Business owners who lead small enterprises down the path to prosperity share similar characteristics.
By Ryan Ayers
In the United States, small firms employ more than 99-percent of the population. There are 27.9 million small businesses, compared to only 18,500 large firms. 73.2-percent of the nation’s enterprises are sole proprietorships, 19.5-percent are corporations and only 2-pecent are franchises. While only 21.5-percent of American small businesses employ workers, the firms hire nearly half of the nation’s workforce, which amounts to approximately 120 million Americans.
Small businesses drive consumer spending in the United States. For more than two decades, small enterprises have employed two out of three workers in the country. They also lead industries in creativity and innovation. For example, small enterprises file 16 times more patents for each employee, compared to their larger peers and account for more than 40-percent of high tech enterprises. These home-grown enterprises are also a significant driver of diversity in the United States, with 2.3 million Hispanic, 1.9 million African American and 1.6 million Asian owned businesses in operation across the country.
Business owners who lead small enterprises down the path to prosperity share similar characteristics. The following 7 entries highlight a few of the positive traits possessed by successful business owners.
Trait 1: Strong Negotiation Skills
When conflicts arise in the workplace, business leaders must negotiate win-win resolutions that allow their firms to continue moving forward toward achieving organizational objectives. In the health care field, where economic analysts forecast 20-percent job growth in the decade preceding 2026, there’s a strong demand for capable leaders. The organizations rely on competent leaders to manage complex internal and external conflicts. These skilled leaders bring emotional intelligence and strong communication skills to the negotiating table and devise resolutions that fulfill the needs of all interested stakeholders.
Trait 2: Marketing Acumen
Today’s leaders use keen insight and technical knowledge to gather and evaluate market intelligence that allows them to remain competitive in the current business climate. However, today’s firms collect and store more information than any human being could hope to work with in a meaningful way without the aid of computerized analysis. Using powerful programs, savvy small business leaders monitor and react to market changes while making strategic decisions that drive organizational success.
Trait 3: Driven
One characteristic shared by nearly all business owners is the will to succeed. In a competitive environment, this trait is a requisite. With competitiveness, willpower and drive, the nation’s small business owners overcome continuous challenges to succeed in the marketplace.
Trait 4: Goal-Oriented
Many effective small business leaders use Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (SMART) goals to ensure that they are leading their firms in the right direction in a timely manner. The resulting plans lend definition and clarity to the many objectives that ambitious small business owners intend to fulfill.
Trait 5: Fiscally Responsible
To succeed in the marketplace, small business owners establish budgets and manage cash flows so that their firms can operate effectively. The entrepreneurs manage the cash that is on hand wisely and reduce expenses with shrewd efficiency. How a small business owner manages organizational funds is a mission critical responsibility that determines whether an organization thrives or fails.
Trait 6: Self-Motivated
Inside organizational ranks, there’s no one above the owner. While this freedom is liberating, it requires steadfast discipline. Business owners must motivate themselves to perform better than their competitors and must often make the choice to continue working, even when it’s not desirable.
Trait 7: Accountable
Business leaders who are accountable for their actions build rapport with employees and peers, without whom commerce would not move forward. Successful small business leaders own their mistakes and learn not repeat their failures. This trait is not only honorable, but paves the way for growth within one’s industry.
Small businesses transform the American marketplace. United States business owners use their exceptional skills to compete in the marketplace, drive innovation and help to communities prosper. America’s small business owners overcome monetary and legislative challenges and seize opportunities to build a strong workforce while developing the technologies that make the world a better place. This work creates a diverse and lively economic network that supports the creation of jobs in America and shapes a marketplace that changes with the demands of society.
Many homebased sole proprietorships grow into small businesses that employ members of the community and drive the local economy, and small organizations that are led by ambitious entrepreneurs sometimes expand into large corporations. It’s small ideas and shops, backed by an undying will to succeed, that drives the nation’s economy and innovation.
Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of Fortune 500 companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis. You can find more from Ryan on Twitter at @TheBizTechGuru.