Ask Doug and Polly: Starting a New Business and the 3 Most Important Traits of an Entrepreneur | Local business news

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By special correspondents Doug and Polly White

Question: I am thinking of starting a new business and becoming an entrepreneur. What are the most important things I should worry about?

Answer: There are three important characteristics of an entrepreneur. they are:

  • Adaptability: One thing we can tell you is that no matter how carefully you plan, you need to adapt.
  • Perseverance: Almost every entrepreneur faces adversity. Only those who persevere through the hard times will succeed.
  • Work Ethic: To be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to work hard.

You need a realistic plan to deal with three very practical issues:

  • Have the skills to do the core business (or if you have some essential skills, partner with someone with additional skills). It may sound like corrective advice to say that before starting a business, the owner must be able to run the core business. However, we know many people who have ventured into entrepreneurship without clearly considering this issue.

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One of the most overlooked, but important skills is the ability to sell. For most startups, the owner must sell to survive. It is unusual for a start-up business to succeed if the owner(s) are unable to run the core business.

  • Have a plan to perform auxiliary tasks. If you love baking, don’t open a bakery. Get a job as a baker. If you want to start a company, you better want to run a business. This means that you will be expected to do more than the core business of the organization. If you’re running a bakery, you do a lot more than just bake. You will have to wait for customers, order supplies, set up and manage an accounting system. Perform administrative tasks. Maybe you need some kind of IT infrastructure and the list goes on.

Getting these ancillary functions right is critical to the survival of the business. Yes, some ancillary tasks can be outsourced, but you need a plan to accomplish each one.

  • Realize that growth means you have to let go. Maybe you’re thinking about going into business because you have a strong desire to do the core of the business. Well, you need that desire. But remember, if your business is successful, it will grow. There will come a time when you will have to delegate the core business, stop growing, or hire someone to continue the core business. Before you start your new job, know which way to go. Be prepared to deal with success.

Starting a new business is an exciting journey. But like any trip, planning ahead can help you avoid disaster. Be sure to consider the three critical issues above.

Doug and Polly White have a major ownership stake in Gazer, which designs, builds and operates co-working spaces. Polly’s focus is on human resources, people management and people systems. Doug’s areas of expertise are business strategy, operations and finance.

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