An entrepreneur comes across several types of challenges and problems. To handle them effectively, he needs to inculcate certain personality traits and characteristics as well as develop certain necessary skills. Many of these balance each other, like confidence, skill to analyze risks and preparedness for contingencies. Technology, communication and market understanding are also essential.
One of the reasons why it is often difficult to develop successful entrepreneurs in a classroom is because it needs a number of personal and professional capacities that can be difficult to inculcate by way of academic exercises. While some of these traits and characteristics are part of one’s personality and character, others are in the nature of capacities that are often a result of hard work and experience. It is also important to note that the capacities can differ depending upon the nature of the enterprise and the characteristics of the market.
Here, we take a look at ten such characteristics that almost every entrepreneur would need to become successful.
This is a triad of personality, effort and attention, without which it is impossible to be an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is supposed to take a route that has not been taken earlier, an act that required immense confidence. Success in an entrepreneurship never comes instantly, and so unless it is backed up by perseverance, it will always be a failure.
In addition to perseverance, the efforts must always be focused and must not dither into different objectives or be diluted by aimless divergence.
An entrepreneurship is defined by its risk. Risk aversion is a normal human tendency and usually a sign of wisdom, but an entrepreneur is willing to take that risk. The difference between a successful and a not so successful entrepreneur is that while the latter accepts risk as such, a successful entrepreneur takes only informed risk after doing the necessary homework to collect all necessary details and taking into account the possible means and methods on how to mitigate those risks. This is also the difference between a manager who can manage a running business while minimizing risks and an entrepreneur who takes those risks and manages them.
An entrepreneurship is an extremely creative venture, and only a person who enjoys creativity can find himself consistently motivated to grasp and deal with its challenges. For such a person, creativity is a reward in itself, but at the same time, he does not let his quest for creativity overshadow or interfere with the primary objective of establishing a new business. The challenges of new venture must be dealt frequently, and only a solution oriented approach can work, where it does not matter as who is to blame for the problem, it is only the solution for it that should matter!
The kind of challenges and the kind of opportunities that meet an entrepreneur on his way are so varied and different that unless he is open to look at every situation from a different perspective, it can be difficult to deal with them. He must also be flexible enough to find new untried solutions to those challenges, or adopt his approach and tactics to the unforeseen circumstances, and thereby respond to all such situations effectively.
Among all factors of production, it is technology that provides the maximum returns. Use of technology can multiply the productivity of both labor and capital, and economic history of last century of so is a clear demonstration on how most of the modern wealth is created by the ability of entrepreneurs to put available technology into use for more efficient production or facilitate its development within the enterprises. Thus, for any modern entrepreneur, technology is the most important tool.
A producing firm brings together many individuals together in different capacities as owners, financiers, managers, technologists and workers. In a running enterprise, each of them can keep carrying on with his own specialized function, but in a new enterprise or one that aims to expand itself in different ways, team spirit is a must to ensure trust, full efforts from everyone and smooth functioning. An entrepreneur must have a good team spirit himself and be able to keep the flock together.
All entrepreneurs need to be highly skilled in communication, for this one skill will be called into action at almost every step of an aspiring entrepreneur. Beginning from the communication with one’s financiers to everyday communication with your team and a broader communication with the customers, communications is as essential for an entrepreneur as it can be for any other profession or vocation. It may not be wrong to say that communication skills are as important for an entrepreneur as they might be for a politician.
The personality and character apart, one must know what he is doing. Entrepreneurship requires so many different types of activities and requires such perspectives that it is always easy to get the real objective mixed up with sundry intermediate milestones. Clear objectives must also be backed by detailed planning including division of responsibilities, time line of actions, contingent remedies, and back-ups for possible failures, wherever feasible.
Understanding of the market is one of the most crucial skills for anyone wanting to participate in it. For an entrepreneur, it is inevitably the most important one. No market can ever be completely understood by narrations or data. Though the best understanding of the market invariably comes from years of working in it, that luxury may not always be available to every entrepreneur. However, every entrepreneur must try to spend some time at least to get a firsthand experience of the nature of market in which he is trying to establish himself, before taking the plunge.
At the end of the day, it is only money that counts in a business. The first crucial step in entrepreneurship is induction of capital. Very few entrepreneurs have the capacity to manage purely with their own financial resources. Thus getting working capital invested is one of the first steps without which no entrepreneurship can possibly take off. How these resources are managed and conserved, without curtailing or obstructing the business objectives is the kind of financial management that an entrepreneur must be able to ensure. This is true even in cases where dedicated financial professionals are assigned the responsibility of managing funds.
These ten characteristics do not make an exhaustive list of all qualities that helps in making an entrepreneur successful. However, each of them is generally crucial to his success, and a weakness in even one of these areas can be highly detrimental for the entrepreneurship.
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