Common traits of successful small business owners

Small Business Guides

3 min read

Have you ever wondered what makes successful business owners tick? Do you share their good habits? We surveyed 2,000 business owners to help you find out.

What makes a successful small business?

You’ve probably seen daunting statistics about the high failure rate of small businesses. Many don’t make it to their fifth birthday – and yet the entrepreneurial spirit fights on. Those small businesses that survive provide a big chunk of GDP and go on to employ most of the workforce.

So what separates the ones that boom from the ones that go bust? 

Researching good traits for a small business owner

We surveyed 2000 current and former small business owners from the US and UK. Some had succeeded, others had failed. We took all their answers and looked for patterns. Here are the characteristics that defined the two groups.


So now you know

None of these traits will make up for a bad business idea, or even bad luck. You need a huge number of things to line up to launch and maintain a successful business. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to control all of them.

But you can control how you approach your business. And, as this study shows, that actually has an impact on your chances of success. So think about your attitude towards these things.

Work-life balance

Seeking advice

Investing in your business

Watching finances

Taking chances

Be a successful small business owner

Successful small businesses are launched every minute of every day. People keep going out on their own, despite all the well-publicised pitfalls. And that’s because of attitude. Use these tips to help hone yours, and set yourself up for success.