Being an entrepreneur in this busy world requires a strong set of skills if you’re going to succeed with your business. Cultivating a mixture of hard and soft entrepreneurial skills is vital for all aspects of your business if you want to guarantee growth and a healthy profit margin.
Hard and soft skills? You might be wondering what that means. In this blog, we’ll break it down for you so that you know exactly what’s required to be a successful entrepreneur.
Hard skills are financial and technical skills that you may need for the day to day managing of your business.
Soft skills include leadership and communication skills which help you aid your team and your personal development.
Most people are strong in some skills but need to work on others. That’s why we have broken down 7 skills to cultivate to ensure you’re a well-rounded entrepreneur. Here they are.
Our top 7 entrepreneur skills:
1. Business management
Of course, it goes without saying that you need to know how to manage a business successfully. However, it’s worth a closer look because there are certain skills that we think are more essential than others when it comes to managing your business day-to-day.
Essential business management skills include:
- Multitasking – It can feel like a juggling act, but the ability to multitask can improve productivity in your business. When you’re managing several projects at once you have to be proactive and focused. However, you do need to prioritise tasks and organise your day to ensure maximum efficiency. Having strong multitasking skills involves knowing when you have enough on your plate and when to delegate. This brings us to our next skill, delegation.
- Delegation – We’ve all had that moment when you realise that you have taken on too much. As an entrepreneur, you must be able to identify when it’s time to delegate the workload to stay on schedule. Holding on to an impossible workload all by yourself will only make you fall more behind and waste valuable time and resources. An entrepreneur with delegation skills knows how to effectively disperse and manage the workload between their team, leaving more time to focus on critical areas of the business. If you’re struggling to hone this skill, get some tips from our blog on how to delegate effectively.
- Decision-making – Not always the easiest, but undoubtedly one of the most important entrepreneur skills. Your ability to make tough decisions quickly can make or break your business. As the business owner, you are always the final decision maker and you’re required to think wisely and objectively, no matter the enormity of the decision at hand.
2. Planning, organisation & time management
It’s pointless cultivating any of these skills as an entrepreneur if you are disorganised! Every entrepreneur needs to be able to implement proper planning, organisation and time management in their business.
You need to:
- Plan well and initiate action once strategies have been formed. Planning skills help you to create a clear direction for your team which in turn helps you to obtain your goals faster.
- Be organised! Don’t run around like a headless chicken, setting a bad example for your team. By prioritising your day, creating to-do lists and setting deadlines you become more streamlined in your productivity. Being organised is essential for daily operations to run smoothly, without any hiccups. If you need help staying organised, perhaps it’s time to hire a virtual assistant.
- Manage your time. Managing your available time and controlling the amount of time you spend on tasks throughout the day is a valuable skill for busy entrepreneurs. It may come easier to some people than to others, but everyone has the ability to improve their time management skills. Scheduling your day, the night before is a habit many of the world’s most successful entrepreneur’s form. This not only starts your day with purpose but also assists in setting a productive morning routine, helping you be a strong leader and role model to your employees.
3. Leadership & Communication
Strong leadership skills are essential for inspiring, motivating and encouraging your team. Being a leader means you can provide others with a sharp vision for the company and inspire your employee’s personal development. Employees who are motivated in achieving personal goals having a higher level of productivity.
Having leadership skills as an entrepreneur means you need to be:
- An active listener
- Provide constructive feedback
Strong leadership skills go hand in hand with excellent communication skills. Effective communication is being able to relay information to your team as well as being able to receive it.
It’s not always verbal either. It can be listening to that employee who could spark a new idea or reading body language, whether it’s in a conference or virtual room.
Communication skills help improve and build strong relationships, work with others to grow your business and assist in being transparent about your business objectives.
4. Customer service
“Your unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning” – Bill Gates
Not everyone is a people person, and we understand that. But developing your customer service skills is incredibly important to help you connect with the people who are choosing to part with their hard-earned cash and support your business.
Use those effective communication skills to assist your customers, ensure happiness and repeat purchases.
Having customer service skills doesn’t only mean dealing with grumpy customers 24/7, it can also mean reaching out to someone to let them know you value and appreciate their business.
5. Financial insight
It’s one thing being a great communicator, but you do need financial skills to keep your business on track.
We’re not saying you should start filling out applications for a course in chartered accounting. There are people to delegate those tasks to! (See what we did there? After all, this blog is about being a well-rounded entrepreneur.)
We’re talking about:
- Managing your credit and cash flow
- Knowing how to create and stick to a budget
- Finding potential investors when you need to grow
- Not living outside your business means
These are common sense skills that every business owner should have. Leave the complex accounting to the professionals, but make sure you understand the fundamentals. Without them, you run the risk of jeopardising everything you’re working so hard to achieve.
6. Problem-solving, strategic & critical thinking
Think of these as the Swiss Army knife of all the entrepreneur skills in your toolbelt.
Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are vital when there are tough decisions to be made or if unexpected situations arise in your business. Developing these cognitive skills will assist you in finding more creative solutions. By exercising your cognitive muscles through brain training, puzzles and the like you will be able to look at problems from a unique perspective and this gives you a competitive edge to make changes or improve your business.
7. Curiosity & determination
In this case, curiosity never killed anyone. If you don’t have the burning desire to find new market opportunities, improve your offering, and consistently work on fresh marketing strategies, then being an entrepreneur probably isn’t for you.
Being curious and determined as an entrepreneur means you are never willing to settle and you’re only looking for new ways and opportunities for your business to flourish.
How to improve your entrepreneur skills
Improving and developing your skillset is important in staying up to date in a competitive environment. Here are some tips to help you on your way.
- Educate yourself – Take an online course depending on which aspect of your business needs attention. There are many courses to discover, and the internet world is your oyster. Courses in leadership, finance or marketing are all helpful in developing your skills as an entrepreneur.
- Learn from industry leaders – Attend networking events or workshops. These will give you a real-life perspective and will help you gain valuable insight as to what it’s like to own a business from another perspective.
- Approach a mentor – If an industry leader has influenced you in some way reach out to them and ask for them to mentor you. Observe how they manage their business, communicate with their team and learn from their advice.
We are confident that developing, strengthening and implementing a mixture of these entrepreneur skills can only guarantee business success. Check in the latest entrepreneurial trends and always strive to be a better leader for your business and team too!