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What does it take to be an entrepreneur?

A recent report, highlighted in Business Matters magazine, 'Access all Areas: Older Workers' is a joint study by Enterprise Nation and The Entrepreneurs Network. The report suggests that the UK economy can be stimulated by encouraging the over 50s to become entrepreneurial.

So if, indeed, the current market conditions are ripe then we ask ‘What does it take to be an entrepreneur?’ If you dream about starting your own business what do you need to know to make you a successful entrepreneur?

What makes people want to become entrepreneurs?

Firstly let’s look at the reasons for wanting to take that leap.

Worldwide there are 582 million entrepreneurs - all either seeking to fulfil their lifelong passion and turn it into a sustainable business or who have stepped out of the corporate world to build a business their own way.

Business News Daily's 'The No.1 reason most entrepreneurs start a business' says people are motivated by the allure of autonomy, flexibility and a sense of achievement. Following a passion which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all about achieving wealth and status.

Statistics from Search Logistics show the top 3 drivers for becoming an entrepreneur:

  1. Being their own boss – unsurprisingly, more than half (55%) of the entrepreneurs surveyed said they were enticed by the idea of being their own boss; being able to walk away from a restrictive corporate structure.

  2. Following their passion – 39% of entrepreneurs wanted to pursue a passion in a specific industry or niche; to follow a cause, skill or talent otherwise stunted in their current role.

  3. An opportunity arose and they took a leap of faith. A quarter of entrepreneurs said timing was critical.

Of course, the drivers for starting your own company are different for everyone but fundamentally, the desire for freedom and being in the right place at the right time are key.

What are the key traits of a successful entrepreneur?

We’ve said that following the dream, craving freedom and grasping an opportunity presented are the main drivers but personality traits, aptitudes and business skills will define how those circumstances play out.

Many entrepreneurs possess these traits:

Visionary mindset – entrepreneurs will have a clear vision of where they want to take their business; they’ll set goals which challenge and drive the venture forward.

Resilience – many entrepreneurs will say that they failed at the first time of asking. Successful entrepreneurs show resilience and come back from failures whilst maintaining a positive and driven mindset.

Adaptability – another trait common amongst entrepreneurs is being highly flexible and accepting of change, exhibiting the ability to adjust their strategies and business models to reflect changes in the market.

Risk Tolerant – entrepreneurs share this trait. They will be prepared to take calculated risks, gaining competitive advantage and driving innovation.

Inspired Leadership – with an innate ability to motivate their teams and communicate their vision, entrepreneurs will ensure their passion takes everyone involved in the business with them on their journey to success.

Are entrepreneurs weak in certain areas?

This all sounds great and positive but are there areas where entrepreneurs may show weakness which may put a new venture at risk?

16personalities sums up the core weaknesses of the entrepreneur and generally speaking, it all comes down to a lack of desire to look at the details. Obviously when taken in the business context, this may cause some fundamental issues and jeopardise the startup's success.

Entrepreneurs can often speak directly (too much in fact) which leads to disharmony in working relationships - every people manager’s potential nightmare.

There are details to be covered in each part of an enterprise - from logistics to health and safety, financial processes to HR. Having to stay focused on details can make those with entrepreneurial traits impatient and challenge the working relationships around them.

Imposing structures and strategies are critical but to an entrepreneur these may be the very issues they seek to avoid. Getting the balance right - enabling innovation to move forward yet ensuring business compliance is met means entrepreneurs need the right team behind them.

How Q&A People Matter can help

And that’s where we can help.

Do you need assistance with HR processes? Financial procedures? Business compliance?

While you concentrate on applying your entrepreneurial attributes to your dream venture, we can guide you on the details.

Contact us for more information.


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