Below are 13 of the most important entrepreneurial skills that you need to succeed in your small business:
- Organizational skills
- Ability to plan
- Passion for what you do
Some people believe that entrepreneurs are born. Yet others think that entrepreneurship can be learned.
After all, whichever side of the divide you belong to, nothing is good or bad. It is thinking that make it so.
Plus or minus, the truth is that you need some entrepreneurial skills, training and experience to succeed in your business.
Unarguably, starting and managing a business can be quite challenging indeed for many people.
However, if you are one of those who got stuck in the process, you do not need to worry so much. You are not alone.
A lot of people have gone through those processes, so you do not need to fret.
1. Ability to manage money
Ability to manager money is one of the most important entrepreneurial skills you need to run your business.
This is because business is all about money. It is said that money makes the world go round.
For example, you should be able to:
- avoid unnecessary expenses; i.e. expenses that do not add value to your business
- turn down invitations to places where people squander money in the name of socializing
- ensure that you get value for every single kobo that leaves your business
- Make sure that you create a cash budget to track your incomes and expenses
- spend less on entertaining family and friends
- weigh the costs and benefits of any financial decision you make
- ensure that cash inflow into your business is more than the outflow
- keep accurate accounts of your financial transactions
- prepare annual financial statements for your business
- seek advice from experts if you have a difficult financial decision to make
- know that in business every kobo counts. They add up to your bottom line at the end of the year
- do not borrow more money than you can pay
- Do not enter into any contract you cannot carry through to void law suites
Flowing from the above, it is clear that the success or failure of your business essentially depend on the choices and decisions you make.
2. Entrepreneurial Skills: Managing men
Another important entrepreneurial skill you need is the ability to manage men.
Managing people is difficult because as our faces are different so our characters are different.
These individual differences often show up in the workplace. However, in business only the best is good for you.
Moreover, remember that in business, things do not just happen. It is people that make things happen.
Furthermore, you should realize that your employees are your first customers. They are your assets.
Therefore, it is your responsibility to make sure that you:
- provide the basic tools you employees need to carry out their duties
- communicate your policies to your employees so that they will know the aims and objectives of your business
- recognize and reward hard working employees
- it is easy for your employees to do their work
- encourage your employees to grow with the company
- give them a sense of belonging; let them share in the success story of your business.
- motivate your employees
- give promotions and pay raises to deserving workers
- recognize and encourage them to give their best
- where necessary, give them training to meet the needs of your business
- allow them to take their annual vacation so they can refresh
- let them have a sense of belonging
- pay your employees what they are worth; i.e. according to the work they do for you.
Most importantly, do not forget that the quality of services you get from your employees is a function of what you put into their development. It should be a win-win situation.
3. Entrepreneurial skills: managing materials
You need good entrepreneurial skills to be able to manage your stocks/inventory.
Moreover, it is possible that stocks/inventory will take a reasons portion of your business capital.
You cannot talk of customers, sales, profits and business growth without talking about stocks.
Furthermore, this means that you need to pay special attention to the management of your stocks/inventory.
Most importantly, you should ensure that you are able to:
- get regular and steady supplies of stocks.
- obtain supplies at reasonable prices.
- put in place effective and efficient internal controls over your stocks.
- avoid carrying excess stocks
- prevent stock outs. customers do not like stock outs.
- avoid stocks that are nearing expiry dates
- prevent carrying of obsolete stocks
- shun stocks that are experiencing low demands
Most importantly, you should always bear in mind that the success or failure of your business depends on the choices you make.
4. Organizational skills
One of the entrepreneurial skills you need is the ability to organize your business properly.
For example, you should be able to work out actionable steps and strategies you can use to make your business easier to manage.
Moreover, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are able to effectively coordinate all the activities of your business to obtain optimal results.
You can read up management books and magazines to continually update your organizational skills.
5. Ability to plan
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.
Planning is one of the important entrepreneurial skills you will always need. .
Having said that, it is your responsibility to plan for all aspects of your business, including:
- customer service
- and so on.
Furthermore, you should remember that planning, implementing, reviewing and updating of your plans should be a continuous process.
Most importantly, you can involve senior employees in the planning process. This is necessary so that they will know the direction your business is going. And so they will not have any excuse for not delivering on the plans of the business.
6. Entrepreneurial skills: Foresight
As a business owner, you need foresight to enable you to remain on top of your game.
As you are probably aware, business environment changes fairly rapidly.
Moreover, you should be able to see some changes coming so that you can brace up and work out tentative solutions before the actual problems crystallize.
For example, suppose you locate a branch of your business in a new place.
And a short while after, government constructed a road that affected the place where you located your business branch.
And you suffered huge financial losses without compensation from the government.
That will be a clear case of lack of foresight.
So in whatever you do, you need to do proper research and planning.
Other areas where you could be caught unaware can include:
- manufacture of a new product
- importation of products
- declining demand for your products, and so on.
Therefore, before you make an important decision, you should feel free to make wide consultations with those who know more than you. This should help you to prevent costly mistakes.
7. Entrepreneurial skills: Consistency
You have to be consistent in whatever you do. This is very important so that your customers, suppliers and employees can flow with you.
For example, if you set up a standard for doing business, you should make sure that you maintain the same standard.
In other words, you should maintain the same standard until you have good reasons to change it.
If you have to make changes every now and then, some customers are likely to leave you.
Furthermore, inconsistency affects customers because your customers also have their plans.
Most importantly, if you are consistent in the way you do your business, it will be easier for people to do business with you.
Persistence is a great great entrepreneurial skills you need to master.
In business anything can happen at any time.
For example, some unexpected events can happen that can affect your business.
Sometimes, the events might be of a temporary nature.
If the event is of a temporary nature, you should not pack up your business.
Instead, you should continue to do your best to keep your business going.
In addition, you should stick to your vision for the future of your business.
In other words, if you truly believe that you are in the right business, except that there is a temporary hitch. you should not give up. Be persistent. Continue to do what you are doing.
Most importantly, remember that in business quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit. It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
9. Entrepreneurial skills: Integrity
Integrity is an important entrepreneurial skill you need. Remember that business is built on trust and connections.
For example, you should not make a promise you do not intend to keep.
Furthermore, you should do what you say you are going to do.
Other examples, where integrity matters including, among others:
- when you need to enter into a contract
- paying your creditors including banks loans
- call up customer who forget anything in your shop to come and pick them.
- avoid aiding and abetting crime
- standing for what is right
- tax evasion
- and so on
10. Passion for what you do
Being passionate about what you do is an important entrepreneurial skill you need.
Having said that, you should remember that you can only be passionate about what you do if you are sufficiently interested in it.
In other words, interest drives passion. And passion is key to success.
For example, if you are in bed at 9.00 am, you cannot be said to be passionate about what your business. And that type of lousy attitude cannot do your business any good.
Creativity is a very valuable entrepreneurial skill you can learn.
Business is war. The common enemy is competition.
It has long been said that necessarily is the mother of invention.
Therefore, there is nothing wrong if you manufacture or modify an existing product to enable you fight competition.
Furthermore, you should not belong to the class of people would always say “that is how we have been doing it”.
Great men do extraordinary things to achieve great results.
Moreover, you should always try your hands on new things.
Continue to look for better and cheaper ways to improve your business.
Most importantly, you should buy into the idea of continuous improvement so that you can keep pace with industry trends.