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Some traits are necessary for business success

Many people have a desire to own their own business and strike out with an idea and zest to try out their entrepreneurial spirit. Often the person is motivated to be their own boss. Some of the traits that are the most common in new small business owners who have started successful businesses are described below.

1. Driven

2. Goal oriented

3. Confident

4. Passionate

5. Budget minded

6. Self reliant

7. Humble

8. Resilient

9. Ambitious

10. Focused

11. Open minded

12. Disciplined

13. Customer oriented

14. Positive attitude

15. Willing to take risks

16. Understanding of business processes

17. Understanding of marketing

When you find a person who has started their own business they will most likely tell you it is not an easy road. It is very demanding on a person’s time. The saying that “No one takes care of your business like the owner” is very true. It requires total commitment. You can hire people for different roles in your business but it is important for the owner to be engaged and invested in the business. Having a financial backing and a substantial up-front investment is crucial. Those new owners who re-invest all their profits in their business in the early years will experience success over the long haul. Many take little or no salary from the business for an extended period of time. The way a business starts is important in ensuring the perceptions in the marketplace are positive. Consumerism creates an environment where businesses struggle to stay ahead.

Brick and mortar stores now compete with online sales by establishing websites, posting merchandise for sale and advertising online in addition to selling in person in their in-store location. The competition is fierce. Staying power is crucial. Do not expect to turn a profit in the first few years of operation. This situation alone accounts for many businesses closing within the first year or two of their opening.

Markets today are comprised of fickle, hard-to-please consumers. Business owners are challenged to adapt or face a grim demise. In spite of the statistics of failures and business closings there are still many people opening their own businesses every day.

The last 15 years have seen an unprecedented 54 percent growth in women-owned start-ups. The National Association of Women Business Owners estimates that there are more than 9.1 million companies owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people and generating over $1.4 trillion in sales.

Business owners I have interviewed all say that hiring good employees is one of their biggest challenges. Those businesses who are successful at hiring and retaining a committed staff of people who have a sense of ownership and an entrepreneurial spirit have a bigger chance at long term success.

For the new business owner, it is adapt or die. An organization, regardless of size, that is not flexible or willing to make changes generally will not survive very long. They must be adept at being a change agent.

A change agent is a person, either inside or outside, that facilitates transformation by focusing on  organizational effectiveness, improvement and development. This is applicable for businesses and all other types of organizations. It involves the heart of the business, school, church, club or other type of organization. The head or owner is at the top of the chain.

The demand for leadership that is willing to tackle all these challenges is great. Actions speak louder than words and demonstrate the willingness and dedication of pursuing new ideas in order to make a successful organization that will survive and thrive.

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.