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What it takes to run a small business

Running a business is not for everyone, it requires certain skills and abilities to really be a successful business owner. To run a small business successfully, business owners will need to either be born a natural leader or hone skills and get qualifications specifically for the challenge of setting up and running a business. Although every entrepreneur is different, they will likely share a certain set of skills and knowledge which enables them to be successful.

run a small business

If you lack certain skills that would be required of you to be a great business owner, don’t worry. All traits that successful business owner have can be learnt over time. From setting up a business to growing it, you will inherit skills as a means of survival.

Here is a list of traits and skills that prospective small business owners might find helpful to have in order to succeed.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is becoming a requirement for leaders of today. It can help you make better work decisions as well as creating a stronger bond with your team. Leaders with high emotional intelligence tend to make better decisions, and are able to build a sense of loyalty from their staff which leads to a low staff turnover. There are multiple benefits of having emotional intelligence, and it’s not too difficult to achieve a high level of it. You need to be self-aware, aware of others’ emotions, show empathy and have a good level of interpersonal skills.

Leadership skills

When you are running a small business you will likely have staff — this can vary from having only one or two employees, to hundreds. The most important part of having a team is managing them effectively and displaying leadership skills. You will need to be leading voice of the business, with the bigger picture always in sight. Some of main features of leadership skills include; leading, collaborating, decision making and communication.


Experience is not necessary in order to be a successful small business owner, however any relevant experience can help you on what can be a tough journey. Whether you are a serial entrepreneur or have worked in a relevant industry, any knowledge and skills picked up in that area can really make a change.

Qualifications and business education

Depending on where you are in life, and whether you feel having a qualification will make a difference to your confidence, you my want to undertake a business related qualification. From internships to fully fledged degrees, if you have money and time to invest in education then it will always help. Although you don’t need any particular qualifications to start a business, good research skills can help you prepare for all you small business inquires. There are multiple courses available such as the MBA California Online, that allow you freedom and doesn’t require you to be present at a certain location. Online courses are a great alternative to traditional learning.


Confidence is one the skills that you really need to acquire early stages of your business venture. If you are constantly doubting yourself, your decisions and even your staff you are likely to damage the success of your business. Therefore, being confident in your business, yourself and the people are around you, you can start making a success out of your business idea. You will need to be strong, because you are likely going to receive rejection and negative comments multiple times. However, you need to take them in stride and never let your confidence in your business waiver.

Can do attitude

Starting a business will be a tough, it will require hard work and long hours, especially at the beginning so you will need to be a self-starter and have that can do attitude. Being able to motivate yourself to work on your dream will be necessary in order for it to become a reality. Being a self-starter doesn’t mean that you don’t stop, in fact looking after your mental health and wellbeing is also essential. You are recommended to take breaks but make sure you come back refreshed and ready to work harder to make your small business a success.


From the inception of your business idea, to actually starting it you will need passion to drive you forwards. From the passion for making your vision a reality, to the passion for working for yourself, being passionate about what you do will give you the drive to work. Passion and self-motivation go hand in hand, as they both encourage you to work better and harder for the cause of your business.

More on starting up and growing your business.

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