Like any business venture, running a company even on a small scale demands an unrelenting supply of motivation, time and resources. Setting up your own micro-business may seem like a great initiative, however not everyone has the skill-set and strength to survive the transition from employee to self-employed, and the ongoing challenges that running a business often presents.

As an entrepreneur you are the business, and without the key qualities to retain the driving force required to keep a business sustainable, your company could be headed for disaster. If you are currently at a crossroads in your career, before investing valuable time and money required to launch your own business ask yourself the following questions to see whether or not you have the recommended traits to successfully operate a small business.

Go through the following list and answer ‘A’ for always, ‘S’ for sometimes, and ‘N’ for never.

Do you:

  • regularly set both short- and long-goals?
  • have an abundant supply of energy, determination and drive?
  • successfully accomplish your goals?
  • have the ability to revise and implement further strategies to overcome arising problems if it becomes apparent that existing plans are not achievable?
  • possess self-discipline and self-motivation?
  • take full responsibility for all your successes and failures?
  • enjoy working on your own?
  • willingly accept and confront challenges head-on?
  • have a competitive nature?
  • often get so immersed in your tasks that you become oblivious to time passed?
  • welcome opportunities for professional and personal development in acquiring new skills?
  • accept having to perform tasks that normally would not interest you?
  • hold firm to your visions and dreams even if you lack the full support from those around you?
  • enjoy performing a variety of responsibilities?
  • believe it is essential to achieve something meaningful in your life?
  • follow a project through to completion, despite being faced with obstacles?\
  • recognise that ‘disappointments’ are valuable opportunities for learning, personal and/or professional growth?
  • enjoy being in control of your working environment?

How did you go?

While there is no set formula that defines the perfect entrepreneur or whether a business will survive, business experts do recognise the above as common characteristics of successful business entrepreneurs.

Going through the above soul-searching exercise and gaining a true understanding of your strengths and weaknesses will assist you in identifying areas of deficiency that you may need further professional development or assistance with, before quitting your job and hanging your shingle out.


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