Entrepreneurship involves being good at juggling different hats at the same time. Most entrepreneurs are the main idea generators, business leaders and product marketers because of their extensive knowledge of their product or service. To top it all, entrepreneurs know they have both their livelihoods, and the livelihoods of their employees to consider. Sometimes, this can be overwhelming. As a result, most entrepreneurs, new or experienced, have particular areas in which they wish they were better accomplished. These areas may range from their personal lives to the business side of things.
Here are 9 skills you should start building if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
Researching is a skill all entrepreneurs should have. Some people start their business because they assume their service or product is required or desired by the wider community. Statistically, only a small percentage of such businesses survive their first year.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must excel at researching your potential market. Get all the information, down to the tiniest detail, and form your own conclusion as to whether you should pursue your idea. It might be frustrating and time intense, but conducting early research is better than getting stuck in a business with no turnover.
Decisiveness is a skill many entrepreneurs wish they could master. There are many decisions you will have to face, big and small. Sometimes you can get tired simply because there are so many decisions to make in a short amount of time.
Some entrepreneurs have made use of resources that can help them master the art of decision-making (e.g. learning about pro/con analysis for decision-making). Some decisions are made instantaneously and require that you think on your feet. You can never ignore this aspect, hence the reason many entrepreneurs wish that they had better decision-making skills.
3. Management and leadership
It can be argued that entrepreneurship and leadership skills are interconnected. You can’t bring an idea to fruition without leading your employees towards its implementation. However, leadership skills are a constantly changing area of management. You can’t learn everything at once.
One of the best virtues of leadership is remaining calm even when there is turmoil in the company. This skill helps reduce mounting panic that your employees or partners might have at such moments. The rough patches in your venture are great for teaching you crucial leadership lessons.
Note: even if you are just a figurehead who only generates ideas, it’s important to know how to lead and motivate your employees towards implementing your ideas.
As an entrepreneur, you should be good at branding yourself and your company. You need to know how to make use of online platforms. You and your business need to be active on social media, where there is the exponential potential for reaching more customers. You should also aim at publishing relevant content related to your industry, and understand how to interact with potential clients.
You are probably wondering about time, and how it is already limited. If you have employees, you can delegate some of them to handle your social media platforms or even outsource these tasks to expert freelancers. Whatever you plan to do, branding will remain important if you are looking towards establishing yourself as an authority in your industry.
5. Achieving a healthy work life balance
Entrepreneurs face a real crisis when it comes to striking a healthy work-life balance. It’s hard to think of taking a break from your business when you are always on your feet, trying to increase sales, manage customer satisfaction or hit deadlines. Over time, this will become common practice, and you will find yourself directing all your attention to your business and forgetting about yourself.
There is no resource to teach you how to maintain your work life balance. Situations are different for different people. You’ll have to find out what works for you by experimenting with various schedules and task delegations.
6. Virtue of patience
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint-hearted. You can spend years refining your idea and spend a lot of money in starting up, but once you are up and running the business can be slow. There are a few exceptions to this, but this is the accepted global norm.
Patience is, therefore, a great virtue for entrepreneurs. Don’t give up too soon. Persevere, and you will get to that turning point in your business when things improve, and you start seeing positive results. It’s also important to know how to implement change, especially when your turning point happens to be an unexpected development you had not anticipated. Being patient helps you survive long enough to reap the fruits of your labor.
Note: don’t mistake patience for business sluggishness. It’s good to be shrewd, and read between the lines. If your initial idea is not working as you had intended, be ready to pivot to something else.
For your business to grow, you will need to know how to network with potential customers, partners and suppliers. Chasing business and networking are often used interchangeably but are actually quite different. Networking allows you to get business, but business does not necessarily lead to networks.
Networking allows you to hang out with fellow entrepreneurs and clients who are interested in, or are using, your product or service. By doing so, you will be able to understand first-hand how your product or service is doing in the market, and get valuable feedback as well. It might also lead you to new business opportunities you wouldn’t have considered on your own.
Communication can make or destroy a business. If you have employees, you have to make sure you communicate whenever you are presenting them with tasks. This reduces the chances of mistakes occurring, and also boosts the morale of your employees. It’s also important to know how to communicate effectively with clients, especially if you are a solo entrepreneur. Talking can make the world of difference when it comes to getting new business.
9. Resource management
As an entrepreneur, you must always manage your company resources efficiently, including your cash flow, employees, suppliers, partners and customers. Many entrepreneurs wish there was an out of the box solution to this, but there isn’t. To be a better resource manager, you will have to streamline your processes dependent on how you do business.
Successful management requires time and diligence on your part, which can be in short supply especially when you are busy looking for new business. As a result, you’ll find the art of delegation key in managing your business. There are many freelancers that can help you manage certain business tasks successfully.
Take time to find programs, software and people who can help you streamline as many aspects of your business as possible.
It’s hard to learn everything in entrepreneurship at once. You will learn a myriad of things at the beginning, and continue to do so for the life of your business. For it to survive, you need to know how to be dynamic and how to change whenever the need arises. Most importantly, always put your business interest first when making decisions that concern it.
Do you have more skills you believe can benefit fellow entrepreneurs? Let us know what they are in the comments section below!