Make or break? Traits of successful business owners
“41% of businesses do not make it past the first 5 years”. When passion, enthusiasm and even money aren’t enough to make a business flourish, what makes the difference between sink or swim?
A recent survey carried out by Xero, the cloud accounting specialists, questioned 2000 current and former small business owners. Xero looked at the behaviour, experience and attitudes of those who had succeeded, against those who failed to establish patterns for success. The results were published in their ‘make or break’ report.
From their findings, we have identified some of the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs that will help you to make sure your business is not just another statistic.
They appreciate the need for work life balance
Many successful business owners appreciate the value of taking time out. 58% stated that spending time with friends and family is crucial to their work successes. However, although not willing to sacrifice their social and family life, only 28% turn off their phones and laptops to disconnect completely outside of office hours.
They are not afraid to ask questions
Successful entrepreneurs are more likely to ask for help than those who fail. Small business owners often manage their business alone, especially at the start. A third of say they have turned to support groups or business communities for help. WMT’s Business Club is a good example of the types of peer support available for business owners.
They form strong relationships with financial advisers
Xero’s research suggests that forming a strong relationship with accountant or bookkeeper is beneficial to the longevity of the business. 42% of successful respondents described their relationship with their financial adviser as ‘excellent’ compared to 27% whose company failed.
They are not afraid to spend money
The phrase ‘speculate to accumulate’ rings true with many of the most successful. They understand the need to invest in things like marketing and management software to help improve their bottom line figures. 49% of those who succeed invest in marketing and PR and 58% in software to manage their finances and budgets.
They keep track of their finances
65% of failed businesses blame financial mismanagement for their demise. Maths isn’t for everyone and managing the books doesn’t always come naturally. Financial software makes managing the numbers as simple as possible for business owners. Apart from the fact that 98% of successful business owners recommend it, our recent article covers more reasons why online accounting is good for business.
They are not afraid to take a risk
58% of successful respondents left corporate positions to take a chance on their own success, and take the plunge into entrepreneurship – nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Starting and maintaining a successful business is hard work, but highly rewarding for those that manage to pull it off. Balancing risk, financial management and time out to evaluate progress goes a long way towards determining success or failure.
For advice on business support and managing your business finances for success contact Adrian Le Roux.