Entrepreneurship is harder than what most people might gauge. It requires an extraordinary amount of hard work and dedication to build a business from the scratch. Consequently, it depends on a lot on the entrepreneur. This is probably the reason why there is a whole debate going on out there whether entrepreneurs are born or made.
Despite the outcome of the debate, which we may lean towards either side, it is true that you need to have certain skills in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. Many early stage entrepreneurs lack these skills when they start but you can polish yourself and acquire these skills as you go. No matter whether you are good at few of these areas or not, you might try to have a better understanding of these skills and focus a little more.
How good you are at reaching out to people i.e. your team members, your clients, and other stakeholders will have a lot of effect on your likelihood of success as an entrepreneur. It is important that you work hard to understand your team, listen to your clients and maintain a steady loop of communication with your important stakeholders.
Tip: Keep your doors open. Listen to your employees and team members and ask for active feedback. Communication always starts with listening and then responding when it requires.
Make sure that all your relevant stakeholders are aware of what’s going on in the company. Maintain a culture of transparency and mutual response. Encourage people to speak up and share ideas and thoughts.
2. People Management.
Every great business is all about great people. It important for any entrepreneur to understand and care about people, both employees, and clients.
If one understands people, one can manage people well. And to manage people effectively is one of the most difficult tasks in the world.
Tip: It starts with having the right mindset. We have to go back to the point one to learn about managing people well, you need to start communicating well. Understanding the psychology of people and motivating them by delivering right pitch is important.
Maintain constant communication and empower other people. Create a culture of empathy and be nice. According to a recent research finding, being nice is the best strategy to building a great team.
They say it is not what you do, it is who you know. That holds more truth in business than any other part of life. You need to understand and make real connections in order to make progress. A good networking skill might help an entrepreneur with having important connections.
However, there is a small problem. In most cases, entrepreneurs lean towards introvert nature than extrovert which makes it hard for them to go out and meet people and build new relationships. But introvert people are good at one to one networking. According to some best networkers including the founder of World Economic Forum, networking events is almost valueless.
Tip: If you have a hard time talking to people in events, you better stop trying to be good at it. Try other strategies to make those connections that you need. You don’t need to know all the people out there. Think about it and come up with a strategy. However, it is often good to think about the idea that how can you contribute to their life instead of asking for something from them.
Sales is the lifeblood of any business and the most important CEO job on earth. As an entrepreneur, you need to understand sales and master it. A mistake many entrepreneurs make is that they think sales as something which should be done by salesman but that is not the truth. CEO needs to be a salesman and very good one.
Tip: Sales is not about the product, it is about the customer. You get to understand the problem of your client and offer something that helps your client to solve her problem. Listen to your client, understand her problem and deliver something that works for her.
Most entrepreneurs hate this. They feel like maintaining finance and its nitty gritty is less important a matter when they are busy building a business. But it is important, more so than what one might understand. To understand and maintain basics of finance, you don’t need to be a CFA, you just need to be inclined to spend some time in maintaining finance.
One needs to be aware of business fundamentals of one’s business i.e. profit margins, unit economics, cash flow, expenses etc. This will help you understand your business better and make better decisions.
Tip: Spend time in understanding your business economics and also in the accounting system. You will be able to better understand what’s going on in your business.
There are many other skills you will need as an entrepreneur but these are a couple of basic skills that you need to master in order to go from zero to one.