Conducting business via the internet has become a popular choice in recent years. The advantages to a fledging entrepreneur are huge. Here are a few:
- Many online businesses are low-cost to set up.
- The marketplace is worldwide making it easy to do business with people from around the globe.
- You don’t have to hire help until your business is fiscally ready.
- You can tailor work hours to create a flexible schedule.
- Do what you love.
These are only a few of the advantages and you probably have already decided the entrepreneurial life is for you. But, before you dive in head first, you need to decide what type of business you want to start. This may be crystal clear to you, or you may not be quite sure of your options. Before you answer that question or any other, you need to do a little self-inspection.
If you google “characteristics of a successful entrepreneur,” you will find numerous opinions. Here are my thoughts based on my 9 years in business.
Do what you enjoy. The only thing worse than working for someone else at a job you loathe is owning a business that you hate. For an entrepreneur, this can be a motivation killer. If you don’t already know what business you will start, you should research it carefully.
Take what you do seriously. As a business owner, your customers are depending on you to deliver the product or service they paid for. Even if you’re working from home in your pajamas, you can’t just decide you don’t want to work one day. You’re running a business, not a hobby. Your customers expect you to deliver and be available, just like a brick and mortar operation.
Manage money wisely. This is critical to the success or failure of your start-up. Create a budget you can live with and follow it religiously. Ideally, you need to keep enough money in your savings to maintain your lifestyle for at least six months if something happened to your business revenue. Sound difficult? Extremely. Is it worth it? No doubt!
Be Organized. Guess who is now responsible for every aspect of your business? You. It takes a lot of organization to keep even a solopreneur business running smoothly. You can learn this but if it doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ll struggle. I have worked with many start-up entrepreneurs who were not organized, however, they had one thing in common: an organized virtual assistant.
Versatility is essential. When you start your first business, you may be the only employee. This means you will have to wear a lot of hats. Some of these won’t be in your comfort zone but you need to have the flexibility to learn new things. This will help not only at the beginning of your business but latter when you hire employees or freelancers.
Understand failure is part of the game. There are so many highly successful people who failed several times in their career. Their statements say it all:
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
~ Thomas A. Edison
The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. ~ Bill Gates
Don’t just read this list and any others you find with your Google search. Take the time to decide what describes you and your situation. Get out pencil and paper (or your laptop) and make two lists, the first is characteristics you currently process and the other is one’s you don’t. Study that list.
- Are there any specialized traits you need to know for your niche? Add those to your list.
- Which ones can you learn? What resources are available to help you?
- Which tasks can you outsource? Do you have the financial resources to pay quality freelancers?
Take some time with this step in starting your new internet business. It will smooth the path and save you from some pitfalls.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community