So you want to go into business for yourself do you? Well there are a few skills every successful entrepreneur needs. Either you have them yourself or you have the resources (both financial and human) available to you. We are not all born to be entrepreneurs. If you grow up in an entrepreneurial family – you still need to have a certain amount of basic skills to be successful.
It is a given successful entrepreneurs need to begin your journey for yourself with a certain amount of courage. This courage combines well with the ability to plan. Planning and courage enables you to meet or exceed the challenges you will face. The following are eight basic skills you need to help you achieve success:
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. Do what others are not providing to your target market. It is important to work hard to maintain your value 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 starts with establishing a routine. A routine that works to support your personal and professional lives. Depending on what other obligations you already have, you may need to adjust your start time. Like waking up early and to complete certain tasks before your normal work day begins. If you are a person who truly enjoys getting up early then this adjustment might easier for you. You likely already know your mind is fresh and uncluttered. You seem to move easier through tasks better than when you mind is clear from other challenges and activities.
Many first time entrepreneurs do not realize the importance of staying on task and achieving milestones timely; distractions like talking on the phone, reading emails or engaging in social media interactions need to be addressed. Life as an entrepreneur needs to include a schedule and plan if you want to be a successful.
Every entrepreneur needs to be confident – period! Build confidence by knowing the value you bring. While witnessing how your commitment to success is playing out in the feedback you receive from those you work with. Confidence is also built by having a plan in place. 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. How are they aligned with those businesses who are both complementary and competitive to you. You need to know your product can truly help people. You are charging prices that are fair to you and your clients. This will help reinforce the value and your commitment. Your 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 entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you are a natural leader with the vision and the drive to do things right. To steer your company toward success with ease. Early on you must decide what you and your business will stand for. What boundaries you will have in place to ensure your business decisions support the value you provide. To support your commitment to success. These boundaries will build confidence in your business skills and in return increase 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 goes against your vision of success. 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 you are effectively using your time, you improve your confidence and add value to your product/service. It supports you staying in alignment with your ethics and reconfirms your commitment to being successful.
#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 these days. 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 regularly; if not, then seek out and bring into your team an individual who is. Embracing your own creativity allows your clients to see your high level of commitment while bringing greater value. The result? Building confidence in your clients.
Every business has to work with a sales minded perspective. Even if you do not like the idea. 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. What the sales approach you prefer will best suit your services or products. When reading or attending any sales learning opportunity – remember to keep an open mind as to discussions on how any new techniques can apply to your business. 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 the initial start up funds needs to support your business success. Also, they must 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. Then you can invest the money into partnering with contractors who are experienced in those skills you are not. Being in business for yourself can be fun and rewarding but it is not without its challenges.