The Top 5 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

When it comes to small business owners, we’re quick to call them entrepreneurs. Are “entrepreneur” and “small business owner” really synonymous, though? After all — there are many we would consider entrepreneurs who do not own a business. There are also quite a few business owners who don’t exhibit the traits necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. Being self-employed does not necessarily make you an entrepreneur.

So what does make an entrepreneur? There are a number of traits that successful entrepreneurs seem to have in common, regardless of the industry, their role in their business — or whether they even own one, and their previous employment history. Anyone can become a self-employed technician, but these traits can be the difference between simply running a business and growing a thriving business.

Entrepreneur or Non-Trepreneur: Which One Are You?

Generally speaking, the majority of small businesses in service industries are started by former technicians. Think the mechanic who left a dealership to open their own shop or the hair stylist who moved from working at a hair-cutting franchise to opening their own location. These people are now business owners, but are they entrepreneurs as well? They may have the necessary industry knowledge and technical skill to continue providing services with their own business, but only time can tell if they also have the traits and practice to grow their business beyond its beginnings.

Companies grow due to certain behaviors, decisions, and activities. Conversely, businesses also fail due to certain behaviors, decisions, and activities. The difference is in which business suffers from detrimental behaviors and decisions and lacks growth-generating activities, and which doesn’t. To get to the root of the issue, you should be asking yourself, “Do I own my company, or do I own my job?” The answer to this question typically tells you on which side of the entrepreneur-small business owner divide you fall.

The Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

So, you think you have what it takes to own more than just your day job? Let’s find out! Take a closer look at the top five successful traits most entrepreneurs exhibit, as well as what these traits look like when applied to your business.

Trait #1: Vision

The name for this trait can vary — creativity, vision, energy, drive — but it’s the thing that keeps you on course. Vision is the ability to keep your eyes on the prize, regardless of what life, your industry, and others throw at you. With vision, challenges are never insurmountable, simply challenging. Your vision is what keeps you up late into the night, working hard. It’s what you can turn to when you feel lost and need to find your way back. When you own a business, you hire and rely on many individual people, but you alone take complete personal responsibility for every detail and outcome of your business.

Trait #2: Planner

You know where you’re going and what you want to achieve with your vision. Great! How are we getting there? You have your own vision for where you want to take your franchise or business, but without a plan, all you’ll do is take it as it comes and let the world dictate your priorities. You can spend all day bailing water out of the boat that is your business, but without a plan to fix the leak or a course to navigate, you’ll simply keep filling up buckets of water until you sink or give up.

If you have vision, it’s likely that you also are good at planning out how you’ll spend your time and money — or at least you should learn to be. If you are in control of how you want to spend your time, you will make your plans happen. Planning your time is far more than setting reminders or creating an undirected block of time in your schedule. Don’t get trapped in the cycle of waiting and hoping — make it happen. Plan to tackle that task, and don’t let anything stand in your way of doing so. Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires self-discipline. It’s a common error to procrastinate and wait for a better time, but this is a mistake that can keep you stuck as the owner of your job, not the owner of your company. The best time to start acting like an entrepreneur is right at this moment.

Trait #3: Tracker

How will you know how close you are to your goals if you don’t know how far you’ve come? Having a vision will drive you and making a plan will create a path — but tracking will tell you if you’re sticking to it all. Set goals for your company as a whole, and for yourself. Goals are one way to track whether you’re moving toward your desired outcome. Setting a sales plan you can measure against lets you plan your marketing strategy, set budget control measures and save money, and avoid a financial situation that leaves your business surviving “paycheck to paycheck.” Written goals can help you see where you need to recruit or focus your energy on growth. When you track your goals, your company’s priorities will quickly become very self-evident.

Trait #4: Flexibility

All right — you have your plan, now break it. If you can’t roll with the punches, you’re going to have a difficult time growing your business. When you have a goal in your sights, it can be much easier to accept changes. With proper tracking and vision, changes can be seen as new tools to help propel your business toward success. Change is inevitable, but learning to embrace it and use it to come back better and stronger is a choice you will need to make. Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for a better, faster way to do things, so being flexible and making needed changes are key to reaching success.

Trait #5: Management

A huge part of being a successful entrepreneur is recognizing and understanding what is management, and what is labor. You may do both in the course of your day, but there is a huge difference between the two. Neglecting your management tasks for labor is a surefire way to let your business stagnate. Management includes tasks like:

  • Planning
  • Staffing, hiring, and firing
  • Executing your vision
  • Measuring, analyzing, evaluating, and tracking
  • Making decisions and handling changes

Are you seeing some of the previous traits in that list? Good—there’s a reason why managing your business and not working for it, is the final trait of a successful entrepreneur. A good entrepreneur knows the difference between cutting hair, providing excellent customer service, and growing a successful business out of a franchisee fee and a vision.

Without management thinking and skills, you can spend a very long time as a Grooming Specialist who owns their job. The difference between a small business owner and an entrepreneur isn’t much, but it can make or break a business. Growth doesn’t happen in a linear fashion, and it doesn’t happen without vision, planning, tracking, flexibility, and managing your company.

If you’re excited to put your entrepreneurial spirit to the test and become a part of a world-class men’s grooming franchise, look no further. The Gents Place is dedicated to uncovering the inner gentleman of every man by providing superior grooming services. You can help men look and feel their very best as a Strategic Partner.