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Five Entrepreneurial Skills You Need To Build a Successful Business

1. Personal Skills
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently." Warren Buffett The first skill you must develop as an entrepreneur is your personal skill. Now what do I mean by personal skills? Personal skills are simply those skills that are attached to your personality, more like habits. They are the characters possessed by successful entrepreneurs. For instance; if you are a professional proofreader, then it's important you develop a keen eye for spotting errors. "Great men are ordinary men with extra ordinary determination." Abraham Lincoln When I talk about developing your personal skill with respect to building a business, I am talking about developing your entrepreneurial mindset. You have to be in the right mindset before ever starting a business. Being in the right mindset entails you have abandoned the get rich quick mentality and above all, you must have integrity. The most important thing in your business relationships is your reputation for honesty. If you can genuinely and sincerely fake honesty, you will be a success. Never doubt it. The Mafia Manager If you carefully study the lives of successful entrepreneurs, you will observe they are courageous, passionate about their entrepreneurial calling and most of all, they think outside the box. "Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared, but only men of character are trusted." Arthur Friedman "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill To develop these personal skills, I will recommend you read the 15 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs and How to develop yours and the 12 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs. These articles are bound to set your entrepreneurial fire blazing.

2. Communication skill
"The test of a real comedian is whether you laugh at him before he opens his mouth." George Jean Natha

The next important entrepreneurial skill you need to develop is communication skill. A famous speaker once said that "the fact that you are talking doesn't mean someone is listening." I don't know who made this statement but I know there is an atom of truth in it. "Your words have the power to start or quench passion. John Mason To be a successful business owner, you must be a powerful communicator. Look at Bill Gates; whenever he speaks, people listen with rapt attention. Steve Jobs successfully launched the IPod and IPad because he was a powerful communicator. Whenever Warren Buffett gives a directive or recommendation, people act. "If the customer says they are not interested, it means you are not interesting." Jeffrey Citomer Investors scramble for Buffett's annual letter to his CEOs. Why? They do so because Warren Buffet has taken time to perfect his communication skill. Now how do you develop this communication skill? Warren Buffett; the billionaire investor once confessed in an interview that he took a public speaking course at Dale Carnegies academy to improve his communication skill. So to get started, I'll suggest you read How to Improve Your Communication Skill or better still; attend a seminar on public speaking. "The more I risk being rejected, the better my chances are of being accepted." Rich Dad

3. Negotiation skill
In the course of building a business, you are bound to negotiate deals. You negotiate with customers and suppliers over goods and services offered. You negotiate with bankers over bank loans terms and conditions, just as you negotiate with investors over equity and stakes. "If you cannot negotiate, you will end up getting good deals at exorbitant prices or worse still, you will get nothing." Ajaero Tony Martins Bill Gates became the richest man in the world in his thirties because he strategically negotiated a deal with IBM in his early 20s. If Bill Gates lacked persuasion skills, his name may not have been imprinted in the sands of time. So if you cannot negotiate, if you lack persuasion skills; building a business may just be a dream to you. Negotiation or persuasion is an art that can be learned, all you have to do is to devote your time to learning it and you will become a master at it.

4. Leadership skill
"In business, leadership skill is not an option. It's a necessity." Rich Dad

Business is all about your relationship with people. It entails uniting people with different backgrounds, beliefs and skills to a common cause. It entails forging people with different skills and ideologies into a business team. "Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people." John D. Rockefeller I have never seen a great business without a great leader at the helm of affairs. Building a successful business therefore requires you become an excellent business leader. Take a look at Bill Gates, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Aliko Dangote, Steve Jobs and so many others. These men are great leaders in their respective businesses. "Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationship." Henry Ross Perot Successful entrepreneurs were not born business leaders; they were made. They became business great leaders because they desired it; they humbled themselves and learned the art and science of leadership. Today, they are leaders in their game with a huge number of followers. "Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, 'make me feel important.' Never forget this message when working with people." Mary Kay Ash Its within you reach to become a good corporate leader or but you must first develop the first three entrepreneurial skills listed above which are: personal skill, communication skill and negotiation skill. This is necessary because these three skills are vital components of effective corporate leaders. "The ability to deal with people is as purchasable as a commodity as sugar or coffee and I will pay more for that ability than for any other thing under the sun." John D. Rockefeller

