Being self-employed is a dream for many people. Whilst it’s not a walk in the park and comes with many obstacles, there are certainly more than a few ways to make it work. Not everyone has the traits needed to be a successful business owner, but there’s no reason why you can’t learn them!
Count truly believes that everybody deserves an equal right to be their own boss and control their own future. It comes with challenges and takes an extraordinary amount of time and effort, but the freedom of controlling your own salary and pursuing your hobby is like no other.
We’ve already covered the steps you need to take to become self-employed and pay your own salary, so lets turn this guide around and focus on what you need to be a successful business owner.
Here are our top ten traits every business owner should possess!
Have A Confident Attitude
It might be a bit of a no-brainer, but having confidence in your self – and in your small business – is a valuable asset to any business owner. Having confidence doesn’t mean you’re going to succeed, but it can put you in favourable positions in a lot of situations. Being humble is important, too, but there’s nothing wrong with having faith in your own ability.
Every new small-business owner will struggle at times – particularly in the first few months of starting up – and niggling feelings of doubt are inevitable. Having confidence in your strategy and your small-business can help you push through these wobbly moments! Make sure you know the line between confidence and arrogance, however, as arrogance could push people away from your business no matter how desirable your product/service is!
When you start your own business, you’ll be going it alone. That comes with a whole lot of benefits like paying your own salary and setting your own schedule! The only issue with all this freedom is that there’s nobody there to keep you on track! Without discipline and self-motivation, you might not pay enough attention to the needs of your business.
Let’s say you have to complete an inventory report – nobody else is going to do it for you! Chances are, in those early days, you won’t be making enough revenue to hire a professional to do it for you. So, self-motivation, especially when it comes to those administrative chores nobody wants to do, can be vital to the successful running of your small business!
Be Passionate About Your Business
When you start your small business, it’s market might not necessarily be something that you’re incredibly passionate about. Many people start businesses in the trade industry without being particularly ‘in love’ with what they do. Being specifically passionate about what your business deals in isn’t the most important – but being passionate about why and how you’re doing it is pretty significant.
Nobody wants to think the business they’re dealing with is only in it for the money – it can be really off-putting and demonstrate a lack of care for whatever service or product you provide. Demonstrating to your clientele that you’re passionate about the job you do can help build trust in the service you provide. If you show passion in your work, it’s almost inevitable that customers will feel the same energy towards you.
Listen and Be Attentive
If you’re going to be working with a team, you need particularly good people skills. This is important not just internally for your business, but externally when talking with clients, networking or negotiating with suppliers.
Having strong communication skills is important; however, an equally important part of communication is listening. Whether it’s listening to your employees or a potential client, demonstrating that you care what others have to say is a good way of showing respect. Put yourself in their shoes – would you want to do business with an individual who is ignorant to everything you say? Definitely not! So, why should they?
Choosing the right time to communicate is important, too. We’re not saying you have to be quiet and listen all the time, just that knowing when you should talk, whether it’s promoting your brand whilst networking or offering advice, is a vital skill.
Cultivate An Organised Mind
Running your own business is a really complex process. It requires a lot of administration and numerous time-consuming tasks can really eat up your working hours. Keeping on top of your bookkeeping, setting up payroll, filling out Self-Assessments – all these things can take away from the reasons why you actually started your business. Count, on the other hand, started their business to handle all these financial details so you don’t have to. We can help you save time so you can do focus on what really matters.
Whilst we can help you with some of these organisational tasks, for the others you have to be self-motivated! Organisation and self-motivation often go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to motivate yourself to be organised, but by cultivating an organised attitude and constantly keeping on top of tasks you can reduce the time spent on these activities. Being organised also communicates a positive image of the business you run to potential clients.
When you start your new small business, you ‘ll probably have a vision of what you want to build. Thinking forward is a great skill to have but things might not always turn out how you want, especially with respect to that initial vision.
You might encounter a lot of road-blocks on the path to success, whether it be new competition or changes in the market. You have to be open-minded in order to be able to deal with these kinds of issues. You might have to stray from that initial vision from time to time and being receptive to change is an important quality to ensure your business still succeeds.
Having a target in mind when you set out with your small business journey is really helpful in keeping yourself accountable when it comes to motivation. Like we mentioned before, you should be open minded about how these goals will evolve as your business progresses – but that shouldn’t stop you having goals in the first place!
This could be anything, from a target number of sales to acquiring exposure – in reality, the goal doesn’t matter as long as it’s somewhat realistic whilst also helping you push on in the future. Having a goal can help you develop a business strategy and can make you more successful. If you plan out your business decision based on a specific goal, you’re more likely to stick to these targets. They can work as a great source of motivation
Develop Trustworthy Traits
Nothing is worse for a client or supplier than to have no trust in the business they deal with. Clients need to trust you as someone who provides a service for them – it’s important to be honest with customers so they know where they stand in relation to you. They want to have faith in your ability to provide a service and transparency goes a long way in this process. We know customers can sometimes be difficult, so maintaining an honest and trustworthy persona can help manage these situations. Even if a client is difficult, they might be more likely to re-use your service if they know that you’re reliable and honest.
This is true for suppliers, too. They want to trust that you’ll pay them on time and negotiate with them fairly. Treating suppliers as you would want to be treated by your clients is a good practice to maintain; earning their trust is an important step in developing solid foundations for your business.
Know Where to Spend
In the early days of your small-business journey, you might find that money is hard to come by. You’ll have a lot of expenses and not many clients! That’s why it’s so important to know where you should be spending your money. Being self-employed and not knowing how to manage your finances is a recipe for disaster. Prioritise spending towards rent and bills for your business space and your end of year taxes.
Otherwise, being frugal is just generally good practice. You have to choose where your money is going to make the most impact – wrongful spending could be bad for business down the line!
Be Technically Proficient
It’s a reality of the modern day business market that if you’re not utilising social media channels or the internet, you could be missing out on important revenue streams and vital marketing opportunities. The internet provides a foundation for networking opportunities and client outreach – that being said, if you don’t know where to start you should get in touch with a professional!
Count on us!
We’re pretty sure you didn’t start your business to fill out financial documents or track your spending; however, we did! Whilst all these traits can help cultivate a successful business model, there are some areas that need a finer touch. By hiring a professional bookkeeper or accountant, you can save yourself valuable time that can be spent refining and improving your business.
Talk to one of our experts today and see where we can save you money.