10 Entrepreneur Characteristics That Lead To Success

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 November 2022

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Being an entrepreneur requires specific skills. While some abilities might be naturally present, others can be learned or developed through careful practice. Understanding the qualities needed by entrepreneurs can help you grow to become a better business leader. In this article, we would explain 10 characteristics of an entrepreneur you can develop and examine the different types of entrepreneurs.

Related: How To Become An Entrepreneur In 8 Steps (With FAQs)

10 Characteristics Of An Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs may lead different types of business ventures, but the basic characteristics of an entrepreneur are quite the same. The following traits, if nurtured, can help you become a successful entrepreneur:

1. Passion

More often than not, entrepreneurs are extremely passionate about their work. It is this passion that maintains momentum during times of uncertainty. To become a more passionate business leader, you are required to focus more on the meaning of your work. Have a system to consistently remind yourself and your team that you are trying to solve a problem rather than just making more money.

Knowing that your commitment makes an impact may give you the drive you require to continue when doubt settles in or when the business gets difficult. Passion is what keeps you focused on your objective.

Related: Entrepreneur Skills: Definition and Examples

2. Motivation

Entrepreneurs need motivation to constantly push their skills to stay relevant in a dynamic market. To build motivation, you can start by looking at things at the micro-level. Set and achieve small goals to build a ladder towards larger ones. Maintain morale and confidence throughout your journey. Celebrate your small wins and keep a positive mindset.

Optimism facilitates creativity. When coupled with motivation, it enables you to develop new concepts and ideas. Use every opportunity or failure to analyse your shortcomings and take conscious measures to avoid them in the future. Entrepreneurs are dreamers with a plan of action. Keep your end goals in mind to stay motivated.

3. Product or service knowledge

Entrepreneurs are required to know what products or services they want to offer and who their target audience is. Clearly identify the category of your products or services and be very clear about how they are beneficial to your customers. Study customer needs thoroughly before building solutions.

You are required to constantly study your market to understand what customers need and promote the exact features that set you apart from your competitors. Talk to your clients and use their feedback to make changes and adjust your position as and when required.

Related: The Importance Of Entrepreneurship: Features And Types

4. Risk management

Entrepreneurs inevitably require to take risks. When faced with a difficult situation, you are required to make informed decisions after planning for all eventualities. As an entrepreneur, risk-taking is a major requirement if you wish to emerge above your competition. With time, you improve at managing risks and recovering from failures. This further increases your level of comfort with challenges and helps you take your business to greater heights.

Always treat your journey as a learning process, and give equal importance to both your successes and your failures along the way. Keep your goal in mind and commit to consistent engagement.

Related: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

5. Self-confidence

Entrepreneurs invest their time and resources in a particular initiative because they are confident about creating something better than what the market has to offer. The road to their goals may have poorly defined grey areas, but ultimately, those who persevere are the ones who succeed.

To bolster self-confidence, it helps to meditate upon your intent and speculate the future of your business venture. You can also practice affirmation by reminiscing your accomplishments and the hurdles you jumped en-route.

6. Money management

Entrepreneurs require to keep track of the financial situation of their business, its past record and future targets. Even if you hire an accountant, you are the final decision maker. You are required to be well aware of the financial situation of your business to be able to make sound decisions.

Practise basic money management skills by preparing a budget and committing to it. Invest available funds into the development of your business, but take only calculated financial risks during investments. Consult experts to understand the impact of your financial decisions in detail. The internet is also a treasure trove for free financial advice and guidelines. You are required to select your sources carefully and spend time learning the basics of financial management.

7. Vision

Entrepreneurship involves knowing what you want to achieve, setting a goal and working towards it through tangible milestones. Vision is what defines the identity of an organisation. Not only does it keep you driven, but it also fuels general motivation across the workplace and encourages everyone involved to work towards the success of a venture.

You may start by identifying what your professional goals are and how they align with your vision. Following this, you may set milestones and plan an achievable timeline to guide your actions. This allows you to witness your progression and helps keep you committed to your goals. Prioritising your tasks keeps you from feeling overwhelmed and lets you stay true to your vision in the long run.

Related: What's the Difference Between Sales and Business Development?

8. Decision-making ability

Entrepreneurs often require to make quick decisions and take actions. To improve decision-making skills, always avoid reacting spontaneously to situations and circumstances. Understand all facets of a problem, inform yourself of its nuances and then proceed to action. Assess the impact of a decision you intend to take and avoid rushing into it at all costs. You can also narrow your options through a simple pros and cons list.

9. Adaptability

In the infant stages of a business, entrepreneurs often require to manage multiple aspects of the business like finance, marketing and sales simultaneously. Flexibility in your schedule, and even in your thinking, is crucial to continue growing in challenging situations. To increase your adaptability, approach all activities, be it personal or professional, with an open mind and be open to changing your ways if required. Experiment with new methods and embrace new trends to enhance your ability to adapt.

10. Ability to network

The ability to make connections and seize opportunities as and when they appear is crucial to successful entrepreneurship. Interacting with new people facilitates access to resources or knowledge that may otherwise be out of your reach. It allows you to learn from the success and failure of others, promote what you bring to the table and expand your business.

Although business relationships often have many superficial aspects to them, strive to build genuine relationships with clients and other professionals in your field. Try to make friends and acquaintances as part of running your business. If you come across someone who may benefit another person in your network, connect them. They would probably remember you and return the favour somewhere down the line.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

4 Types Of Entrepreneurs

Based on their nature and inclinations, entrepreneurs can be broadly classified into four types:

1. The pro-active entrepreneur

These individuals measure success primarily on the grounds of expansion and growth statistics. Their decisions and strategies can be put to the best use in companies that are starting out or growing in a developing market. Pro-active entrepreneurs typically possess a controlling temperament that leads to shorter contracts and higher turnover rates.

Related: 12 Different Types of Entrepreneurship

2. The opportunist

Professionals of this type are master promoters and excel in marketing and sales. A knack for finding and pursuing lucrative opportunities enables a successful opportunist to enter a market at the right time and develop their business effectively. They are drawn to new opportunities that involve higher than average risks.

3. The conservative

Conservatives are typically products of specialised formal education and hence, tend to base their decisions objectively. They steer clear of risk wherever possible and are highly analytical in nature. Their businesses tend to grow steadily through networking and referrals in the early growth phase, but plateau as general objectives change from growth to sustenance. Conservative entrepreneurs usually follow the principle that resources are limited and need extra-judicious use. This helps in building a stable organisation but at the cost of restricted expansion or evolution.

Related: Guide: 16 Personality Types

4. The innovator

Innovators tend to identify and develop breakthrough products and services in their respective fields. Their business operates more like a laboratory, where the greatest emphasis lies in design and experimentation. Such ventures tend to fail when vital aspects like capital, networking and staffing get sidelined by utopian ideals. However, most intellectual property today is controlled by such entrepreneurs.

Related: Innovative Entrepreneurship: Definition and Skills

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