5. Sales skill
"If you cannot sell, you will be sold." Ajaero Tony Martins This is perhaps, the most important entrepreneurial skill of all. I decided to list it last so that I can explain its details in full. The reason I regard this as the most important is because I have never seen a business that doesn't sell one thing or the other. If you are not selling tangible items, then you are probably selling intangible items such as services. "A man's success in business today turns upon his power of getting people to believe he has something they want." Gerland Stanley I regard sales skill as the most important because life is all about selling. To get a good job, you must sell yourself to your employers. Even before you get married, you must sell yourself to your spouse, convincing him/her that you are the best partner. Success in

business is also all about selling; you must first sell yourself to your investors, next to your suppliers, your business team and employees and then to your customers. "The best way to turn a woman's head is to tell her she has a beautiful profile." Sacha Guitry Many people shy away from selling because they are afraid of rejection. Bill Gates sold himself to IBM before he became a billionaire. Steve Jobs personally sold his products such as the IPad in the media. Thomas Edison and Ray Kroc started as salesmen; I am also in the business of selling. The moment I stop selling; I will cease to be an entrepreneur. So my last note to you today is this "start selling something." "The ability to sell is the number one skill in business. If you cannot sell, don't bother thinking about becoming a business owner." Rich Dad In conclusion, I want you to go over the five entrepreneurial skills again and decide which one is missing in your life. As a last note, I leave you with this quote; "Skills make you rich, not theories." Rich Dad

15 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs and How to Develop Yours


1. Passion and Energy

When you think of the likes of Bill Gates, you tend to feel he is living a life filled with long vacations and excessive free time. But thats not true; most successful entrepreneurs are known to have a great amount of passion and energy. Passion is what drives me forward. Passion is what makes me go to bed at 2am and wake up at 6am. Aliko Dangote In fact, they possess the capacity to work long hours with minimal sleep. What most people dont realize is that entrepreneurs work longer hours than most employees; shuffling between their family, business duties and meetings. This just reminds me of a quote from Warren Buffet, the worlds richest investor and founder of Berkshire Hathaway. Without passion, you dont have energy. Without energy, you have nothing. Warren Buffett

2. Ability to take Responsibility

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. Its best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. Steve Jobs Successful entrepreneurs are known to take responsibility of their actions and decisions even in the face of failure. They dont blame their employees; instead they take charge, correct their business mistakes and move on. My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment. Oprah Winfrey
3. Long Standing Commitment

Its my job for Oracle, the number two software company in the world; to become the number one software company in the world. My job is to build better than the competition, sell those products in the marketplace and eventually supplant Microsoft and move from being number two to number one. Larry Ellison This is a very vital character possessed by any successful entrepreneur you come across. Entrepreneurs are known to be committed not just for the moment but for years. You can imagine Warren Buffet, who is in his 80s, yet he is still committed to the growth of Berkshire Hathaway, which he founded many years ago. Im not afraid of turning 80 and I have lots of things to do. I dont have time for dying. Ingvar Kamprad If I make a commitment to something, I will stick to it no matter what. Jenny Craig
4. Self Belief

You are nuts and you should be proud of it. Stick with what you believe in. Trip Hawkins Successful entrepreneurs are known to display a high level of self confidence. They have little belief in fate; they strongly believe in themselves and their ability to achieve their set goals. This is a major character venture capitalist watch out for before financing any business venture. Some people intertwine self belief and faith but I stand to say they are not the same. Faith is not self belief. While faith says it can be done, self belief says I can do it. While faith says there is possibility, Self belief says I am the possibility. Faith without self belief is vain. Ajaero Tony Martins
5. Persistence

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. This is what persistence stands for; the ability to press on in the face of hardship. Without persistence, nothing can be achieved. When you think of persistence; think of Henry Ford, founder of Ford motor Company and Ray Kroc, founder of McDonalds.

