Radiate posted this image on Instagram a while back that said “Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to learn new skill sets everyday” and I really laughed out loud when I saw it. That is the absolute truth. When in the corporate world, I had a team of people who worked for me and I was able to use their skills to perform certain tasks. Becoming an entrepreneur, I was a one woman show. I didn’t have a team of people, I was a team of one. This got me thinking about the “entrepreneur skill set” so I put together a list of the skills that you will need to succeed in owning your own business.
- Strategy and goal setting. I like to think that I have one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow. To build or maintain success, you have to be able to think about the future of your business and the steps you’ll take to get there. You have to have long-term goals to continue to grown your business.
- Sales. When you start your business, you likely won’t have a fantastic sales staff so you have to be able to do this yourself. I didn’t consider myself a sales person before but you would be hard pressed to name a business that doesn’t have to sell something. That “something” may not be a tangible product but you have to sell people on your skills, your expertise or your ideas.
- Communication. You have to be able to clearly and professionally communicate with customers, vendors, staff, etc. Poor communication will frustrate you and whoever is receiving the message.
- Finance and accounting. If you can’t properly manager your finances, you may as well close your doors now. Harsh, I know but you should be knowledgeable about things like your profit margins, cash flow and funding. This information is key for telling you the truth about how your business is going and helping you to make decisions.
- Branding. This is one of the most important aspects of your business. Your brand tells people exactly what they can expect from you or your company. Bad branding will be the kiss of death. Seriously.
There are obviously many more skills that we could talk about as an entrepreneur but I feel like you really have to be able to nail these things without support staff to stay afloat.