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Wyoming Business Tips for Dec. 14-Dec. 20

December 5, 2014

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Leonard Holler, WSBDC regional director

“What are some indications I may not make a good entrepreneur?” Diane, Casper

I recently read an article by Annie Mueller, a freelance writer from St. Louis, about this subject. This may help you and others, so I will try to summarize her thoughts.

If you are thinking about starting your own business, you need to take a moment to think about these signs. There isn’t a single sign that would predict your ability to be a business owner, but they might make success in business much more difficult. Be honest with yourself and, if you find yourself agreeing with one or more of these signs, consider working on those areas and try your business idea later.

Consider the following signs:

-- You cannot make timely decisions. It’s called procrastination. As a business owner, you have to be able to make decisions and then deal with what happens as a result. An indecisive leader wastes time. Taking too long to make a decision sometimes means you may lose an opportunity to succeed.

-- You do not take responsibility (for anything). The fun part about being a business owner is that you get to be in charge, isn’t it? Or, is it the worst part? It is one or the other. The success of the business depends on you. Don’t make excuses, no matter whose fault it is. Start claiming responsibility for what happens in your personal life before going into business.

-- You are only motivated by money. Building a successful business takes time and money. Failure is sometimes part of that process. You need to have internal motivation, a passion to succeed, ambition and a drive that moves you forward with or without a paycheck.

-- You are disorganized. Not being organized can doom your business. You have to be able to operate efficiently to do what needs to be done. Effective systems will help your business succeed.

-- You don’t complete anything. If you cannot complete anything, you will not succeed. Achieve some things. Set some goals and establish a track record of completing what you start before you start a business.

-- You lack support. If your friends and your family are not supportive of your business, it may get really lonely. Identify your personal weaknesses and seek objective support from others. Find a mentor you can call on for advice. It may increase your chances of success.

-- You cannot stand change. The world of business is constantly changing. The economy, processes, technology and even customer demands change every day. If you cannot adapt to change, your business may remain in the present and die. You have to be able to deal objectively with change to succeed. Nothing stays the same forever.

-- You are undisciplined. You need to find a measure of discipline to follow the rules and not make up your own. It means you have to control your own unruly tendencies. In order to be successful, you need to discipline yourself and do what it takes to run your business with consistency.

-- You are not trustworthy. Honesty is a MUST. Whatever happens in your business, you cannot break your promises. Follow through with your commitments. Trust is crucial to your business success. And, you can't build trust without honesty.

Watch for your signs, and which ones need to change.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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