Ever wonder what it takes to become a successful businessman? Is it all about having a brilliant idea and working hard toward your goals? Or do you also need some luck? The truth is that there's no recipe for success. You can fail despite having amazing ideas or succeed even if your idea isn't top of the line. Many world-famous entrepreneurs made the impossible possible against all the odds. Some have failed more than once, but their persistence paid off.
Common Traits That Define Successful Businessmen
Many successful businessmen started as entrepreneurs and had limited funds. Sam Walton, Wal-Mart’s founder, used a $25,000 loan from his father-in-law to launch his first store. Kevin Plank, the man behind Under Armour, relied on his savings and got into debt after starting his business. One year later, he was broke. Today, Under Armour is a billion dollar business with over 5,900 employees.
After being fired from his job, Walt Disney spent his last money on a train ticket to Hollywood. At that point, he was surviving on dog food. Years later, he became one of the wealthiest businessmen in the U.S. Other examples of successful entrepreneurs include Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Milton Hershey and Bill Gates.
The entrepreneurial spirit is the driving power behind a lucrative business. It all starts with an idea. Your ability to succeed depends on how much work and effort you're willing to put in to bring that idea to life. It takes more than passion and creativity to grow your business and turn it into a successful venture.
Great businessmen and entrepreneurs share several common traits. They have a vision and are willing to go through hardships to achieve their goals. According to Tren Griffin, author of "A Dozen Lessons for Entrepreneurs," getting started is the most important step. No matter how many books and business magazines you read, you'll only learn when you leave your comfort zone and take action. Procrastination is your worst enemy.
Griffin also states that as an entrepreneur, one must do whatever it takes to achieve product-market fit. This means you need to identify your ideal customer and niche as well as the best uses for your product. Furthermore, it's important to focus on your goals and eliminate distractions. Identify the core aspects of your business and ignore everything else.
Becoming an entrepreneur is easy. Making things happen is the hardest part. Without a clear plan and a strategy to execute it, you'll likely fail. Think of your business plan as a roadmap for success. It guides your actions and keeps you focused on what really matters.
Accept failure as part of the process. Successful entrepreneurs embrace failure and learn from their mistakes. They stay strong and stick to their plans, even if that requires working long hours and making compromises. If things don't go as planned, they keep an open mind and adapt their business strategy accordingly.
Confidence, flexibility, passion and resilience are all essential skills that define a great businessperson. Those who choose this path are self-motivated, have strong leadership qualities and understand the value of a strong peer network. They're not afraid to ask for help when they need it. Having a strong work ethic and personal values is important, too.
What Makes a Business Successful?
Success is a subjective term and means different things to different people. What makes a business a success depends on how you define this concept in the first place; people perceive success quite differently.
Richard Branson, for instance, believes that success should be measured by how happy we are. You can have a small business that provides steady revenue and see it as a success. Or you can run a million dollar company and feel that you're not “doing enough.”
Maya Angelou once said that success means liking yourself and what you do. Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder, believes that being successful is all about making a positive impact on society. For Deepak Chopra, success means continual growth.
If you wish to become an entrepreneur or grow your business, define what success means to you. Would you consider yourself successful if you had a lot of money? Or would you prefer to make an impact on those around you and change their lives for the better? Perhaps your goal is to accomplish both.
There is a general understanding of what a business needs to achieve to be considered successful. Ideally, it should allow you to work in an industry that you enjoy being a part of while giving you the freedom and flexibility you strive for. Furthermore, your business should provide genuine value and accomplish its initial goals.
Successful ventures have many things in common. These include strong company culture, a business strategy, a financial roadmap and the right mindset. You also need a great team and a business network on which you can rely. Customer loyalty is an indicator of success, as well. If your customers keep coming back, it means you must be doing something right.
How to Achieve Business Success
Whether you're an entrepreneur or a businessman striving for success, there are a couple of things you can do to reach your goals. First of all, take the time to understand customer expectations. Learn about your target audience and its needs. In this competitive age, 76 percent of customers say that switching from one brand to another is easier than ever before. If your business fails to meet their expectations, they'll go to your competitors.
Make sure there is a market for your products. According to a 2014 study, developing a must-have product is the key to business growth. The fastest growing companies from around the world offer products that customers need and want.
Furthermore, continue to improve your offering and prioritize innovation. More than half of customers prefer to buy from innovative brands, which means you have to continually provide new products and services that match customers' expectations and address their pain points.
Educate yourself about the market and the latest trends. Check out the business tip of the day in online magazines like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Business Insider. Read success stories for inspiration. Make sure you understand the challenges of becoming an entrepreneur and running your own business. Be prepared to fail and make mistakes. If you expect everything to go smoothly, you might end up being disappointed and eventually give up.
Build strong relationships with other business professionals. Attend workshops and networking events, join online forums and grow your network. Exchange success tips with other entrepreneurs, engage in brainstorming sessions and discuss your projects.
Take small steps toward your goals. Jumping all in is rarely ever successful. Come up with a business, estimate your revenue and expenses, research your competitors and analyze the risks related to the niche of your interest. Keep seeking new opportunities to grow and improve your business. Be consistent and trust yourself.
Success doesn't come overnight. That's why it's so important to be persistent and resilient. Celebrate small milestones and enjoy the journey rather than rushing to the destination. While setting goals is essential to success, don't let them overpower you.
Your new business doesn't have to be the next Facebook or Google to be successful. Learn to enjoy the little things and tackle each step of the process. After all, becoming an entrepreneur is an adventure in itself, so go ahead and make your dreams come true!
- Fundable: Under Armour Startup Story
- Entrepreneur: 5 Entrepreneurs Who Started With Nothing - and 3 Lessons to Learn
- Forbes: What Makes a Successful Entrepreneur? Five Lessons From VCs and Entrepreneurs
- Business Insider: 12 Rich, Powerful People Share Their Surprising Definitions of Success
- Sales Force: Customer Expectations Hit All-Time Highs
- BDC: Growing Your Business - 6 Tips from Highly Successful Companies