16 characters you need to succeed in business, by Ola Emmanuel – – The Eagle Online

You want to be making money by offering services or products for sale. You love the idea. But when you hear about risks taking, you cringe and suddenly become like a snail that withdraws into its shell on slightest touch. If you are snail in character, launching an idea to make money may not be your calling. Your best bet may be to apply for a job, secure the employment and give your best to remain an employee.
Doing business is about taking risks, just like life itself is risk-taking. It is about running a marathon race.
But this time, you don’t know when you will reach the finish-line. You don’t even know for how long you are going to push before you can reach auto-cruise height – a stage when the structure you need for the business will be sharpened enough to make things happening positively for the business. Therefore if you are not strong enough and your inner man isn’t hard and strengthened enough, you may find it difficult to do a business successfully. When you pick an idea and decide to turn it to money-making venture, you are saying you want to push against status quo, you want to confront competition, you want to challenge lots of environmental factors and forces. Such a decision is not meant for a lily-livered, a sissy and a wishful thinker. When you are launching a business, you are declaring a ‘war’ and by your decision and action you are saying you are a no-nonsense war general. Therefore as a potential entrepreneur, there are certain personal characteristics that should be embedded in you to launch your business and move it to an enviable heights. Please bear in mind that an entrepreneur is not a short distance runner. Doing business requires absolute commitment and persistence. It may require you putting the business above every other thing.
Business is very jealous by nature. It always demands attention and several hours of thinking and planning. During the day or at night; while in the convenience and at times when you are eating, your mind will be taken over by thoughts of what you are yet to do, what is not right yet in the business, efforts that are not yielding desired results, what you still need to do and do so well in order to get the business going. This is beside unexpected issues you may have to attend to urgently. To become a successful businessman or businesswoman, the characteristics below should be in you. These characteristics should not only be found in you, they must define your values.
As an entrepreneur, you have to be an incurable enthusiast. An entrepreneur must find peace and joy in what she does daily. Close to this is the ability to make a business out of your natural capacity (gifts or talents). If you cannot find personal satisfaction and joy in what you do, it may be difficult to pursue a business over a long period of time.
You must be passionate and serious. You can only be successful if you take what you do very seriously. You can only be effective and successful in business if you truly believe in the goods and services that you sell. There will be many things and different people that will want to test your resolve. If you don’t know what you are doing and where you are going, and you are not convinced or passionate about it, you may give in to negative tendencies that may negate the growth of the business.
Ability to know how to plan and work with a plan. Everything an entrepreneur does is first planned. Whoever wants to be successful in business must develop the habit of planning, implementing and maintaining a plan. This attribute is so important in business because it can be used to analyze business situations, carry out research and make good judgment based on the facts revealed through research.
Capacity to manage money wisely. It starts from managing your pocket money. If you always find it difficult to keep track of money or you spend money without planning beforehand how much you need to spend and on what, you need to work at it. In business, money is the key issue and the lifeblood of a business is the flow of money. You need money to do several things in business therefore you need to run your enterprise with good money plan.
Ability to talk and sound convincing. Marketing, advertising, or other promotional activities are done to achieve a goal: to ask for a sale and ensuring you get the sale (or close the deal). Within few minutes of talking to a potential client or customer, you should be skilful enough in what you need to say to make the person buy your product or service and pay for it. You must learn and know how to ask people to buy what you are selling.
Ability to solve the problems of others. Business is not about embarking on activities that please you alone, the business you decide to do should be good enough to solve people’s problems. Since buyers will only part with their money when they see a product that will satisfy their needs, they have the power to determine whether you will become successful in business or not. It is therefore necessary that you develop the skill of identifying the needs of people and helping them to meet the needs.
Persistent visibility. As a matter of fact, there may be several people doing what you want to do, a good way of attracting attention to your business is by maintaining good visibility whereby potential customers consistently hear about you and your business. Ability to maintain high visibility for yourself and your products raises curiosity about who you are and what products you are offering. This will make the masses to beat a path to your door to discover and buy what you are selling. You can achieve this when you devise means of making the people to hear more about you and what you are selling. This is called self-promotion, a very beneficial marketing tool.
Goodwill and Reputation. An entrepreneur should know how to create positive image about himself. You have but a passing moment to make a positive and memorable impression on people with whom you intend to do business. Entrepreneurs must go the extra mile to make conscious and continuous effort to display or create positive business image. They make good use of their imagination and creative ability. They pay attention to details when making professional image possible for their business. It is the duty of an entrepreneur to establish good reputation for himself and for his business.
Ability to create good relationship with customers. They are the types that easily make friends with people. The ability to offer personalized attention helps entrepreneurs to know their customers and understand how best to serve the customers.
Leadership Ability. A good entrepreneur is a leader of men because he knows that no single individual can build a successful business without the support of a good team. An entrepreneur is skilful in building trusts and he enjoys confidence of the people he works with.
Ability to strive to be an expert. An entrepreneur is knowledgeable in his line of business and he never stops seeking more knowledge on this line of business. An entrepreneur that will be successful strives to become known for his expertise in his business line. The command of the line of business is acquired through training, reading of books and journals, discussions and networking with other skilled business people to learn secrets of business success. It is this element of expertise that make potential customers to patronise the business and the existing ones make repeat purchase.
Easily accessible. An entrepreneur ensures he is accessible to potential and existing customers. You must make it easy for people to transact business with you, no matter your line of business. Customers will not go out of their way to inconvenient themselves just because they want to give you their money. Remember that there are several other businesses they can choose to patronise.
Willingness to give back. An entrepreneur do not only take from people; he gives back to the people or community that keeps him in business. An entrepreneur never ceases from getting involved in the society that supports his business by finding out ways he can be of help to the people.
Skilful in negotiations. An entrepreneur should find it natural to negotiate effectively and skilfully because he is dealing with resources. Since it is important that customers and suppliers are met daily and money and quality of products are involved in the discussion, ability to negotiate is and unquestionably a skill that every entrepreneur must make serious effort to master.
Ability to take risk. Business is about risks taking. You need to release resources in expectation that the money will come back with profit. But there is no business that is risk free. When you release your money to do business, you risk losing it altogether. If you are the type who finds it difficult to take calculated risks, it may be a serious challenge in business.
Access to Finance. An Entrepreneur needs to have money available to carry out the day to day activities of the business. Not only do you need to buy the products to resell or to get materials you need to render a service, you also need money to make every day and regular expenses that will come up in the course of doing the business. Where the money is not available or where the loss of an invested money may cause serious ruin to the business owner’s personal well being is a situation that is not good for business.
The good thing is that if you do not have these characteristics already, you can work at it and develop them.


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The incident occurred on Sunday at Glover Memorial Hall, Marina, recently renovated by the Lagos State Government


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