Skills of a Successful Entrepreneur
So you want to go into business for yourself do you? Well there are a few skills that every successful entrepreneur needs to either have themselves or the resources (both monetary and human) available to them. We are not all born to entrepreneurs and even if we grow up in an entrepreneurial family setting – we still need to have a certain amount of drive and basic skills to achieve success.
It is a given successful entrepreneurs need to begin their journey of being in business for themselves with a certain amount of courage combined with the ability to plan before entering into the business world; let alone meet or exceed the challenges they will face. The following are eight basic skills you need to achieve the success as an entrepreneur:
The first and the foremost skill before embarking into business for yourself is ensure you will be providing value - value to customers, the industry, vendors as well as to yourself. Once you enter into the business world, you face tremendous challenges and a new competitor at every turn. It is important to try to discover new ideas of promotions and do what others are not providing to your target market. It will be important to work hard to maintain your value on a scale that is equal or greater than your competitors.
# 2 Commitment
In addition to bringing value to the entrepreneurial table, you also need to bring your commitment. Commitment to being successful and bringing the best value to your customers in your business. One of the supporting factors to being committed to being successful is establishing a routine that works to support your personal and professional lives. Depending on what other obligations you already have you may need to embrace the habit of waking up early and to get certain tasks completed before the normal work day begins. For those that truly enjoy getting up early, they already know their minds are fresh and seem to move easier through tasks better than when their minds do when involved in all day’s other complications and activities. Many first time entrepreneurs don’t realize the importance of staying on task and achieving milestones timely; they are easily distracted by talking on the phone, reading emails or engaging in social media interactions. Life as an entrepreneur needs to include a schedule and plan if you want to be a successful business person.
Every entrepreneur needs to be confident – period! Confidence is built by knowing the value you bring and witnessing how your commitment to achieving success is playing out in the feedback you receive from those you work with. Confidence is also built by having a plan in place and carefully researching the steps you will be taking at every stage to moving forward in your business. Your plan will need to contain many elements; one element is the price structure of your products/services and how they are aligned with those that are both complementary and competitive businesses. You need to know your product can truly help people and you are charging prices that are both fair to you and your clients will help reinforce the value and your commitment to being successful. The product or service will ultimately speak for itself when you remember the importance of value.
# 4 Ethics & Morals
Ethics and morals are the foundation of every good entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a natural leader with the vision and the drive to do things right and steer his company toward success with ease. Early on you must decide what you and your business will stand for and what boundaries you will have in place to ensure that your business decision support the value you provide, your commitment to success and will build confidence in your business skills and client confidence.
As mentioned under Commitment – Every step needs to be planned and scheduled. New entrepreneurs need to remember the old saying “Time is Money”. In the beginning you may not have enough clients or work but that does not mean you can put off to tomorrow what you can get done today. Procrastination is one of the elements that can destroy a new business owner. Thinking we can get something done tomorrow that we could have completed today does not support the vision of a successful entrepreneur. Knowing how much time each day you have available to work on the administrative, organizational, marketing, client relations etc will help keep any newly found free time being used the most effectively. When we are effectively using our time, or managing our time well we improve our confidence, add value to our product/service, stay aligned with our ethics and reconfirm our commitment to being successful in business.
# 6 Creative and Innovative
Your product/service ideas and techniques need to be unique and innovative which distinguish you from the rest of the industry. New products are introduced every hour and it is up to you how you meet the criteria of being different and more forward thinking than your competitors. As an entrepreneur you need to be creative enough to present new ideas and promotions every day; if not, then seek out and bring into your team an individual who is. Allowing your own creativity to sparkle and shine will allow your clients to see your high level of commitment to being successful by providing greater value which will build confidence in your clients.
No matter how much you don’t like the idea of it, every business has to work with sales minded perspective. Each industry and business has a unique way of handling their sales; as an entrepreneur you will need to figure out what your ‘sales’ edge will be and what the sales approach you prefer that will best suit your services or products. When reading or attending any sales focused learning opportunity – remember to keep an open mind as to how any new techniques that are being discussed can be applied to your business specifically. Remember you want to build value in products and services.
#8 Finance & Investment
In addition to the other seven skills, the eighth is no less important – finances. The most important aspect of small business finance is scheduling time specifically for your finance management and actually doing it. Granted this skill is easier if you have an accounting degree or extensive financial accounting knowledge but these skills are not mandatory. The mandatory part is you have access to sufficient finances to invest in starting your business. Depending how aggressive you are and quickly you would like to build your business; it may require a smaller or larger amount of financial resources invested to get you there. Ultimately the management of how you spend this initial start up monies will support you business success, improve your confidence while building your brand value.
Possessing, nurturing or acquiring these skills before going into business will help ensure a successful outcome. As you can tell each of these eight skills are not stand alone, they are inter-related and inter-dependent upon each other. Once you recognize your current level of each of these skills you can identify how best to invest your time into what you do really well so you can invest the funds to acquire the vendors or contractors who are well experienced in those skills you are not so versed in. Being in business for yourself can be fun and rewarding but it is not without its challenges.