Becoming an entrepreneur is not an easy thing, and it’s even harder to become a successful one. A lot of people have some business ideas they think are good and have a certain sum of money in their savings account and they figure that this is all they need to start a business of their own just like that. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you shouldn’t pursue your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, all I’m saying is that you first have to acquire/improve certain skills that can guide you on this path.
You cannot simply start heading down this road, there are certain preparations that must be made and I don’t mean legal documents or gathering financial support; I mean preparing yourself for everything that awaits you in the near future. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy job and you will have to learn how to manage everything that comes at you.
This is why it is essential that you acquire these skills and work on improving them while raising your business from the ground to the top.
1. Being hard working
The first fundamental “skill” you will need is the will to work hard. There is no way around it. No matter how much cash you have for starting your business, it still won’t reduce the amount of work you must put in into driving your business idea towards success. For example, if you are planning on going for a startup, you might need up to 3 years to stabilize your business organization and make it profitable.
Being an entrepreneur is not like having a full time job, it’s more than that. Sometimes it can take your whole day away from you and you will come back home all exhausted, wondering where you’ve spent that much time. There are so many things that require your attention every day, and you cannot overlook any of them if you want to set up a proper business organization.
Like I said in the previous paragraph, there are a lot of different things you must pay attention to during each day. From banking, to legal issues, to business ideas, finding good marketing options, market research, competition and many other things a typical day brings, you can get lost easily and lose track of what you are doing, and more importantly, what needs to be done first. This is why you must learn to choose what’s important and focus on the tasks that must be completed urgently.
This may sound easy, but trust me, when so many people require your time and drag you by your hand it can get difficult to keep up with the schedule you’ve set for yourself. When you are distracted during the day and switch tasks frequently you won’t get anything done, or you will do a sloppy job. Multitasking is not productive when you’re an entrepreneur, so make sure that you learn how to say no and shut out other people when doing something important.
An entrepreneur needs to be able to keep moving forward and never give up. In this line of work there is no way around certain things. Even those with a lot of experience make mistakes and get struck with difficult situations that are out of their hands. Sometimes there is simply nothing you can do to avoid setbacks, downtime or money loss. It is important to learn from your mistakes and don’t let them get to you.
When these difficult times come across, you need to be able to motivate yourself and continue building your business. Motivation is highly important because chances are you won’t see any substantial results initially. This is especially important if you have a team of people who are working with you; if they see that their leader has lost his/her motivation, then they will stop caring as well.
Sometimes, the difference between whether you succeed or go under is whether you can keep putting in effort or you simply stop caring about your business. In certain businesses the only thing you can do is repeat a single process over and over again until you strike gold and catch your big break for your business organization.
In business, not all decisions are easy. There are situations when you simply cannot use your experience, knowledge and logic to determine what the right move is. Additionally, sometimes those logical decisions that must be made are quite tough. For example, let’s imagine that you started your business with a couple of friends, and after a while you all notice that one of them is slacking a lot. You told him countless times to shape up, but without any result.
This is a clear sign that you must fire that person, in spite of him being your friend, but this is just how tough it can sometimes be to do what’s right for your business and this requires a lot of bravery. On other occasions you might be forced to decide in which direction your business should be going, without knowing what awaits you.
5. The ability to sell something
You might not know it, but a lot of it revolves around your “ability to sell stuff”, and I don’t mean literally selling a product, but the ability to be confident in your business ideas and to bring people closer to them. The first person you must start with is yourself; if you are not sure about your plans, then how can you make others believe in them? If you cannot do this, you probably won’t even start your business, and if you do, you will probably fail early on, because you will constantly be doubting your decision.
Now imagine trying to sell your business ideas to a bank in order to get a loan? You will never be able to achieve this without this skill. The same thing applies when looking for business partners, selling products or services to clients, hiring employees etc.
6. The ability to see value
Entrepreneurs must quickly learn to read between the lines and understand things for what they are. This of course, requires some experience and, more importantly, knowledge about the work you do. Never allow yourself to get carried away by some ideas, prepositions or business offers just because of the things they might bring to you. Instead, look at them for what they are and focus yourself on the facts. If they tell you that there are no good circumstances for achieving good results, then you should give it a rest.
Be objective and get to the point. No need for talking about unimportant things and “the should haves” if the basic requirements haven’t been fulfilled. For example, if you are hiring an employee, he or she might tell you stories about how they have a lot of experience, but if that person doesn’t have the skills for that particular job position, then that worker will bring no value to your business.
7. The ability to learn
Being an entrepreneur is a never-ending process. It starts off with you preparing yourself by learning about the market, about the business industry you are interested in, talking with other experienced business people, reading books, articles etc. and it continues with you repeating this cycle constantly. You must get used to learning new things in business, as this knowledge can help you make difficult decisions, and more importantly – make the right ones.
You can never close off and stop paying attention to things that matter to your business organization. The modern business landscape is fast-paced and there are many changes that happen constantly, both market changes, tech changes, economy etc. Only if you pay attention to these things and look to use that knowledge to make the most for your business can you be able to stay competitive and beat your close competitors.
8. Time management
Like I mentioned before, you must prepare yourself for being busy all the time, as you will barely get any time for yourself. In order to make the most out of each day and finish all of the tasks that await you, it is essential that you learn how to manage your time efficiently.
Given the fact that, in the beginning, a lot of the work will fall down on your back, it is crucial that you utilize your time the best you can. If you want to do this properly, you should first create a list of things you must do each day. You can do this on paper or find various useful apps that can help you organize yourself.
Set time blocks in which you will perform certain individual tasks and do not let anything else interfere with it. This brings us back to the first point – don’t let anyone or anything interrupt you or you will never be able to stick to the schedule you’ve set.
9. The ability to lead
Being a business leader is a must when you are an entrepreneur. This is especially true when starting a small business organization on your own, and bringing in new people when you don’t have the resources to hire managers who can take a portion of this work on themselves. You are the one who has the idea to create success, and it all starts from you. A good leader can motivate people around him/her to work harder and invest themselves into making success a reality.
You must set an example to others at your company, or they will never fulfill your expectations. If you establish yourself as a leader people will offer you more, and grow together with your company. Once you have loyal, and experienced employees with you, handling different tasks and coming up with good business ideas will be much easier, as they will help you as well.
10. Networking with other entrepreneurs
You cannot be an island when you’re in business. Socializing with other entrepreneurs can help you a lot. If you establish great connections you can help each other by giving referrals to clients, or potential business partners. Additionally, you can learn from other people’s experience, even if they are not in the same business as you are. When you need valuable insight in the times of struggle, more experienced fellow entrepreneurs who‘ve had similar issues can help you overcome them more easily.
These are the skills I find vital for an entrepreneur. Don’t get discouraged if you realize that you don’t have some of them; everyone can learn and improve. You need to work on yourself before you can work on your business, so go learn these vital skills and success will suddenly begin to seem more realistic.