You’ve got to be strong and determined to start your own business. It’s impressive that you’re even thinking about it, let alone getting started. Yet you also need a big set of other skills to keep the business going.
Businesses don’t run themselves, and small startups often fail because their owners didn’t recognize their own weaknesses. If it feels like you’re juggling bowling balls and feathers while walking a tightrope, then it’s probable you’re on the right track.
It’s fortunate for you that you can learn these necessary entrepreneurial skills, and you’d be wise to invest the time to do so. Here are some of the most important talents that will help your business grow and thrive.
Using Your Entrepreneurial Skills to Network
Traditional wallflowers don’t often make very good salespeople. While you may be more of an introvert, developing the social skills to introduce yourself and meet people is essential to the smooth operation of your business. Practice making entrepreneur friends, not meeting them one time and forgetting about them.
Maintaining those connections means remembering their names the next time you see them and following up with them on any tidbits they told you or promises you made. It also means checking in with them periodically (text message or social media post) to see how they’re doing and help them remember you, too.
Basic people skills like these also help you focus on your customers. If you can make your clients feel like they are the most important thing in the world to you, then your business will have their loyalty. But to do that means ignoring the thousands of other tasks that always roll through the back of your mind when you’re a business owner.
To make customers happy you have to be good at prioritizing their needs and the needs of the business. You don’t want to promise something that you can’t deliver, but you don’t want them to think they don’t matter, either.
Harnessing Marketing Opportunities
Let’s face it, there are all types of marketing methods out there. Knowing which ones to use or when to stop using one is a definite skill that’s important to have when you run your own business. One such method is social media, where it’s so easy to over-share, or say something inappropriate.
But social media isn’t the only place where marketing can screw up. Pay-per-click is a different animal altogether, and one that requires skills to recognize its potential. Beginners should do some research before attempting to use PPC for their businesses, because it’s another area where you can spend a lot of money for little return if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Many of the things you try may fail, but a successful person uses their failures to learn and grow. Being able to deal with failure is just as much a skill as choosing marketing strategies.
You also want to be able to keep up with new trends like video marketing. And once you have the potential customers rolling, you need to be able to close the sale, too, instead of letting it hang and forfeiting the money your business could have used.
Marketing incorporates many skills and talents, but these few will get you on your way to business success.
Making Use of Finances
If you’re just starting out, then you need to know how to fundraise. Getting people to believe in your company enough to invest in it is a skill that works in your favor if you have it. Otherwise, getting startup capital is difficult.
Once you’re established, you could hire out the accounting and budgeting to someone who has more bookkeeping or controller experience. But you also have to understand the business and its priorities to figure out how to move the puzzle pieces around to achieve success. Financial puzzle pieces are things like cash on hand, investments, and projected windfalls.
Hiring out can be good, but sometimes you’re the best person for the job. Although, as an entrepreneur, you’re also the best person for most of the jobs in your business, too. You can’t do everything, so you’ll have to choose the most important ones.
Managing a Staff
People are funny creatures. They all have feelings that get in the way of logic, yet they try to pretend they don’t. This makes hiring, firing, and training your staff more of a political obstacle course than you’d ever expect to have to deal with.
The biggest challenge is understanding and encouraging them the way they need. The other is delegating appropriately, which only works if you know what each person’s strengths and weaknesses are.
If you reassign someone to accounting who rocks at shipping, your shipping department is going to fail unless you get someone equally talented to replace them. Don’t swap people’s roles or delegate them to do things they aren’t good at.
Sometimes this takes a bit of insight on your part because people don’t always know this about themselves. Observing and evaluating their work and progress is a good way to notice these things. And remember that some people rise to a challenge, and some people don’t do well under pressure.
If you can figure out what makes your people tick and play to their strengths, your business will soar.
The Grit to Succeed
It’s a lot to take in. From managing a staff to managing a budget and everything in between, a business owner needs to be someone with the entrepreneurial skills to juggle it all.
You need to be able to learn the skills you need and get it all done, even when something doesn’t fall in your immediate strength or specialty.
Read more on our website for help with specific lists of daily tasks or other info to help entrepreneurs.