What comes to mind when you think about the word “entrepreneur”? Do you see yourself sitting in a talk show telling your story and inspiring people? Well, this is not something unachievable in your life. Numerous people are starting their businesses, especially after the pandemic. But at the same time, uncertainty in the job market and layoffs have resulted in a surge in new companies and startups.
The US Census Bureau estimates a 95% increase in business registrations in 2020 compared to the previous year.
However, not all startups succeed, and reports suggest that approximately 90% of startups fail. Reasons include unrealistic market research, lack of finances, investors backing out, or when the business fails to correspond to the customer needs. But one factor that many people fail to consider as the reason for failure is an entrepreneur’s skills.
But what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Whatever the reason for starting your business, you need to acquire certain skills to diffuse the risk associated with your business.
Basic accounting skills
Financial statement analysis and budgeting skills are essential for running a business. Developing a realistic budget and standing by it is necessary to avoid overspending. Moreover, in the initial years of starting a business, you might not be able to afford an extensive team of accounting and finance professionals. Accounting skills can help you manage the financial side of the business in the absence of a team.
Fortunately, developing accounting skills is not impossible. A basic BBA in accounting degree is enough for the entrepreneurs, making them self-sufficient. Such a degree also eliminates the need to depend on others for bookkeeping and financial management in the risky initial years of starting a business.
Best entrepreneurs are people-oriented and excel in communication and interpersonal skills. An entrepreneur must communicate effectively with employees, creditors, mentors, advertisers, and other stakeholders. Your communication with various stakeholders can ensure your business’s success. Effective communication skills are also essential to convey your vision and mission to garner support. If, as an entrepreneur, you fail to communicate the value of your business, the chances are that you will be left alone to push this heavy cart.
Clear and uninterrupted communication helps entrepreneur reach their target audience. Effective communication includes both verbal and written communication. You must be adept at writing proposals and negotiating with your suppliers, and convincing prospective investors to invest in your business. Effective communication skills also strengthen international relationships.
Entrepreneurs must have leadership ability providing them the confidence to make the right decisions and lead others effectively. An entrepreneur needs to be a leader because leaders develop a conducive environment that helps them grow with their team. Leaders can identify the needs and talents of their staff and provide them with the right tools and opportunities to showcase their abilities.
While establishing your business, you will come across times when going gets tough and your team seems to lose hope. Your leadership ability can keep your team motivated and focused on the final goal. Your positive attitude often trickles down and reaches your team boosting their positive energy and work engagement. Leadership skills entail that an entrepreneur’s attitude conveys their availability whenever their team requires input or help. Leaders are always ready to roll up their sleeves and make their hands dirty for what needs to be done, instilling the same attitude and values in their team. Such an attitude is imperative to the success of a new business.
All new businesses face adverse conditions where their survival is often at stake. Being resilient in challenging situations and uncertainty is an important skill for entrepreneurs. But it is by facing failures and staying strong will you learn and grow.
Resilience allows you to stand firm after failure, learn from your errors and move on. As an entrepreneur, your ideas will not always work, so you must learn to adapt to changes in the external environment and keep going.
Creative thinking and curiosity
An entrepreneurial venture is often a product of a person’s creative thinking or a group of individuals. Your creative thinking is the most critical factor that can help you develop unique selling propositions and compete with the giants. Therefore, creative thinking and curiosity must be guiding factors for solving problems and managing challenges along the journey of making your project a huge success. You must be able to discover new and innovative solutions to the issues coming your way. At the same time, you must identify new opportunities to expand your business idea and innovate.
As a new business owner, multitasking is a trait you must possess. You can carry out many tasks at a time—hitting various birds with one stone. Your ability to multitask is undoubtedly your way of displaying your strengths and ensuring the same attitude in people around you.
Multitasking also creates an effective work environment, reduces wastage, saves time, and allows you to be thrifty in the initial years of your new business.
Do you pay attention to what others say to you? Effective listening skills are essential for entrepreneurs. Better listening helps them absorb information and interpret correct meanings. Their ability to listen can make them more productive, improve their negotiation skills, and their ability to influence others. Effective listening also helps avoid misunderstanding and conflict with your clients, investors, supplies, employees, and other stakeholders.
As an entrepreneur, you cannot perform all the tasks yourself. You can be good at sales, accounts, human resources, and even digital marketing. But there is still a lot left to do when running a business. Besides, it would help if you also had time to do all these tasks yourself, which is often impossible and impractical. Therefore, you must know how to delegate duties among your employees and ask for help from the right people.
Effective delegation prevents overwhelm, increases efficiency, and reduces burnout. Proper outsourcing also means that only experts perform the tasks under their domain. You will also have more time to think about more important aspects of running a business.
So much is at stake when someone starts a new business. But certain skills possessed can immensely improve the success rate of a new project. Financial literacy, communication skills, the ability to delegate, and a growth mindset are essential for pursuing entrepreneurial goals. But as long as you are ready to put in the effort, gaining these skills is not difficult.