How to Tell If You Are Suitable for Running a Business


It does not take a genius or even a college graduate to start and run a successful business. But owning a successful business is not for everyone, and it requires some very special personality qualities. For example:

1. You must have a constant and firm commitment to every­thing you do. If you decide to start your own business, you must seriously commit yourself to making each part of that business work. Be prepared for the pitfalls and prob­lems that will confront you every day. Recognize that suc­cess will not come instantly. When you are tempted to quit, remember your firm commitment to succeed.

2. All successful business owners are highly motivated peo­ple. Different people have different motives for starting a business. For some people, being in business means not having to report to a boss or punch a time clock. Others seek security in not having to worry about being laid off or fired. Still others wish to invest in their family’s future. You have to ask yourself what your motivation is for want­ing to start your own business and remember it through­out the process.

3. To be a successful business owner, you must be a risk-taker. When you open a new business, you are risking your own money and your credit rating. You are risking the money that you borrow to start the business. And for the first year of operation your profits are likely to be mini­mal. You will have to make many sacrifices. When you work for someone else, you can leave the business and any worries behind at the end of the day. When it is your own business, you cannot.

4. You must be an organized person and take control of your time. You have to be able to make lists, set priorities, and put things in writing, especially daily business notes. In addition, keeping and following a calendar will ensure that you accomplish all your daily tasks in running the busi­ness. If you are not organized, your business won’t be ei­ther, and you won’t be in business for very long.

5. Liking people is probably the most important personal at­tribute of a successful business owner. For any small busi­ness to succeed, there must be a personal, friendly busi­ness relationship between the owner and the customer. You must have a genuine concern for the customer’s needs, tastes, and convenience. Because competition is so fierce today, it is important to believe that the customer is always right. It is your customers who determine store hours, prices, and even the products and services you sell. You cannot just go through the motions with customer service. If you genuinely want to help your customers, they will know it, and they will keep coming back.

6. Your education and work experience are also important. Take into account the educational value of all your past jobs, full- and part-time. Even if you only worked at McDonald’s cooking hamburgers, think about what you learned there and how you might apply that knowledge to your own business. Maybe you just learned how to handle a cash register, but that is useful knowledge in any retail business. Your education can and must be augmented by seminars sponsored by area colleges, universities, and chambers of commerce. Many seminars are taught in both English and Spanish. The Small Business Administration offers business education classes and free publications that cover every area of business operation. So don’t sell yourself short on your lack of education and business ex­perience. You may have much more than you realize, and what you lack can be obtained at a reasonable cost.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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