Is Business Ownership For You?

Small Business Owner Traits

Not every individual has what it takes to be a business owner.  Some people are better suited to work as employees, functioning better when somebody else outlines their daily tasks and tells them what to do, what to wear, when to clock in, etc.  In most cases, the ability to run a successful business of any size has more to do with personality traits than formal education.  There are plenty of businesses that flourish with owners that have little to no formal business training, while, on the other hand, there are plenty of business owners that run their businesses into the ground even with years of extensive business management training; simply put – in order to run a business successfully, you have to be business minded.


So, what constitutes a “business minded” individual? There are five key traits that an individual must possess if they are considering starting their own business.

Self-motivation is Key

Probably the most important trait that a business owner must possess is the ability to stay motivated.  When you run your own business, you don’t have anybody to look over your shoulder to be sure that you’re completing tasks on time or performing work to an acceptable standard.  If you have a hard time maintaining deadlines or you really have a hard time staying motivated, then becoming a business owner is probably not in your best interest.

Confidence to Make Decisions

One quality that separates an individual from having an “employee” mindset and an “employer” mindset is the ability to make decisions. If you’re the type of person who needs guidance for every little detail, you will make a poor business owner.  Business owners must not only have the ability to make a plan, they must have the confidence in their own abilities to devise a successful business plan without second guessing themselves every step of the way.

Strong Organizational Skills

Even if you are confident in your ability to devise and follow a business plan and you have the confidence to know that your business plan will work, if you lack organization you will have a hard time effectively running your business.  Misplaced memos, forgetting important phone calls or appointments or just having your office looking like it’s just been recently ransacked is a sure fire way to run your business ineffectively.  Not only will this cause you more hours “on the job”, it can negatively affect the way that your clients or customers view your business. Of course, if you have additional funds available, you could always hire a secretary, but not all new business owners can afford this luxury.

Strong Work Ethic

Because of the glamorization of the self-employed lifestyle maintained by a relatively small percentage of business owners, many people want to run their own business simply because they think that they can put in a few hours and make boatloads of money.  While this may be true for a small number of businesses that have entered the right market at the right time with excellent marketing methods in place, the fact of the matter is that many business owners put in significantly more hours than an hourly employee does.  Based on the time to income ratio, business owners may initially make much less money per hour than they would if they were working for somebody else.  A business owner must be aware of this fact lest they become discouraged in the early stages of their business.

Undying Determination

The failure of a large percentage of businesses can be attributed to one thing: the lack of enduring motivation.  While self motivation is of course a part of the necessary traits of a successful business owner, a business owner must have a drive to succeed; a drive that will take them through the rough times and help them get to the place where their business is profitable.  For some businesses, it may take months or even years to get the business running to where it is profitable day in and day out, and if you want your business to be successful, you must have the determination to see your plans through to fruition.

There are many benefits to becoming a business owner, but unfortunately not everyone has the inherent ability to succeed as a self-employed individual.   Regardless of your education level, if you possess the qualities outlined here, you will likely be a good candidate for running your own business.  The bottom line is this: if you’re self-motivated and believe in yourself, these two traits alone will go a long way in helping you to run a successful business.