Ten Traits of the
successful entrepreneur

AKRON—In general, successful entrepreneurs tend to be creative individuals who are adept at problem solving. But there are other characteristics that can be learned, according to David Glass, president of the Ohio Society of CPAs Akron/Canton Chapter. Here are the 10 key traits of the successful entrepreneur, according to Glass:

  • Goal driven. Staying focused on a clear goal, and keeping employees focused on that goal, is often one of the most difficult tasks of the entrepreneur. In fact, one of the most important lessons business owners learn early on is that their company can't be all things to all people. The more focused the company is on producing what it makes best, the more likely it will succeed.

  • Customer focused. Without customers, you cannot build a business. The successful entrepreneur spends time understanding the interests and buying trends of potential customers and views the company's products or services through the customers' eyes.

  • Team oriented. Most successful entrepreneurs recognize they can't build or run their business alone. Delegating responsibilities to teams of employees or even outside consultants will not only allow the company to focus on its core competencies but also will improve the efficiency of its operations and provide avenues for creative ideas to filter their way to management.

  • Skills oriented. Each team member must have demonstrable skills that can contribute to the company's overall performance. The astute entrepreneur makes sure his team possesses a diverse skill base—one which complements his or her own skills and can create synergies in a team environment. The entrepreneur is committed to employees maintaining their skills by providing ongoing educational opportunities.

  • Techno-knowledgeable. Virtually every aspect of a business, from manufacturing to financial management to marketing, requires technological proficiency. The entrepreneur must possess some knowledge of technology and take the initiative to hire individualswho can implement technological plans and programs.

  • Global thinking. More and more businesses today are going international. Operating in a global environment means entrepreneurs must understand the trends as well as the economic and legal issues which have an impact on international markets, products and local customs. Even if you don't anticipate expanding your business across continents, understanding how companies similar to yours operate in other parts of the world can provide valuable information which may be put to use in your own business.

  • Flexible minded. The successful entrepreneur is sensitive to the changing marketplace, competitor strategies and customer preferences and adapts products or services, accordingly.

  • Bottom-line oriented. Making money—and profits —requires managing money successfully, being financially astute, carefully managing vendors and suppliers and hiring the right team of financial advisors.

  • Socially responsible. Being socially responsible can also contribute to acompany's -success. In today's business and social climates, entrepreneurs who are looking to provide a social benefit by making a commitment to serving the economically disadvantaged, protecting the environment or adopting some other social cause, are more likely to be favorably perceived by end-users of their products and services.

  • Future oriented. Successful entrepreneurs don't get overwhelmed or consumed by day-to-day problems. They have a vision for the future of their company and make an effort to understand the trends and forces which will impact upon their ability to achieve that vision. Thanks to the World Wide Web, more and more customers are expecting businesses to be accessible 24 hours a day. For the entrepreneur, that means making a commitment of time, energy and resources to be responsive to customer demands and needs.

- from The Akron West Side Leader

"To be a success in business, be daring, be first, be different."

- Marchnat

"If you lead through fear you will have little to respect; but if you lead through respect you will have little to fear."

- Anonymous

"The few who do are the envy of the many who only watch."

- Jim Rohn
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