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. The world is full with educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Ray Kroc
6. Goal Setting

I intend to be, the richest man in the world. Howard Hughes All successful entrepreneurs share the characteristic of being goal oriented. They have the ability to set clear goals for themselves. These goals are high and challenging but realistic and attainable. To them, life without goals set and achieved is life wasted. I think I am very goal oriented. Id like to win the Americas cup. Id like Oracle to be the No 1 software company in the world. I still think it is possible to beat Microsoft. Larry Ellison
7. Ability to take Risk

In todays rapidly changing world, the people who are not taking risk are the risk takers. Robert Kiyosaki As we all know, business is a risk and to undertake it, you have to be daring. Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers; they put down their time, energy and resources to make sure their business stand the test of time. You must take risks, both with your own money or with borrowed money. Risk taking is essential to business growth. J. Paul Getty
8. Intelligent Use of Feedback

Feedback is one element that successful entrepreneurs dont joke with. In fact; it is so important that they surround themselves with smart teams so as to get feedbacks about decisions they took. Most importantly, they make intelligent use of the feedback they receive. Please note that feedback can be in the form of criticism, opinion or advice. Sometimes, I think my most important job as a CEO is to listen for bad news. If you dont act on it, your people will eventually stop bringing bad news to your attention and that is the beginning of the end. Bill Gates
9 Strong Self Imposed Standards

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and only five Minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently. Warren Buffett Successful entrepreneurs have laid down principles which they dont compromise for any reason. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must be firm, strict and be a man or woman of principle. I am stingy and Im proud of the reputation. Ingvar Kamprad

Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobodys going to know if you did it or not. Oprah Winfrey
10. Ability to Work under Pressure and Uncertainty

To be an entrepreneur, you must have the ability to work under pressure and uncertainty. Whenever you are facing tough times in your business; remember Donald Trump, who was in personal debt of a billion dollars and his corporation was in debt of 9 billion dollars yet he kept cool and worked his way out of the debts. You must not only learn to live with tension, you must seek it out. You must learn to thrive on stress. J. Paul Getty
11. Strong Internal Control

Control is essential to the business survival of every successful entrepreneur. To build a successful business, you need firm control of your cash flow and all other business systems. Control is a watch word of entrepreneurs and investors. In order to be a player on the fast track, you will need to have a plan on how to gain more and more control. On the fast track, it is control more than money that counts. Rich Dad
12. Intelligent Use of Resources

Sometimes, entrepreneurs are faced with the challenge of building a business with limited capital. When building a small business startup from scratch, there is need for efficient utilization of the limited resources. Its called building a business on a Shoe string budget IKEA people do not drive flashy cars or stay at luxury hotels. Ingvar Kamprad
13. Ability to Quickly Learn From Failures

Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they are going to make mistakes. Henry Ross Perot Successful entrepreneurs make lot of mistakes that sometimes lead to business failures but they dont bow their head in defeat. Instead, they quickly acknowledge their business mistakes, correct them, learn from their failures and move on. They fail but they dont quit. Instead, they get inspired by their failure and use their failure as a stepping stone to success. Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Henry Ford
14. Money as a Means of Keeping Score

I dont make deals for the money. Ive got enough much more than Ill ever need. I do it to do it. Donald Trump

This characteristic might sound a little bit funny but it is a common attribute found in most successful entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs use the money acquired from their business as a landmark, a target and a sign to move on to other business challenges. An entrepreneur who makes his/her first million dollars will be happy with the achievement and will set a goal to make his/her first 100million dollars. Build wealth as a by product of your business success; If wealth is your only objective in business, you will probably fail. J. Paul Getty
15. Delayed Gratification

You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not get paid for it. Oprah Winfrey I should have listed this first but I decided to save it for the last. Most individuals like the concept of getting rich quickly, invest today and gain a 1000% ROI in a week and stuffs like that. Entrepreneurs know that profit or reward may not be instant and may even take as much as five years before receiving any dividend. Sometimes, they work without pay, hoping for a greater reward in years to come. I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on assumption they could close the market the next day and not re-open it for five years. Warren Buffett Having revealed the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, I will advice you try to develop these characters because without these characters, your success will be limited.

