Five Essential Traits Of Successful Startup Entrepreneurs in UK
Things are a bit topsy-turvy in the UK right now. Well, that’s probably an understatement.
Brexit has fundamentally altered the course of the country. Since the shock result of the EU referendum, politicians and the wider public have clashed over what Brexit entails and the UK’s future direction of travel. With no certain answers and heated disputes ongoing, businesses have been stuck in limbo, keen for a resolution to the current paralysis. Meanwhile, those looking to start a business might look at the current unpredictable economic conditions and hold back on their entrepreneurial ambitions.
It’s easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom. However, this is still a boom-time for entrepreneurs. The UK remains one of the leading countries to be an entrepreneur, topping the Forbes’ Best Countries for Business 2018 list. Also, the Global Entrepreneurship Index ranks the UK as the fifth best place to start a business in the world, ahead of the US and much of the EU.
So, despite the Brexit uncertainty, there’s a lot going for budding entrepreneurs in the world. The real question is: what are traits you need to be successful given the challenges presented by Brexit?
1) Risk taking
There’s a great saying: “Everywhere you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” At some point, every business owner has chosen to forge their own path – often leaving behind successful careers to go self-employed. Whilst that’s a super exciting thing to pursue, it’s inherently risky as there’s no guarantee of success.
Being self-employed, you have to accept that the safety net isn’t there in the same way as full-time employment. You have to embrace that risk and apply the same mode of thinking to other decision making. Risk often equals reward in the world of business.
Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution states that the species that survives is “is the one that is most adaptable to change.” That’s also true of business. There are countless examples of big name players who failed to adapt to changing circumstances – whether that’s new technology or changing consumer habits – and were subsequently overtaken by disrupters of the day.
Ten years ago, Blockbuster stores were on most UK high streets, but their failure was not adapting to the rise of digital streaming. Cue: Netflix. If we look to the future, responding to Brexit is going to require business owners to respond to the threats and opportunities presented by the UK’s new global position. For example, will we see more US imports enter the market? What will that mean for your business offering?
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” Do you know who said that? Arguably the most notable entrepreneur of the last 50 years: Steve Jobs.
Perseverance is sticking at it when times are tough. Perseverance is dusting off your failures and learning from them. Perseverance is dedicating every fibre of your being into making your business a success. That may take time, but, to win the race, you’ve got to stay in the race.
What is the rocket fuel of success? Passion! Finding the perseverance to continue going is so much easier if you’re working on a project you passionately believe in. It will power you through the long hours. It will help you to win clients. It will draw in investors and inspire your staff. That passion is a fundamental part of your personal brand and you shouldn’t be ashamed to tap it into it and convey it to the world. It really is infectious.
There are over five million self-employed individuals in the UK. Many of them will be running businesses that are similar to yours. So, why should a consumer pick your business over theirs? That’s where creative thinking comes into play. In this competitive landscape, you need to think outside the box, in order to make your proposition more compelling.
Especially for a startup, where budgets are likely to be tight, creativity can help you get the edge on your competitors – whether it’s testing out new marketing channels or trialing new products or pricing strategies. “Constraints aren’t the boundaries of creativity, but the foundation of it.”
So there you have it and we’ve not even talked about the importance of your business idea itself. That’s because, in many ways, your business idea is secondary to having these traits. Possess all these traits and, even if you’re idea is just OK, there’s every chance you’ll be a success. Conversely, you might have the greatest idea ever, but if you lack the traits to rise to the challenges of running a business – things will quickly come unstuck.
Also read our article on 7 mistakes that entrepreneurs should avoid for tips on running your business without making poor decisions.
About the Author
Huw Moxon is Marketing Manager at Informi. Informi is a free online resource for small businesses and sole traders, providing crucial guidance and technical support on everything you need to know about starting a business: from finance and legal advice, to profit boosting tips on marketing and technology. Their research campaigns have included studies on the SME Gender Pay Gap and Best Places To Start A Small Business, partnering with the likes of Lloyds Bank and Arval.