The roles an Entrepreneur plays amongst other known factors of production is key and non-negotiable. As the coordinator and brain behind other production agents, the entrepreneur’s major goal is to succeed in terms of making profit, expand and if possible metamorphose to a quoted company.
The reading of the best business books, listening to motivational conversations, attending business schools and dinning with business icons does not guarantee automatic business success.
Being located in the business hub of the state, running the best adverts and sponsoring the best soap on television does not equate to success in business. Also, to have a fluctuating increase in turnover or galloping profits are not the magic; it is about growing through the business circles, surmounting challenges and winning territories. Secrets must be known before you become successful.
Sometimes, the categorisation of a business owner as successful is relative.
To succeed as an entrepreneur, it starts with an unambiguous determination in the mind of the entrepreneur to be successful. But real – successful entrepreneurs are usually seen, felt and heard in the business environment. Such institutions or business owners have an obvious connection with the community through sustained growth, socially–friendly gesture, customer–base, staff–welfares, amongst others.
There are certain common virtues that successful entrepreneurs or business owner have that make them different from the rest of the pack. These qualities are not bought with money nor memorised by them; they are just basic business principles that when identified and applied in any business entity, the owner(s) become successful.
1. BE A CARRIER OF PROBLEM–SOLVING IDEAS
The ability to identify problem(s) and proffer solution(s) to that problem(s) is not a virtue for every Tom, Dick and Harry. A lot of people in the society see problems in virtually every area of life; some even identify problems per hour of the day but have no clue of what solutions to proffer. Few other people see the same problems per hour but can provide creative ideas that can solve such problems per minute, that is, 60 solutions could be provided to a problem by such people.
The extra effort to convert ideas that would solve the problem into economic value is what makes you an entrepreneur. Therefore, a vital quality of a successful entrepreneur is to provide ideas that could solve problems for people, institutions and government.
“You must have problem-solving ideas.”
2. BE A VISION CARRIER
By definition, vision means seeing beyond the present.
Successful entrepreneurs are people that see that they are successful as business owners before they become one. They see the future of their business, finance and status before the commencement of such business entity. As they picture the future of the company/firm, they state their mission (immediate objective), set targets, ensure that targets are met and surpassed, conduct appraisals and evaluate performances.
Notwithstanding the conceived vision from the beginning of the business, vision–driven entrepreneurs always ensure that all steps and actions of the organisation are in line with the shown and known vision. As the driver, the entrepreneur puts the business back on track in any case of derailment.
“You must have vision.”
3. BE AN EFFECTIVE RESOURCE MANAGER
The known resources of all business enterprises are man, material, money and time. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be able to manage these resources effectively and efficiently. The ability to manage these resources has to do with a lot of discipline, tolerance, experience, confidence, honesty, determination and managerial prowess; generally exhibited to generate result.
Successful entrepreneurs ensure that the wastages are minimised, slack time eliminated and manpower optimised.
A successful entrepreneur must know how to stick round pegs in round holes. That is, the ability to delegate the right and competent person to execute a particular task that matches the person’s core – competence.
“You must be an effective resource manager.”
4. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT QUALITY PRODUCTS AND EXCELLENT SERVICES
Passion is one of the greatest trait any entrepreneur must possess to be successful. In this regard, successful entrepreneurs are passionate in delivering quality products and quality products or excellent services; because they know customers are easily converted if they derive satisfaction in what they purchase. Through passion, the entrepreneur ensures that the product/ service become a brand and a market leader.
Passionate entrepreneurs protect the business image with all resources at their disposal because inability to do so might be an avenue for competitors to compete effectively with the company.
“You must passionately provide both quality products and excellent services.”
5. BE A PERSON OF INTEGRITY
Integrity as a virtue cannot be bought in the open market, it is part of you. It has to do with truthfulness, honesty and straight dealings with every person, under all circumstances.
Successful entrepreneurs ensure that their words are their bounds. They live the life, walk the talk and lead by example as role model. Entrepreneurs that cherish integrity see it as a value that cannot be compromised; people take them by their words and trust that they will do what they say. Such entrepreneur will not produce sub – standard products or provide inferior services.
“You must have undoubted integrity.”
6. BE CONSCIOUS TO SELL ALWAYS
All successful entrepreneurs are also successful sales people; they are advocate of their products or services. Such entrepreneurs do not just make decision on what to produce but why to produce and how the goods should get to the consumers/ beneficiaries. In doing this, various marketing strategies and selling techniques are applied to ensure that the goods produced or services provided are embraced by the end – users. It is a known fact that the product life circle end with the consumer of that product, therefore the entrepreneurs do not go to bed until they are sure their products receives the required patronage. It should be noted that successful entrepreneurs are also referred to as Chief Sales Officer.
“You must be a passionate sales’ professional.”
7. BE A CARRIER OF POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Positive attitude is an essential quality needed by any individual irrespective of your status in a business. As essential as it is in life and business, not every business owner exhibit it.
Attitude is not the answer, but a positive attitude. With positive attitude you see all challenges, weaknesses or threats in positive light; you speak positively and act positively.
The attitude of an entrepreneur speaks a lot about his or her business empire. Where feeble – minded business people stumble, positive – minded business people burble because they apply positive attitude and actions to their business activities.
It should be noted that positive attitude is not just in speaking positively, but making positive decisions, taking positive actions, building positive team members, providing positive goods /services and adding positive value to the society.
“You must have uncompromising positive attitude.”
8. BE A NETWORKER
In the business world, the making and marring of an entrepreneur is a function of who such person relates with. Using the popular saying that states “Iron sharpeneth iron”, one tends to understand that like – minds interact together. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to identify those that are successful in entrepreneurship, learn from them, dine with them and grow with them. “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.”
As you network with fellow entrepreneurs, hidden secrets would be revealed to you, relevant business information would be divulged and breakthrough decision would be taken together.
“You must be able to network with value–added individuals.”
9. BE INNOVATIVE
An interesting attribute of successful entrepreneurs is that they do things differently. They have the belief that things can be done in a new way or improved upon so as to have better impact. Simply put, ‘they think outside the box’. An entrepreneur is not complete or successful until he starts thinking outside the ordinary.
The successful entrepreneur always devise positive means of improving on goods/services, improving staff welfare for increase in productivity and proffer better ways of satisfying customers so as to keep them. They are aware that doing the same things in the same way leads to the same results; therefore they use innovative skills to do the same thing in an improved way to get a better result and a fulfilled satisfaction.
“You must be creatively innovative.”
10. BE CORPORATELY AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
Without a conducive business environment, no entrepreneur can flourish; therefore most entrepreneurs survive most in a friendly business environment.
Aside the statutory obligation that business entities render to the government in form of taxes, levies, rates, etc, the act of giving back to the society is a business secret, that only successful entrepreneur knows and applies.
When entrepreneurs provide social amenities through their companies to the community that host them, it builds harmony between the community and the company/entrepreneur, which in turn makes the community an ambassador of the goods or services provided by the entrepreneur.
In providing for the society, it must not necessarily be in millions or billions of naira. It could be in form of scholarship for children that attend public schools or monthly provision of basic household necessities for the less–privileged.
“You must be socially responsible to your community.”