What are the traits of successful entrepreneurs that set them apart from everyone else? What trait do entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Henry Ford, Mike Adenuga, J. Paul Getty, Lawrence Ellison, Lakshmi Mittal, W. Clement Stone, Richard Branson and Aliko Dangote have that the ordinary entrepreneurs dont? All these questions are going to be answered in this article. After understudying the lives of successful entrepreneurs and the drop out billionaires of this world, I have been able to pinpoint 12 traits that make them successful. Without wasting your time, below are the 12 traits of successful entrepreneurs.

12 Traits(Sifat Istimewa) of Successful Entrepreneurs


1. Successful Entrepreneurs are proactive learners

Entrepreneurship is a life long process and successful entrepreneurs know this. Things change so fast in the business world; you could be an innovation today and become obsolete tomorrow. To stay on course and adapt swiftly to the ever changing trend, successful entrepreneurs keep studying and learning. "To succeed in business, to reach the top, an individual must know all that is possible to know about that business." J. Paul Getty They read industrial journals, books and magazines. They attend seminars and update themselves regularly with the latest industrial trend. Successful entrepreneurs know that their cup is never full; they know that they don't have the right answers to all questions. So they humble themselves and learn when availed the opportunity. A cup that is full is useless. Chinese Proverb

2. They thrive on risk


"In today's rapidly changing world, the people who are not taking risk are the risk takers." Robert Kiyosaki I have never seen a successful entrepreneur who rose to the pinnacle of success without a measurable amount of risk. Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers; they risk their time, energy and resources with the hope of building a successful business. If they fail, they risk losing everything they've ever owned. Risk is the main reason many employees fail to start a business. "You must take risks, both with your own money or with borrowed money. Risk taking is essential to business growth." J. Paul Getty

3. They work for free


Working for free is one trait of successful entrepreneurs that set them apart from others. It's hard to find individuals who will be willing to work for free, without pay for many years but successful entrepreneurs do this. They work on their business for many years without pay. "You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not get paid for it." Oprah Winfrey Being an entrepreneur, I can attest to this trait because I have built businesses without getting a dime from them for some years. All profits generated are re-invested into the business. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must always bear in mind that you are not building a job for monthly pay. Instead, you are building an asset that can generate residual income for you and add value to humanity in the coming years.

4. They work longer hours than employees


"I have no complex about wealth. I have worked very hard for my money; producing things people need." J. Paul Getty Successful entrepreneurs are known for their extraordinary resilience and long standing commitment to the course of building a business. Building a business is never easy and it requires time and dedication. Entrepreneurs are known to work for 70 80 hours per week while average employees work less than that. So if you are going to join the league of successful entrepreneurs, then you definitely need to develop the trait of working longer hours than normal. "I'm not afraid of turning 80 and I have lots of things to do. I don't have time for dying." Ingvar Kamprad "My formula for success? Rise early, work late, strike oil." J. Paul Getty

5. Successful entrepreneurs learn quickly from mistakes


"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It's best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations." Steve Jobs Of all the traits of successful entrepreneurs, this one interests me the most. Many individuals shy away from the game of entrepreneurship because of the fear of making mistakes. They perceive mistakes as bad because mistakes sometimes cost money and pain; so they avoid it like a plague. But successful entrepreneurs see business mistakes as a learning tool; they see it as an opportunity to learn something new. "Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement." Henry Ford Successful entrepreneurs make mistakes in business but they don't quit. They know mistakes are part of the entrepreneurial process, so they learn quickly from these business mistakes and move on. If you are being held back by the fear of making mistakes, I will suggest you read the article "How to Learn from Your Mistakes in Business." Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again. W. Clement Stone "Excuses cost a dime and that's why the poor can afford a lot of it." Robert Kiyosaki

