It used to be a word that described only a select few – people who had started from the floor and worked their way up to own a successful company.

Mention the word ‘entrepreneur’ and people like Sir Richard Branson and Bill Gates come to mind.

Nowadays, almost everyone you meet seems to be a budding entrepreneur.

That’s as much down to the revolution in digital technology that makes it much easier and cheaper to start a business.

But it’s also because a growing number of people want to move out to be their own boss and have the confidence to do so.

It’s one thing to say you’re an entrepreneur, however, another entirely to become a successful one.

Here are some key qualities you’ll need in your business armoury:

Passion

Entrepreneurs, the ones that make the headlines at least, are passionate about what they do.

They get up each morning wanting to go to work and push their business forward.

That passion gives them the energy they need to keep going when things get tough.

According to Apple supremo Steve Jobs:

“You’ve got to find what you love. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Focus

That passion does one major thing that helps entrepreneurs succeed – it creates focus.

It’s hard to stay on the job when you are not particularly interested in what you are doing.

This heightened focus is the lifeblood of any startup business, ensuring that everyone stays on message and growth and development plans remain sharp in the minds of those hoping to achieve success.

Hard work

Unless you win the lottery, you are not going to find overnight success.

Creating a business and making it successful takes a lot of demanding work and a great number of arduous, lonely hours.

The entrepreneurs who make it are the ones that devote a good deal of their time to the business.

Persistence

Talk to any successful entrepreneur and you’ll find a litany of failures before they actually hit the big time.

That’s the rite of passage that business owners go through and is part of the learning process.

To be a genuine entrepreneur you have to persist and endure – particularly when things are going wrong.

It can be the major difference between failure and eventual success.

Honesty

You might not think that they sit high on the list of entrepreneurial attributes but honesty and integrity are vital components if you want to be successful in any business.

People generally buy from other people – ones that they trust.

If you get a reputation for being dishonest or you lack integrity, your stock will quickly devalue and your chance of making it big will dissolve at an even greater speed.

There are other factors that are key in becoming a successful business owner.

You obviously need the right idea that comes along at just the right time.

You have to be flexible enough to cope with everything the business world throws at you.

You need to be willing to learn and you need to get the best team in place to help you deliver your business goals.

Entrepreneurs don’t simply appear out of thin air.

A lot of hard work and commitment goes into their development before they can finally consider themselves a success.

Before you decide this is your calling, perhaps you might want to appraise how many of the above qualities you truly possess.