What do successful entrepreneurs do right? There’s no magic recipe for entrepreneurial success, but there are some things that successful small business owners have in common. A couple of studies polling entrepreneurs reveal key characteristics of small business owners who thrive.
Here’s what successful business owners do right and a few things they could improve on.
What successful entrepreneurs do right
1. They start strong
Some 84% of respondents in a poll by Kabbage of 500 successful entrepreneurs say their companies became profitable within their first four years, and more than two-thirds turned a profit in their first year. In contrast, just 8% became profitable after their fifth year.
Lesson learned: Focus on getting into the black as soon as you can.
2. They continually seek new customers
Entrepreneurs in the survey report that finding new customers is their number-one business challenge; it’s a much greater concern than managing cash flow or staying ahead of the competition.
Lesson learned: Don’t rest on your laurels. Stay laser focused on generating new leads and closing new sales.
3. They invest in their businesses
What would you do if you had surplus cash? Forty percent of entrepreneurs in a different study by Kabbage say they’d put it back into the business. And nearly half (47%) say they’ve used their personal savings to finance their business at one point or another.
Lesson learned: Successful small business owners put their business first.
4. They work hard
If anyone tells you small business owners are slackers, here are some facts to refute them: A whopping 86% of entrepreneurs work on the weekends; 23% take fewer than two vacation days per year; and of those who do take vacations, 75% work while on vacation.