6. They have the ability to run on debt


If you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem." J. Paul Getty

As a rule of life, we are all indebted to someone in one way or the other. With respect to building a business, I have never seen a successful entrepreneur that hasnt been in debt. Everyone owes but successful entrepreneurs know how to use debt to their advantage, they know how to use debt as an instrument and leverage to build a business and get richer. "Financial leverage is the advantage the rich have over the poor and middle class." "Be careful when you take on debt. If you take on debt personally, make sure it is small. If you take on large debt, make sure someone else is paying for it." Rich Dad

7. They are accountable and responsible


Successful entrepreneurs are accountable and responsible for the failure or success of their business. They shoulder the responsibility of piloting the business through its trying times. If they succeed, it becomes a plus to them but if they fail, they will be held responsible.

8. They thrive on criticism


"Dare to risk public Criticism." Mary Kay Ash Another trait successful entrepreneurs share in common is the ability to forge ahead in the face of criticism. Building a business comes with its own challenges; as an entrepreneur, you are bound to be loved and hated by the public. But successful entrepreneurs always devise a means to use every bit of criticism to make themselves better and stronger. "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." Henry Ford "Sometimes, I think my most important job as a CEO is to listen for bad news. If you don't act on it, your people will eventually stop bringing bad news to your attention and that is the beginning of the end." Bill Gates

9. Successful entrepreneurs are ambitious


I Intend to be, the richest man in the world. Howard Hughes Ambition is one of the traits of successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs think big and do things big. They are never satisfied with their current achievement; they believe there is always room for constant improvement and they go for it. "I like thinking big. If youre going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big." Donald Trump Mukesh Ambani controls the world's largest refinery. Lakshmi Mittal built Mittal Steel to become the world's largest steel producer and Aliko Dangote; the richest man in the

world controls the largest cement factory in Africa. Look at Larry Ellison's ambition to surmount Microsoft. In generality, entrepreneurs are very ambitious personalities. "I think I am very goal oriented. I'd like to win the America's cup. I'd like Oracle to be the No 1 software company in the world. I still think it is possible to beat Microsoft." Larry Ellison

10. They are opportunist


"War has been good to me from a financial standpoint but I don't want to make money that way. I don't want blood money." Ted Turner This is another trait of successful entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs share a common ability to see opportunities, where others see problems. They know that behind every problem lies an opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs are the drivers of creativity and innovation. "The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets." John D. Rockefeller

11. They are great leaders


"If there is such a thing as good leadership, it is to give a good example. I have to do so for all the IKEA employees." Ingvar Kamprad Successful entrepreneurs are great leaders with a well thought leadership strategy. They possess the ability to bring out the best in their employees. They inspire creativity and foster innovation. They also have the ability to hire and lead smarter individuals "Good leadership consists of showing average people how to do the work of superior people." John D. Rockefeller "Punishing honest mistakes stifles creativity. I want people moving and shaking the earth and they are going to make mistakes." Henry Ross Perot

12. Successful entrepreneurs are team players


Individuals dont win in business; teams do. Sam Walton "I want to start my own business," 'I want to be my own boss,' 'I want to do this my own way.' These are the words I often hear from would be entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs know that entrepreneurship and investing are team sports. So therefore; they never work alone, they join forces with other entrepreneurs and professional advisers to build a successful business.

"Go to the wolf, consider its ways and be wise. A wolf will never hunt alone; it hunts in packs because it knows the power of team work." Ajaero Tony Martins In conclusion, these are the 12 traits of successful entrepreneurs which you must possess to succeed. Successful entrepreneurs were not born with these traits, they developed them over time. You can also develop these traits if only you are willing.

