Characteristics of entrepreneurs have changed through the years. Details are shown over the next few slides.
Competencies are very important for small business owners A competency is something you do well. Our competency is your strength in business. Many times it takes the form of a hobby which later becomes a small business.
Some functions are common to businesses. But every industry has it’s own set of skills necessary to be successful. A doctor’s office and a car mechanic both involve scheduling, selling a service, both have accounting and billing needs, both require employees. But the skills to be a successful doctor or successful mechanic are very different.
There are some types of competencies which are skills, but not the mechanic or doctor’s skills needed to provide the specific service of the business.
These competencies are essential to success for entrepreneurs. Starting a new company takes much in terms of time, effort, and focus in order to become successful.
Professionalization is key in a world with many fly-by-night operations. Customers prefer to do business with a professional company. Outward signs of being a professional company can be Certification (ISO 9000) Membership in the Chamber of Commerce A clean professional website Standard business practices become the norm in an industry. Doctor’s see patients only 4 days per week Retail stores open 7 days per week Providing more than the standard in an industry is an outward sign of quality. Providing less leaves customers questioning whether you are a “real” company.
Your level of professionalization has a direct affect on the level of trust you garner from customers, banker, suppliers, and others in your community.
The owner’s passion receives the lion’s share of attention, consciously causing that area of expertise to exceed the standards of the industry.
A single practice doctor’s office is a habitual entrepreneur. They work until they retire. Kids don’t come in and take over the business when dad retires.
Family businesses have all the facets of normal entrepreneurial firms but also have the emotional drama inherent in a family.
One problem seen in successful family owned businesses is that the second generation may not be as passionate about, or as capable of, running the family business. Many children who grow up with parents running a successful family business do not desire to work the weekends and late nights which were required to make the business successful. Another issue is who is the successor? And where does that leave a child who chooses not to work in the family business? These issues will also be discusses later in the book.
If starting a business late in life, it is essential to keep the money you have already amassed, safe. Keep in mind, if you lose all your money in this venture, you will not have as much time to rebuild your personal security.