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As an entrepreneur, what are some key skills to build or have when creating a business?

#entrepreneur #business #personal-development

Thank you comment icon Communication skills and management skills Meghashree Sharma

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Smruti Ranjan’s Answer

An entrepreneur, as you probably know, is someone who starts their own business, especially when they see an opportunity and seize it.
This means that in order to enter this universe you need to be willing to take on challenges and master quite a few skills, such as thinking beyond and being driven.
Moreover, you need to be prepared to overcome obstacles and face difficulties head-on. A lot of people who are starting out in their entrepreneurial careers look at the trajectories of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs and think it’s something unattainable.
Several people wish to start their own business, but often feel unsure and end up not even taking the first step.
When trying to outline your own path, it is common to have concerns or feel anxious.
One of the first questions you may ask yourself is: “Do I have the required entrepreneurial skills to succeed?”
Although there isn’t a definitive and fixed model, after all, people have different styles and personalities, certain characteristics are predominant among those who are successful. The following skills are required:
1. Passion for what you do
2. Ethics
3. Resiliency
4. Proactivity
5. Creativity
6. Leadership
7. Patience
8. Ambition
9. Self-confidence
10. Persuasiveness
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Lisa
Thank you comment icon Your advice was so helpful! Mita
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Doc’s Answer

Alfredo while there is no magic formula for beings a successful entrepreneur, I think those who have succeed have mastered a set of skills that have contributed to their success: effective communicator; being able to sell both themselves and their idea or product; eagerness to learn and be flexible; strong focus; and a solid business plan.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATOR – Every entrepreneur needs to be an effective communicator. Whether your a solo entrepreneur or running a Fortune 500 company, you'll need to understand how to communicate effectively to all stakeholders and potential stakeholders that touch the business. It is imperative for an entrepreneur to be able to communicate with employees, investors, customers, creditors, peers, and mentors. If an entrepreneur cannot communicate the value of their company, it’s unlikely the company will be successful in my opinion.

SALESMEN – If an entrepreneur is able to communicate effectively, they are better equipped to sell their ideas and physical products. In the beginning, it's natural for entrepreneurs to be the first salespeople at their respective companies. Those sales skills are necessary to demonstrate value for all stakeholders inside and outside the company. As an entrepreneur, this person needs to be able to sell anything and everything. An entrepreneur needs to sell the business idea to potential investors, the product or service to customers, and themselves to employees.

FLEXIBILITY – The ability to learn is one of the most important skills to have in life, let alone in entrepreneurship. If someone is building a business, however, the ability to learn is required for success. The ups and downs an entrepreneur goes through are unavoidable. An entrepreneur needs a high ability to learn—and a desire to learn. If a person is able to learn in any situation, even failure, they have the skills necessary to become a successful entrepreneur. Failure can help expand one's knowledge and understanding of business.

FOCUS – The path to successful entrepreneurship is riddled with ups and downs. There are the highs of successes and the despairs of setbacks. A successful entrepreneur needs to be able to focus so they can stay the course when the going gets tough. This skill can also be thought of as thinking with the end in mind. No matter what struggles an entrepreneur goes through, a successful entrepreneur has the focus necessary to keep an unwavering eye on the end goal and can push himself to achieve it.

BUSINESS PLAN – While a successful entrepreneur has the ability to build a successful company, the skill of business strategy is actually the fifth most important skill that an entrepreneur needs. Some of the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur are likely to be innate or natural. Others can be hones through training and education in business and management. A masters in business administration (MBA) is a common route. MBA coursework involves a broad spectrum of business-related topics including accounting, statistics, economics, communications, management, and entrepreneurship. MBA programs not only prepare students to work for financial institutions, but they also prepare them for management positions or as founders of startup companies.When structuring and growing a business, however, it's important that the structure and growth strategy is based on sound business sense and skills. A successful entrepreneur needs to have a solid strategy to take their business from good to great.

Alfredo if you think you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, keep in mind that even great ideas and solid management teams can fail due to the whims of the market, stiff competition: if at first, you don't succeed, try again.
Thank you comment icon Thank You Jon. Our generation has the ability and the responsibility to make our ever-more connected world a more hopeful, stable and peaceful place. Doc Frick
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Jon’s Answer

A lot of great nuggets in the answers from others on this page :)
I think you're off to a great start - asking others for advice/insight/wisdom ... We/you don't know everything and there are always blind spots in the path we take.

I think many successful entrepreneurs will tell you - "Get ready to fail", Ha, I know, not ideal, but failing is learning and always a step to better things, as long as you actually learn and never give up.