These five skills are:

1. Sales and marketing skills. Sales and marketing are the two most important skills you must
have when you plan to start your own business. A business is nothing if it has no customers. You may have the fanciest computer with the latest graphics software, but if no one is knocking at your door to hire you as a graphic designer, then you better rethink why you are in business in the first place. Maybe you are better off employed by a firm. To have revenues and profits, you first need to have customers. To get customers, you must be able to market your business and possess the skills to close the sale. As you plan your business, you must begin to think how to reach your target audience and the people who may need your products or service. This entails understanding the concept of marketing, and using the tools that your budget permits. You must have a knack for understanding what people wants, listening to their needs, and interact well with other people. It would be extremely helpful if you possess excellent written and oral communication skills to help you sell your products and services (more so if you are a solo entrepreneur who will be doing everything by yourself). You need to create a buzz about your business by talking to people and presenting to them your business. You need to write ads, press releases and story ideas about your business. Starting a business is a time to get out of your timid self and begin to aggressively market your venture. Thats the only way you can succeed.

2. Financial know-how. You are in business to make money. Therefore, the most important skill
you must have is the ability to handle money well. This includes knowing how to stretch the limited start-up capital that you have, spending only when needed and making do with the equipment and supplies that you currently have. You also need to identify the best pricing structure for your business in order to get the best kind of return for your products or services. Success in business is not limited to those who have tons of capital in the beginning. Look at the failed dot-coms with funding of as much as $100 million. Even if they are awash with cash, they still ended up as a failure because they were not able to manage their money well. They lavished themselves with high-tech office furniture and gave their CEOs fancy jets to fly, only to have their cash flow depleted in less than a year. If you are able to manage your cash flow well when the business starts to run, you will be able to survive the ups and downs of self employment. The important thing is to always focus on the bottomline. For every spending, always ask yourself: How much will this contribute to my bottom line? If it will not give your business anything in return financially, better think twice before opening your wallet.

3. Self-motivation skills. As an entrepreneur, you do not have the luxury of bosses and
bureaucracy to tell you what needs to be done. Everything rests on your shoulder from thinking where to get the money to fund the business, to developing the product, to determining how to reach

the customer, and so on. Only you will create the plans, and change them should the situation shifts. You need to be smart enough to know when you need to go ahead, and when to stop. To succeed in business, you must be a self-starter with a clear desired goal in mind. You must have the confidence in yourself, and in your ideas (how can you sell your ideas to others if you yourself do not believe in them?). More importantly, you must be willing to focus your energy and work hard towards each and every step that will make your enterprise a success. Especially if you work at home, it is doubly hard to get into the work mindset: sometimes, the television is just too tempting that it is hard to get out of your pajamas and begin typing in your computer. You therefore must have that extra drive and commitment to make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to make your dream of a successful business a reality.

4. Time management skills. The ability to plan your day and manage time is particularly
important for a home business. When you wake up in the morning, you must have a clear idea of the things you must do for the day. Especially if you are running a one-person operation, you must have the ability to multi-task be the secretary at the start of the day typing all correspondences and emails, become the marketing man writing press releases before noon, make sales call in the afternoon, and become a bookkeeper before your closing hours. Imagine if you are selling products and you still have to create the products, deliver and fulfill the orders, rush to the bank to cash the checks. Lots of job for a simple home-based business! No, you dont have to be a superman (or superwoman). You simply have to know how to manage time and prioritize your tasks. One difficulty of working from home is that you can never seem to stop. There are simply too many things to do, as if work never stops (and it doesnt!). Part of having good time management skills is knowing when to stop and when to leave work, and begin doing your other roles in your family as the husband, wife, mother or father. You must be able to know how to keep your home life separate from your work life, and ensure that there exists a balance between the two.

5. Administration skills. If you can afford to hire an assistant who will organize your office
space and file your papers and mails, lucky you! However, most start-up entrepreneurs cannot afford such luxuries. Over and above the tasks of managing, marketing and planning your business, you also need to possess a great deal of administration skills. You need to file your receipts so tax time will not be a trip to Hades. You need to do all the work in terms of billing, printing invoices, collecting payments, and managing your receivables. Starting a business is never easy, even if you have the perfect background and possess all the above skills. Having all the needed skills and qualities will not even ensure your success. But having these basic skills will, at least, lessen the pain of the start-up process, giving you greater chance in seeing your business grow and prosper.

