Do You Have What It Takes to Start Your Own Business?

What qualities do successful small business owners have in common? A new survey by Deluxe Corp. sought to find out by asking entrepreneurs about their history, attitudes and characteristics that led to business success. How do you measure up? According to Deluxe:

  • Small business owners are optimists. You’ll deal with lots of setbacks and obstacles in your road to business success, so you need to have a positive outlook. In the Deluxe survey, a whopping 86 percent of respondents believe they can do anything they set their minds to.
  • Small business owners are comfortable with failure. The road to business success is paved with failures, but that’s OK for entrepreneurs in the study. More than three-fourths (77 percent) say they would rather learn from failure than never try at all.
  • Small business owners keep it all in the family. Having family members who have run businesses is a common thread among successful small business owners. Whether it’s learning the ropes of business success at an early age or simply being exposed to the realities of entrepreneurship that makes the difference, more than three-fourths (76 percent) of small business owners Deluxe polled have a family member who owned a small business.
  • Small business owners like to be in charge. More than half (54 percent) of entrepreneurs in the survey say they started their companies because they wanted to work for themselves instead of having a boss. A majority (89 percent) described themselves as leaders.
  • Small business owners like to get things done. You may be dreaming about starting a business, but for business success, you need to take the next step. Seventy-eight percent of entrepreneurs in the survey describe themselves as doers and 80 percent say they’re practical (80 percent).


Of course, not all small business owners are the same, and there are many reasons to start a business. Deluxe found the small business owners in the study fell into one of seven categories:

  1. All Heart: These entrepreneurs started a business to do what they love and share it with others.
  2. Encore Career: These entrepreneurs are older, entering a second phase of their careers, and took a risk with starting their own businesses.
  3. Passionately Confident: These risk-takers are born business owners who believe in  choosing their own paths in life.
  4. All in the Family: Traditional types, these entrepreneurs inherited the family business.
  5. My Way: These entrepreneurs were motivated by taking back control of their time. They started their companies to gain control over their schedules and hours. (They’re more likely to be women).
  6. Mastering the Niche: What we think of as the classic entrepreneur, these business owners saw an opportunity and wanted to capitalize on it.
  7. Boss-me-not: These former business professionals left their for-profit, corporate jobs because they wanted to be their own bosses.

Isn’t it good to know that, whichever category you fall into, you can make a go of your business?

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and Twitter @Rieva, and visit her website to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.