who start new businesses have to expect to tolerate risk and problems.
  4. Problem solving ability: Learn to approach problems as puzzles to solve, instead of barriers to scale. Staying calm and collected sharpens your problem solving skills.
  5. Ability to delegate: Figure out what you are good at, and hire others to do the rest. Building a good team is a stepping stone toward success.
  6. Money management: This sounds obvious, entrepreneurs need to know how to properly manage their money since maintaining cash flow is crucial to a healthy business. Watch for hidden expenses, and pay attention to your ledger. Make payment and collections your priorities.
  7. Positive attitude: Always project a good business image and be positive toward your clients. Keep marketing and self-promotion at the forefront of your mind.
  8. Customer Service: Satisfied customers are the cornerstone of your business. Get to know your customers, and offer them personal attention.
  9. Self-education: Investing in yourself will boost your business. Spend time and money on workshops and conferences. Read about business management, and follow industry publications.
  10. Attention to follow-up: Don’t just make contacts, call them back. Figure out what you want from them (a new customer? A business deal?), and pursue it by maintaining contact.

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