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10 Common Characteristics of the Most Successful Startups

If you’re considering starting your own business there are many questions to ask yourself. Of all those questions, “What do I need to become successful?” is one of the most common and perhaps the most important. We’re going to look at the common characteristics – on a personal and business level – that apply to successful startup businesses.


1. You have a dream

One of the key characteristics is within yourself:

  • Are you someone that has a dream, an ambition or an idea that you want to make into a reality?
  • Do you have a concept for a service or product that you feel is either different to or far better than what is currently available?
  • Do you also want to be successful, world-conquering in your own way?
  • Do you want to live the dream and are happy to put in the hard graft to achieve it?


2. You’re willing to take risks

The most successful entrepreneurs have the mindset to take a chance. They are confident in what they are doing and truly believe that they will succeed, no matter what obstacles may be put in the way. Having this attitude allows them to take the risks needed to build a thriving startup.


3. You ask for and take advice

One of the most important characteristics for a successful startup owner is:

  • the ability to learn from others
  • to not be afraid to ask for advice
  • act on what you learn.

When starting out, taking advantage of some sort of business mentoring can teach you a lot. This is where you can learn from someone who has already achieved some or all of what you want for your own company, while learning from their mistakes and avoiding the pitfalls they experienced along the way. Similarly, networking with experienced entrepreneurs can provide a great deal of insight that can help you with your own business development – as long as you are willing to use it.


4. You’re a great communicator

Having good communications skills are very important – whether the communications are with existing customers, warm leads, other businesses or even current work colleagues. While we all have natural strengths and weaknesses, this is one that’s definitely worth working on.


5. You have a flexible mindset

We can all get something stuck in our heads, become very determined on a topic and set our focus on a particular goal with laser-like precision. Being highly driven is a very good thing for a brand-new start-up entrepreneur.  However, to truly succeed you also need to have a flexible mindset that allows you to change course when the evidence shows that your current path isn’t working out as you hoped. Being flexible and adaptable also lets you make the most of any new or surprising opportunities when they appear along your path.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ checklist that guarantees business success if you tick all the boxes in terms of personal and business characteristics. But if you have many of these as well as others that complement them, then you will have a solid foundation for your future success and business growth.

6. You know your customers

Having an excellent product or service that you are truly passionate about is one thing, but you also need to know who you want to sell it to. You need to know your target market inside out. Knowing who your customer is, what they want from the product or service you offer and how you are effectively going to reach them is a key part of starting your business and making it successful.


7. You have a business plan

Budding entrepreneurs may sigh with frustration at the thought of drawing up a business plan. However, having a good plan in place can be incredibly useful, especially in the early part of your business venture.

A business plan is a flexible document that can change as strategies and results influence it over time. All good businesses have one when they start to use as a foundation. It gives you something to focus on, a path to follow and helps concentrate your efforts on the steps that will achieve the end goal. The plan can be amended as the business grows or new changes become necessary.


8. You have a great team around you

While many businesses start out as a single person company, extra staff will be needed if you plan to grow. Getting the right people involved as early as possible means you can ease back a little, focus on the bigger picture and the path that you’ve set. This means you must be able to let go of a certain number of tasks and delegate these to others. You can use their experience and expertise to make your business even better.


9. You value those around you

Once you have the best people in place for your business, you need to truly value them and show them how important they are to you and the continuing success of your company.

The best startups have a team that are just as passionate about the company as the owner or founder. This translates well into their work ethic and the effort they produce. For a truly valued team member, coming to work each day is a pleasure and something they want to do rather than a chore.


10. You offer great customer service

Regardless of the industry you want to work in, or the product or service you plan to offer, providing the best customer service is always of paramount importance to the most successful startups. Most have this as one of their core characteristics.

They put their customer first above all else and ensure everything they do is customer-centric, rather than company-centric. Many top startups have actually reverse-engineered their companies starting from the customer point of view backwards. Roles are created to serve the needs of the customer first before the final management structure is even in place.


We’d like to thank Your Company Formations for this insight. For a comprehensive guide to getting your business up and running, download our how to start a business in 20 days eBook.


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