The big question that plagues almost every entrepreneur or aspiring-to-be is "How do I know if I have what it takes?" As you already know in order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to invest in yourself and over time build valuable skills. Here are 9 skills that every entrepreneur should have.
1. Be Productive - Work Smarter Not Harder
To be a successful entrepreneur you have to be productive and maximize your time. A full-time entrepreneur might spend an average of 52 hours working each week (12 hours more than the average full-time employee). You need to maximize each of these hours in order to effectively grow your business. Otherwise before you know it your working 80 hours a week for the same results and going nowhere fast. Being productive is different for everyone so figure out what is best for you and your lifestyle. Do you prefer silence? Perhaps you work best first thing in the morning? Are you a perfectionist, wasting a lot of time? Being productive also means taking the necessary breaks, your mind and body can only handle so much at a time before it becomes counterproductive. A Healthy & Rested Mind Works Better Every Time!
2. Money Management - Maximize Your Dollar
It goes without saying money management is an important part of running an effective business. Do you make more than you spend? Do you know where your money goes each month? If the answer is no to both, you will struggle to manage your business’ money too. But not all is lost, there are many tools out there to help you manage money. You can practice by getting your personal finances in order. Quickbooks (the online accounting software), that many of you may already be familiar with, is a personal favorite.
3. Self-Branding - Stand Out In The Crowd
Temporary positions and short-term contracts are more and more common these days. Entrepreneurs and freelancers jump between ideas, startups, and employers more frequently than ever before. As argued by The Balance, “That means tenure hardly matters, and the new currency is your personal brand—the overarching message about yourself, as gleaned from your online presence, professional reputation, circle of influence and the trust you command from peers, followers, customers, employers and general public.” Just like you build your business brand, you need to build your personal brand. There is an ocean of competition out there in the internet connected world we live in today and as an entrepreneur you want to enter the market with a strong personal brand that stands out and sets you apart.
4. Recognize Strengths & Weaknesses - As Strong As Your Weakest Link
Although we like to be the "Jack-of-All" we don't want to be the "Master-of-None". By understanding your strengths and weaknesses you can get a clear understanding of what or whom you need to surround yourself. Start by completing a personal SWOT analysis to identify your strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats.
5. Hire Effective People - Drink the Cool-Aid
An effective part of building a team is to identify and understand your weaknesses. Your only as good as your employees. While we wish we could simply clone ourselves we have to be willing to let go and rely on other qualified people. With great team players comes great success, with new strengths and skill sets you can develop a culture that thrives while adding tremendous value to your business. Creating a culture where people want to be and who share the same passion.
6. Make a Sale - Objections Can Lead to Answers
Sales are an important part of being an entrepreneur and although it may be challenging you have to be able to close the deal yourself. Many startups fail because they often assume they can just hire sales people, and it doesn't matter if they aren't good at sales. Before you sell your first product or service, you are already faced with the challenge of selling your business concept to potential investors and future business employees. In order to attract the most talented employees you will need to be good at selling your vision. Offering a solution to a problem often can prove to be a stronger more affective sales approach than simply the product or service. For example we build mobile apps to build stronger more affective communication between businesses and there client base. Because; when users visit a website and leave you can never speak to them again. However when users download your app you can re-engage with them through Push Notifications and they are more likely to visit your business.
7. Basic Marketing Implementation - Knowledge is Power
When you start a business you wear many hats, we like to say the "Jack-of-all-Trades". Which means you need to have a basic understanding of digital marketing, including SEO, mobile marketing, social media marketing and paid advertising. If you aren't familiar check out these marketing strategies. There are an abundance of tools and guides out there to help you grasp online marketing efforts and help you market your business on a tight budget.
8. Deal with Failure - Overcome Objection
Learn how to not take no for an answer. Success does not come without its challenges. There will be many ups and downs but with failure comes lessons and wisdom. Embrace these challenges and learn from them. Every successful person out there experienced failure several times, before making it big. Teach yourself certain habits that allow you to deal with failure. Failure isn't the end for your business venture, in many cases it can lead to new better beginnings.
9. Make a Difference in the World - Passion is Fuel
A great way to stay motived and find success in business is to make a positive change in the world. While it may not mean saving the world or ending world hunger, aligning yourself with a cause or believing your product or service makes a difference in peoples lives can be the difference maker between your success and others failure. Maybe your product saves lives or your service helps businesses grow, your passion can be your fuel and motivation. When it comes naturally you can move mountains and people can feel your passion. We believe our technology and concepts help small businesses and organizations create stronger relationships while allowing them to compete against bigger business without breaking the bank.
No need to be overwhelmed by these as skills can be learned overtime. You never stop learning and in my experience you can learn a lot from just talking to other entrepreneurs and business owners. There are lots of great resources out there as well that you can tap into many in your local communities such as Business Associations, Chamber of Commerce, SCORE and more. Most important is keep an open mind, maintain the drive and never take no for an answer, it is after all what sets us entrepreneurs apart.