5 keys to be a successful entrepreneur

I saw a post on Linked In this week about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur…most are valid, but I left thinking that there is more to it.

Here are my 5 traits for someone to succeed in their own business…

Number One:

Know what the “Value” is of what it is you do.  What does your product or service do to help people? How does it improve someone’s life, company, bottom line, or how they work or live?  You must know the benefits of your product or service! Then you must communicate those benefits in what you do and say! Here is an example; I had a home stager as a client who would call a real estate agent up to get business…she woluldsay something like, she does great work, her clients are happy and that she would like a chance to have an introductory meeting with the agent.

This wasn’t exactly compelling. It didn’t get a lot of traction with the real estate agents…so instead, the Home Stager and I looked up news articles on Google news about the “Home Staging business and sure enough, we found the perfect article..it said, “That homes that were staged got 9% more money on the sale of the house and that staged homes sold 15% faster”!

Holy Moly! We used that statistic in my client’s messaging and so when she’d call a real estate agent, she would use that stat, word for every word, What real estate agent doesn’t want more money and for their inventory to move faster?

She began to get those important first meetings! The value was in that result!


2. As an entrepreneur, you must know your market! Who is going to buy your stuff? What makes them tick, what drives them? What are their challenges, how does the value of what you do make or sell help them? Know your market, be precise, You cannot do business with everyone, Be one thing to one very defined group of people, as time moves forward, once you have conquered one niche market, then you can go onto a new one!

Know your market, be precise and focus on a specific niche or segmnent!  You cannot do business with everyone, Be one thing to one very defined group of people, as time moves forward, once you have conquered one niche market, then you can go onto a new one!


3,  Stay on top of your game. As an expert in your field, which you now are as an entrepreneur, you need to know your stuff. Carve out time to research each week, look at new trends as far as your industry goes, see what competitors are doing and how you may be able to utilize a new idea, service or product.

Also, stay close to your customers, know and learn about them, what drives them, what changes are happening for them. So in essence, you need to carve out time to research the market, learn and network, so that you can remain relevant in the eyes of your customers and prospects!

4. The 4th, key trait is practice balance in your life. All work and no play is not a great way to spend a life, so incorporate the important things in life into your work or business. I love social time, family time, my own time to walk, exercise, meditate, learn and read. I also need time for spiritual pursuits, time to learn more about my finances and improve on my choiches, If you have balance, then you will be way more effective in your business and the work you do!

5. Finally, the 5th trait is to be a great communicator. Learn to ask…you need to ask questions of your clients, or ask for the sale, or money. You need to ask your banker for a loan or for your family to be patient with you during your busy season.

You also need to be able to present effectively and speak. You need to know what makes a compelling presentation or how to influence someone in an elevator pitch at a networking event, when you need to introduce yourself and your business.

You need to listen to what your clients say and want without filters and judgement, so that you can serve them to the best of your ability!

Those are my Top 5 traits.

What are yours? Let me know!

Make it a great week!




David is an author, business coach and facilitator and was the former host/producer and creator of the Small Business Big Ideas Show heard weekly for over 9 years. David has taught thousands over the years in both the non-profit and for profit sectors and has coached hundreds of start-ups to make those important first steps. He specializes in helping small business owners mine their strengths, get clear on their value, their markets and then begin to develop a sales and marketing game plan that gets results.

He also can be booked to do his keynote presentations; “The 8 Keys to Success, How I got to Kiss the Stanley Cup and his new keynote called “A breakthrough-through the glass”- how to overcome the fear that life and business might throw your way. He leads workshops in sales, marketing, market research, business plans, target marketing and customer service programs. David is currently with the City of Toronto, heading up an entrepreneur training program for inner city youth and adults. He has taught thousands and coached numerous clients in the area of Small Business Start-ups and business growth strategies.