Entrepreneurial skills are massively valuable these days, and it’s no surprise. The number of entrepreneurs (essentially, someone who starts and operates a business) worldwide has exponentially grown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, there are currently an estimated 582 million entrepreneurs worldwide.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the number of applications to open a new business rose 95% in the US in 2020. France also broke records with 84,000 new business formations in October 2020, a 20% increase from the previous year.
People with the inspiration of a new business idea often have a spark of entrepreneurial spirit. Today, some of the wealthiest people are entrepreneurs, including moguls like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey. Going into business by yourself may be a daunting idea, but anyone can learn entrepreneurial skills to help get on a path to success.
What are entrepreneurial skills?
Entrepreneurial skills is an umbrella term for a wide range of skill sets that help individuals start and run a business. Some entrepreneurial skills come naturally to people, while others are learned and cultivated. From life experience to different occupations you may have had, you can acquire these skills in many different ways.
If you already have a spark of entrepreneurial spirit and creativity, you have a head start. From there, it is only a matter of finding the right business niche, strategizing your business model and finding the right opportunities to set out onto the entrepreneurial path. Of course, starting a business can be risky, and there is always the chance of failure. But, having solid entrepreneurial skills as well as proper support can improve your chances of success.
10 must-have entrepreneurial skills
When it comes to achieving greatness, Oprah Winfrey says: “As my friend Wintley Phipps, the gospel singer and minister, once told me, the key is not to worry about being successful but to instead work toward being significant—and the success will naturally follow.”
In other words, don’t focus on the finish line just yet; start learning and practising these skills, and you will find success along the way.
So, what are some entrepreneurial skills that you should focus on?
There are, of course, more than 10 skills an entrepreneur can learn and benefit from, but here are some to get you started.
- Communication skills – Effective communication is important to boost your business, keep your workplace connected and build strong relationships both within and outside of the company. Always keep a line of communication open, ask for feedback and actively listen to your employees, stakeholders and broader community.
- Problem-solving skills – When starting a business, there are bound to be disruptions and roadblocks along the way. Logic, critical thinking and an objective point of view will help you efficiently solve problems and make better decisions. However, it is also important to note that this quality of thinking requires a certain amout of self-care, so ensure that you prioritize that in order to foster this type of thinking.
- Planning skills – Entrepreneurs need to have a plans, both large and small so that they can maximise the chances of success, especially as the business encounters challenges. The key, however, is to ensure that you maintain a balance between adherance to that plan and flexibility to adapt to the current situation. Once a plan has been completed, take a step back to reflect on the things that went well and the things that can be improved for the next time round.
- Time management skills – It’s important to know how much time a task will take to complete and to responsibly manage your time to get things done. These skills can include making to-do lists, setting realistic deadlines and sticking to them.
- Organizational skills – A chaotic, external environment can lead to a chaotic and noisy mind. Entrepreneurs need to organize crucial information about their business and focus their thoughts to accomplish daily tasks and work toward goals. Keeping files organized and workspaces tidy can help you stay on task and get things done efficiently.
- Business management skills – Running a business means managing many different projects and people every day. Therefore, entrepreneurs need to be able to manage the business and team, which may include teaching and delegating tasks to team members.
- Financial skills – Take some time to understand basic financial principles. Expenses, cash flow, revenue and overall budget. Being well-versed in your business’s finances allows you to understand your current situation as well as the direction you need to go in to ensure that there is straong enough financial health for the company to survive.
- Technical skills – Today’s world has embraced technology. The world of smartphones and social media is constantly growing. With this reality, the need to have an online digital presence for your business is crucial. So to ensure that you stay relevant and optimize efficiency, stay informed with these changes.
- Marketing skills – Consumers can’t buy a product if they don’t know it exists. An entrepreneur who can generate brand awareness can increase their chances of driving sales their way. This is especially as the barriers for launching businesses decreases, increasing the amount of people starting their own businesses and therefore, increasing competition.
- Resilience – Success doesn’t often come quick or easy. An entrepreneur will likely fail several times before they achieve any measure of success. It’s important to learn that it’s OK to fail, and success, fundamentally, comes from learning from mistakes, and learning from them quickly.
Learn how to build your entrepreneurial skills
- Take a class – Look online or research local universities to find courses that will teach you marketing, financial planning or business management. Taking a course will provide a community of people who are also looking to learn, and you will have a teacher who can help you along the way.
- Read related books – There are many books related to becoming an entrepreneur and building a business. Find autobiographies and nonfiction books that inspire your entrepreneurial spirit. These books can teach you key aspects of strengthening your entrepreneurial skills.
- Find mentors – Observing successful, like-minded entrepreneurs and seeing their actions can provide worthwhile examples to follow. Reading and being taught a concept is helpful, but experiencing it firsthand can provide deeper insight into executing these skills daily.
- Seek feedback – An entrepreneur will inevitably run into disruptions and setbacks as they build their business, but it’s important to take these moments as an opportunity to grow. You can use feedback in the same way by asking your current co-workers and your supportive community for feedback on your work. Use their insight as a learning opportunity to strengthen your entrepreneurial skills.
Start building your entrepreneurial skills today
You don’t necessarily have to make a significant life change to build your entrepreneurial skills. Start by building new skills in your current occupation and taking on more leadership positions or independent projects. Then, see how you can exercise some of these essential entrepreneurial skills in your daily life and take every new opportunity to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit and endeavors.
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