Taking the leap from being employed to being a full-time entrepreneur takes gumption. Whether you’re freelancing, starting your own business or joining the digital nomad movement, being an entrepreneur looks different for everyone. However, at the core, there are a number of skills that every entrepreneur needs to master. Here are six.
1 Good decision-making skills
Starting a business in any shape or form is going to require you to make decisions, fast. You need to have the ability to analyse the situation, weigh up the pros and cons, and make the best decision for your business moving forward. Sometimes that’ll mean saying no to big opportunities and saying yes to small ones, in order to always put your business first.
2 The ability to learn fast
Entrepreneurs have to do it all, especially in the beginning stages of starting a new business. You have to quickly learn new skills, acquire knowledge and become an expert in a number of different areas. You have to learn about your obligations as a business owner, organise your finances, get on top of your tax, and create and launch a brand – and you have to act fast.
3 Financial management
From cash flow issues and debt management to tax obligations, starting a new business requires serious financial management. You need to keep a close eye on all your incoming and outgoing expenses, especially in the first few months and years when money is especially tight. Making savvy financial decisions will help set your business up for success.
4 Negotiating skills
Whether you’re talking with clients, suppliers or investors, it’s important as an entrepreneur to have very good negotiating skills. You need to know exactly what you want and what your business needs, so you can make the tough decisions and be prepared to stand your ground. This also means developing good communication skills.
5 Relationship building
Building good relationships is a huge part of being a successful entrepreneur and small business owner. You need to learn how to cultivate healthy relationships with a variety of different people from all different backgrounds. From suppliers to employees, learning how to communicate effectively will benefit your business in the long run.
6 Strategy formation
Formulating and executing a well-designed strategy is an important part of starting a small business. Identifying your target market, organising your product and services, developing a marketing and pricing strategy – there are so many decisions to be made. Having clear direction will help you stay focussed and put you on the fast track to success.