Asked by John Cameron on LinkedIn
Good questions, John!
With the entrepreneurs and small business owners I work with, here are some of the personal success indicators I look for:
– Desire to be a manager and executive, not just a worker and detail person. (Many prefer just to keep working away.)
– Habit of stepping back and looking at the big picture regularly
– Planning, even in the face of uncertainty; then review their plan regularly, take corrective action, and update it as needed
– Willing to hire top quality people–even people smarter than they are
– Delegate as many things as they can to others, to free them up to focus on strategic issues
– Willing to invest in their own business; to take a risk; to hire a person they cannot afford right now, but who can help them break out
– Get support from peers and experts who have been where they want to go. Listen to and learn from these people, even when it’s uncomfortable.
– Continual learning: improving management skills, mastering new technologies, broadening industry knowledge
Note that these are about the individual, not the business concept or model. However, I also look for:
– A business model that promises profit margins adequate to pay them well, but also to fund growth, pay back investors, and provide a cushion for tough times.
Also, notice that I said nothing about working 24/7. I do not think that correlates well with business success.
I have a Business Viability Test that I use to assess business models. I haven’t yet included that in my e-tools, but I think I will.