Never think too small, or even too big: What I mean is, don't think that small beginnings are bad. All beginnings bring knowledge and allow you to adjust. Have you ever tried to steer a bike while standing still? What about while you're moving forward? Yes, much easier when there's movement - don't be afraid to start! You don't need perfection before you actually "flip the switch" and start the biz... go for it!

I think "Big thinking" is awesome, but I've found myself try to get things PERFECT before I launched a project/business/idea - STOP IT! Start the journey and make adjustments. Don't focus on the big bucks quite yet, you'll get there - it takes time.

Don't overthink it! Don't over think it! You'd be surprised at the opportunities that come from starting, maybe nothing related to what you thought you were going after.

I know this is basic info, but seriously, people forget the basics when they want to make it in the world - don't forget the basics.

Take nuggets from multiple sources and build your vision/path forward - it's your path and might not resemble the path of anyone on the board exactly.

Good luck on your journey :)
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Ryan’s Answer

Hey Alfredo,

Trust in yourself. You will constantly doubt yourself and be doubted by others. It's ok to listen to them and sometimes necessary but your power of discernment and instinct will carry you far. This involves developing the ability to evaluate information and situations effectively and to make decisions based on intuition and experience.

Entrepreneurship involves taking risks, making decisions, and being able to pivot quickly when things aren't working out. Having strong discernment skills can help an entrepreneur identify potential problems early on and make necessary adjustments while trusting their instincts can help them take calculated risks and seize opportunities that others may overlook.

Discernment skills can be honed through practice and experience and may involve seeking out diverse perspectives and challenging assumptions. Similarly, developing strong instincts may require actively seeking out new experiences, listening to your intuition, and trusting your gut even in uncertain situations.

By cultivating these skills, entrepreneurs can become more adaptable, innovative, and effective in navigating the challenges and opportunities that arise when creating and growing a business.
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Stephanie’s Answer

I would recommend all entrepreneurs learn to embrace the unknown. All sorts of problems will find its way to you from accounting to marketing to people leading. The key is to be open to the uncomfortable so you can rally towards problems instead of run away. Of course you aren't expected to know everything but having problem solving skills and knowing how to find someone who knows will go a long way!
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Adrian’s Answer

Creating a successful business requires a combination of different skills. Here are some key skills that are important for entrepreneurs to have:

Leadership: The ability to inspire and motivate a team of employees is crucial for building a successful business. Strong leadership skills can help you guide your team towards achieving the company's goals.

Communication: Effective communication is important in every aspect of business, from pitching your idea to investors, to communicating with customers, to managing employees. Being able to clearly convey your ideas and expectations is essential for building trust and credibility.

Financial management: Understanding financial statements, budgeting, forecasting, and managing cash flow are all important skills for running a successful business. You should be able to make informed financial decisions that help your business grow and remain profitable.

Marketing: A strong marketing strategy can help you reach new customers and build brand awareness. You should be able to develop a marketing plan that is tailored to your target audience and that effectively communicates the value of your products or services.

Problem-solving: Running a business involves encountering a variety of challenges, from managing cash flow to dealing with difficult employees or customers. The ability to think critically and creatively to solve problems is essential for success.

Adaptability: The business world is constantly changing, and successful entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to new trends and technologies. Being flexible and open to change can help you stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.
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Amit’s Answer

The great inventor Thomas Edison is known for saying, "Invention is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." Most businesses fail, and in order to maximizing your chances of success, it helps to be tenacious, to never give us. Or at least, not to give up unless your chances of success suddenly get a lot lower, or you realize that maybe your idea wasn't such a good one.

In terms of specific skills, if your business will require certain specific skills, it'll be very helpful (and help save money) if you have those skills yourself. For example, if you want to buy properties to rent out, it could be helpful to be skilled in construction or home repair. Or if you want to create an app, it'll help if you know how to do that, even if it isn't totally mandatory.
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Nick’s Answer

Looking back across my career, I'd say that the ability to 'build a profitable network' is a must-have skill for anyone aiming to thrive in their field.

Here's the thing, there are a lot of entrepreneurs out there with a lot of great business concepts. I live in San Francisco so I see lots of innovation happening. I also know lots of awesome ideas that didn't make it off the launching pad. But why?

Well, I can't speak for every business that didn't make it. However, I've talked to a ton of stakeholders, CEOs, thought leaders, and startup founders... most have told me that it's about your network. In other words, do you know the right people that can help advance your idea from conception to launch to being a full-fledged and thriving company? That's the key.

