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This is the time to look inward as well as explore the world of business opportunities. It is tempting to forego this phase as trivial and perhaps unproductive; however, careful research into business opportunities and self evaluation will go along way to ensure your business venture is a success.

In this phase you are preparing yourself and evaluating opportunities. A great source of information and a thoroughly list of activities involved in the various stages of "Getting Ready", Planning, Starting and Managing your business is the Small Business Administration's Small Business Planner, available on line at www.sba.gov.


CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR

  1. Good Health. Successful entrepreneurs must work long hours for extended periods of time. When they get sick they recover quickly.
     
  2. A need to Control and Direct. They prefer environments where they have maximum authority and responsibility and do not work well in traditionally structured organizations. This is not about power, though, entrepreneurs have a need to create and achieve by having control over events.
     
  3. Self-confidence. Findings show that as long as entrepreneurs were in control, they were relentless in pursuit of their goals. If they lost control, they quickly lost interest in the undertaking.
     
  4. Sense of Urgency. They have a never-ending sense of urgency to do something. This corresponds with a high energy level. Many enjoy individual sports rather than team sports. Inactivity makes them impatient.
     
  5. Comprehensive Awareness. They have a comprehensive awareness of a total situation and are aware of all the ramifications involved in a decision.
     
  6. Realistic Outlook. There is a constant need to know the status of things. They may or may not be idealists, but they are honest and straightforward and expect others to be the same.
     
  7. Conceptual Ability. They have superior conceptual abilities. This helps entrepreneurs identify relationships in complex situations. Chaos does not bother them because they can conceptualize order. Problems are quickly identified and solutions offered. The drawback is that this may not translate well to interpersonal problems.
     
  8. Low Need for Status. Their need for status is met through achievement not through material possessions.
     
  9. Objective Approach. They take an objective approach to personal relationships and are more concerned with the performance and accomplishment of others than with feelings. They keep their distance psychologically and concentrate on the effectiveness of operations.
     
  10. Emotional Stability. They have the stability to handle stress from business and from personal areas in their lives. Setbacks are seen as challenges and do not discourage them.
     
  11. Attraction to Challenges. They are attracted to challenges but not to risks. It may look like they are taking high risks, but in actuality they have assessed the risks thoroughly.
     
  12. Describing with Numbers. They can describe situations with numbers. They understand their financial position and can tell at any time how much they have in receivables and how much they owe.

Written by Judith L. Click-Smith