What Makes a Good Entrepreneur

When it comes to running one’s own business, experts say there are multiple characteristics or attitudes one should have in order to succeed and create a satisfying work environment for both employers and their employees.

Here are 8 ingredients the experts say make up a good – and therefore successful – small-business boss.

No. 1: Put customers first. Experts agree that when customers feel valued as both paying customers and even potentially as friends and/or neighbors, they will keep coming back.

No. 2: Put employees before yourself, but after customers. Something women have proven to be quite adept at, experts say employees need to feel as if they are part of a team and that their input is valued for them to stay on as happy campers.

No. 3: Help employees excel. When the boss helps his or her workers become better at the job and creates opportunities for advancement, workers are more likely to give their all to the job and remain loyal.

No. 4:  Cut back on benefits and other employee compensation as a last resort. Whereas many large firms often go down this road first, small businesses generally are (and rightfully so) more loathe to take it, because they are often more attune to employee morale and how that may affect their bottom lines.

No. 5:  Look forward. Small business owners need to learn from their past mistakes in order to grow and anticipate future trends.

“In business, if you’re static, if you’re not growing, you’re not successful,” said Helen Han, president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). “Being in the same place continuously is a place of great risk for small business owners.”

No. 6:  Create a long-term plan: Include outlooks for three to five years ahead, instead of three to five months.

“You’re not solving for today’s crisis or next month’s crisis. What you’re really solving for is three to five years from now – what you want your business to be in the future,” Han said.

No. 7:  Have an exit strategy. No one plans on failing, but an entrepreneur should have an idea on where he or she sees themselves in 20 years or so, and how to go about exiting the business if needed.

No. 8: Become an expert. No matter what field you’re in, customers will keep coming back if they can rely on solid and sound advice and/or services from you.