The success of an enterprise new or old depends upon the qualities or characteristics of an entrepreneur or entrepreneur. In order to be successful, an entrepreneur must possess certain qualities which are unique of its kind. If we go through the business history of India, we come across the names of Tata, Birla, Modi, Dalmia and others who started their business with small size and made good fortunes. This is possible only because they possess all the entrepreneurial qualities.
McClelland has identified these qualities or characteristics or features of a successful entrepreneur as “an individual with technical competence, risk-taking, high initiative, good judgment, intelligence to analyse and solve problem areas, leadership qualities, confidence, positive attitude, high level of energy, creativeness, honesty, integrity emotional stability and fairness.”
Robert D. Hisrich identified adequate commitment, motivation and skills to start and build some of the important qualities of an entrepreneur. Flexibility, good social behaviour, open mind and desire to take personal responsibilities will fit in the qualities of a true entrepreneur.
Some of the important qualities or characteristics that are necessary for a successful entrepreneur are discussed below :
1. Desire to Excel:
The first and foremost quality an entrepreneur should possess refer to a burning desire to excel. The entrepreneur should always engage in competitions with self imposed standards with himself to beat his last best performance. According to Mc Clelland, this high achievement motive strengthened him to surmount the obstacles, suppress anxieties, repair misfortunes and devise expedients. The entrepreneur must have a strong desire to be a winner.
2. Hard Work:
Entrepreneurs who successfully build new enterprises possess an intense level of strong determination and willingness to work hard. They possess a capacity to work for long hours and in spurts of several days with less than normal amount of sleep. Through their hard work and intense desire to complete a task or solve a problem or overcome hurdles, they can able to achieve the never ending goal of excellence.
3. Self Confidence:
Entrepreneurs must have confidence and belief in themselves to achieve their desired objectives. They strongly believe that they can beat any one in the field. They do not believe in status quo, rather they believe that the events in their life are self-determined and have little belief in fate.
An entrepreneur must have initiative seeking personal responsibility for actions and use the available resources for optimisation of objectives. They take full credit for the success and assume full responsibility for the failure of the enterprise.
5. Moderate Risk-Taker:
An entrepreneur must be a moderate risk taker and learn from failures. The successful entrepreneurs are neither high risk takers, nor gamblers. They work in between the two extremes. They take moderate challenging risk to attain moderate returns which are influenced within their abilities and decisions.
An entrepreneur must be innovative and creative. Through his innovative ideas and creative thinking an entrepreneur can be able to engage himself in the analysis of various problems and situations in order to deal with them. An innovative entrepreneur introduces new products, develops new method of production, discovers new market and reorganises the enterprise.
An entrepreneur should have a strong motivation towards the achievement of a task and must be able to exert considerable efforts in getting things done by others. He should be a person who likes working with people and has skills in dealing with them. He has to motivate people to act, through his interpersonal skills.
Entrepreneurs do not believe that the success or failure of a new business venture depends mostly upon luck or fate or external uncontrollable factors. They are highly optimistic about the success of the enterprises. They use positive knowledge to support their thinking. They are rarely negative. They always look at the brighter side of the situation. They are never disturbed by any internal or external threat to their business or intermittent problems in accomplishing their goals.
9. Analytical Ability:
Entrepreneur must be realistic in their approach. They should not be affected by the personal likes and dislikes. At the time of crisis, they must select experts rather than their friends and relatives to solve the problems. They must analyse the problem in detail before taking any decisions.
10. Mental Ability:
Mental ability refers to the inner strength of an entrepreneur which helps him to reach his goal. It is that ability which helps him to quickly respond to difficult situation. It consists of intelligence and creative thinking of an entrepreneur. Through this ability, entrepreneurs are able to adjust themselves with the changing business environment.
11. Communication Ability:
An entrepreneur must be well-versed with the art of communication. It is that skill through which both the sender and receiver understand each other and are being understood. Entrepreneur are required in many situations to influence customers, employees, suppliers, creditors, and government and make them think in his way and act accordingly. An entrepreneur who can effectively communicate and convince the above people will be more likely to succeed than the entrepreneur who does not.
Entrepreneurs should be flexible in their decisions in the sense that they should not be very rigid in the decision making process. If the situation demands a change in the decision that will be beneficial to the enterprise, then after analysing the pros and cons of the decision, the entrepreneur should revise or modify or change the decisions.
Successful entrepreneurs do not like to be guided by others. They prefer to work in an environment free from interference. They like to be independent in the matters of decision making of their own business. They want to be their own masters and resist to be pigeonholed.
An entrepreneur must possess good leadership qualities to become a successful entrepreneur because leadership is the important aspect of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur must have an ability to lead so that he can induce the people to work with confidence and zeal. It is an aid to authority and helps in better utilization of manpower.
15. Good Human Relations Ability:
Entrepreneurs must have the abilities to maintain and establish good relations with customers, employees, suppliers, financiers and other people related with the business to run it effectively and efficiently. Emotional stability, tactfulness and warm human relations are some important qualities which bring success to an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur who maintains good human relations is much more likely to succeed in his business than the individual who does not practice such relations.