Having the right people in your circle with an understanding of how to nurture those relationships is a skill that I consider a must-have. That could also mean keeping certain connections on the shelf, until it's the right time to deploy them in your plan. Either way, it takes important people in strategic places to gain traction and to take off.
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Jacobo’s Answer

I did cofounded a company in the medical device industry. It took us five years to go from prototype to product. There were so many things we were not aware of and that we ended up facing as we were progressing in our journey. Just to give you an example in the medical device industry, you need a product that it's certified by the FDA or that has the CE Mark if you are selling it in Europe. You have to make sure that your product is fixing a need that exists in the market. You need to come up with a product or a service that does something better. faster, cheaper than the existing alternatives in the market. You can come up with something that is not invented yet but for the most part a lot of things are invented already so that might be challenging.

Going back to my own example ,...we needed clinical trials to prove that our product was more efficient than the alternatives in the market. We need at clinical trials to prove the quality of the device as a medical device. We needed sales as well in order to be attractive for a venture capitalist because they want to see a company that already has a product not a prototype that it's already selling and that has recurrent sales.

Good luck!
Jacobo
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Vidya’s Answer

A few things I'd consider-
1. Financial knowledge: Know how to work the books, how to break-even, among others. Learn to read financial reports of other companies. This is not all that difficult as it's made out to be. There are several online courses to teach you just this!
2. Be sure of your Unique Selling Point- Why should anyone give you business over another similar company? It's important to know why someone would choose your venture over another.
3. Know your competitors- Not just the names and the products but really know their strategy and plans. What does it mean to compete with them? How can you differentiate from them?
4. Have back-up funds- Don't expect to be profitable from get go. Plan for several scenarios- how would you handle no sales month, how would you handle breakdown in any of your systems etc.
5. Get a Mentor- anyone who can sound board your ideas and connect you to the right resources, for instance.
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Marini’s Answer

You have received some great advise thus far, but here are a few things that I think are important.

Learn how to prepare a business plan and a marketing plan. You want to outline the steps needed to start and maintain your business as well as identifying and reaching customers.

Conduct market research to determine the need of your desired business and/or product. It's important to know who your customer is, what they need or looking for and how to best fulfill their needs.

Time management is a big deal to ensure you stay on track and meet deadlines. You will not have a boss or manager, so you will need to make sure you're accountable to yourself.

Effective communication to attract customers and clients. Effective communication leads to great customer service, which leads to recurring customers.

Basic accounting / bookkeeping to make sure your financials are track appropriately. You can always hire an accountant or bookkeeper, but it's imperative for you to understand what they are tracking and doing on your behalf.

Learn, learn, learn. There are free resources online to help you with your business. Here are two I recommend: www.score.org and www.sba.gov

I hope this helps.
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Gene’s Answer

Hi Alfredo,

While I'm not an entrepreneur, I've met many and here are the common attributes they've all had:

Passion - Excited, enthusiastic and committed to what they're trying to do.
Creativity - Ability see thing in a different way, or connect things in ways not always obvious to others.
Persistence - Not letting setbacks or obstacles derail them. They'll keep looking at the challenge from different perspectives to find a path forward that makes sense.
Communication - You'll need to sell or gain buy in from others, either for financial support or to purchase your product/idea, so effective communication skills are critical.
Problem Solver - Identifying and solving for an unfulfilled need, or solving the need much better than the competition.

If you find you have these attributes and have clarity around an industry/business that appeals to you, then start capturing your plans on paper and talk to those around you to expand your network and get the support you need to get your idea off the ground.

Best of luck!

Gene
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Isabel’s Answer

Hello Alfredo!

A lot of people have shared some great advice! I'd say the 3 key things to have to become a successful entrepreneur are:

1. Patience - It takes time to build a business. Understand that you will not see results overnight! It'll take some time to be able to accurately track your progress.
2. A Network - Make connections! Talk with other entrepreneurs and learn from each other. Also, understand the competition and the trends. For example, everyone had to learn how to navigate the online world and e-commerce once COVID-19 hit. Many businesses had to up their digital marketing game and advertising strategies. Stay updated!
3. A Plan - Make a solid plan. Figure out your customer's problems and understand their needs. Be reasonable with your goals and BE SPECIFIC and make your goals measurable. If the plan doesn't work, make a new one! A lot of businesses take some trial-and-error. It's ok to start fresh with a different plan!

Hope this helps!
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dave’s Answer

I would say that Time Management is KEY as you would be the only one setting your own schedule which is GREAT!

you will also need to have good communication and organizational skills and of course marketing too

go for it and good luck
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Pedro’s Answer

Hi,

In addition to the soft-skills, you need to have the following hard skills. You can find many free courses on the web.

. Business model design
. Customer development
. Startup team building
. Entrepreneurial finance
. Agile development
. Marketing

I wish you all the best
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Richelle’s Answer

I am not an entrepreneur, however, I feel you need to have passion - it will take a lot of your time; have a mentor that you can shadow and ask questions, and accountability.
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