Over the past few years, I’ve been more and more intrigued with the idea of starting my own business. I’m not sure if it is the idea of working for myself, or trying to find a way to earn a living without working a 9 to 5 that is so appealing, but I’m a little obsessed. In reality, I am a few years from seriously considering going out on my own, but it doesn’t mean I don’t think about it. Some may say that I’m caught in analysis paralysis, but it’s for a good reason.

Starting a new business from the ground up can be a scary step – and in many ways a scary leap of faith. There is a lot of unknown in a new business and it often takes years to determine if a business has what it takes to be successful. Yet, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t common traits that many successful businesses have in common.

If you are going to do it right, you might as well learn from those who have gone before you and try to replicate their success.

Popular Traits of a Successful Business

Everyone is looking for the “secret sauce” these days when it comes to business, believing that if they can just find a hidden formula, they will earn a lot of money. While there is no magic involved, there are fundamental elements of a successful business. Here are several traits that many profitable businesses have in common:

Customer First Approach

I can’t stress how important this is when it comes to creating and running a profitable business. The best businesses are the ones that think of the customer first. Some use the expression, “The customer is always right,” and that applies too, but this is a little different. If you are going to sell a product or service, you need to truly understand the market that you are trying to reach and mold the business around those wants/needs. If you think about them first, you can’t go wrong. Don’t forget that your customers pay your paycheck.

Flawless Technology

Similar to thinking of the customer first, you have to have the support necessary to meet the customer’s expectations. This is where technology can come into play. Companies should use technology available to them, including business software tools like the industry-leading Oracle products, such as WebCenter Content, to enhance their organization and create a better customer experience.

Dedicated & Creative Owner

While the internet will have you believe that anyone can earn a living from a new business venture, the truth is that it takes hard work and commitment. It won’t happen overnight, so in order to be successful, you need to be committed. You will need to stick with it through the likely slow, or rough beginning. I’m not trying to say that you need to keep doing the same ol’ thing over and over until money grows on trees, but you have to be able to survive a storm or two. In fact, a successful business will happen more often than not when you are willing to step outside the box and get creative. If you have the commitment AND creativity, odds are that you will learn from your early mistakes and make progress towards being a successful business owner.

Starting a new business certainly has a lot of upside and it’s something that everyone should at least consider; it’s not for everyone and while I do enjoy the stability of being an employee, I am interested enough to have it on the back burner. In the mean time, it doesn’t prevent me from thinking about ways to create a profitable business and the best way to go about it.

Readers, what are other traits of a successful business?