Below are 5 essential skills for todays entrepreneur: Decision Making No one can deny that the ability to make decisions is a core skill that every entrepreneur must possess if he or she wants to be successful. From the very beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, you must make sound decisions, first of all, about which business to go into. From there, decisions on how to proceed with marketing, funding, product production (in some cases), vendor selection, and a host of other judgments need to be made. The key is to be decisive and learn from mistakes, rather than fearing mistakes to the point that you avoid decisions. People Skills Its often said that no matter what business youre in, youre in the people business. How true that is! Even if you have a dog grooming business, its the people who bring their dogs to you who pay you and make the decision to use your service over your

competitions, so youd better know how to deal well with people. This is a skill that nearly every highly successful entrepreneur has, and those who dont have recognized the need to hire a face of the company, often in the form of a CEO or COO, to represent them in the business world. Whether dealing with customers, vendors, investors, the press, or employees, well developed people skills can mean the difference between success and failure. Planning Being able to project into the future and build a plan to accomplish your objectives is a skill that can take any entrepreneur far. Effective planning is what will guide your company and ultimately define what youre all about. The skilled business planner knows that planning is only an effective skill when combined with action, so they dont get bogged down in planning, and they keep their plans focused but somewhat flexible. With so many facets to effective planning, it could be called as much an art as it is a skill. Sales Just as it is said that every business is a people business, it is also true that whatever business youre in, youre in sales. You might not be a salesperson in the Whats it gonna take for me to get you into this car today sense, but if you are exchanging products or services for money, youre selling. And the more skilled you are at sales, the more successful your business will be. Its not just customers you need to sell to though. Selling your business plan to investors, your job opportunity to potential employees, or your marketing to your target audience is all dependent upon your ability to sell your ideas. Communication If ever the term last but not least was appropriate, this is it. The skill of communication plays a role in the execution of all of the other skills above. If you dont have this skill, none of the other skills will be fully developed, no matter how hard you try. You cant be a great salesperson without great communication skills; your planning skills wont matter if you arent able to effectively communicate your plans; you can hardly claim to have strong people skills without being a good communicator; and it wont matter what decisions you make if they arent communicated properly to those who are in a position to execute them. So of all the skills listed here, start working on your communication skills first, if they arent 100%. It will pay off in immeasurable ways. Of course there are other important skills to have as an entrepreneur. What would you add to the list? Be sure to share with the community in the comments below!

Six Must-Have Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs


Written by: Carla Michelle Edited by: Jean Scheid Updated Jun 12, 2010 Related Guides: Small Businesses

Learn the six skills you need in order to excel at being an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurial Skills

What skills are needed to be an entrepreneur? There are many skills that entrepreneurs develop over time, but there are a few skills that every entrepreneur must have before opening their doors for business. Read through this list and if you find any skills that you need to work on, develop them while you are building your business plan. Successful entrepreneurs have to start with these six must-have skills.

#1 Self-Motivation
The most important skill any entrepreneur needs is the ability to wake up in the morning and begin working. If you have been 10 minutes late to work everyday for the past five years, most likely that habit will not change if you own your own business. Not only do you need to be able to wake-up, but you also need to be able to begin and end work on time. Many first time entrepreneurs find themselves wasting away their day talking on the phone, filing and developing binders for clients that do not exist. Schedule your day and stick to your schedule.
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#2 Self-Confidence
Every entrepreneur needs to be confident in themselves, their product and their business. You need to know that your product can truly help people and that you are charging prices that are both fair to you and your clients.

#3 Ethics & Morals


Ethics and morals are the foundation of every good entrepreneur. Early on you must decide what you and your business will stand for and what lines you will refuse to cross. Many entrepreneurs close their doors because the dollar outshines their morals. If you stray too far from your morals you will give yourself and your business a bad name. No one wants to do business with someone who will not stand up for their own morals.

#4 Time Management

As mentioned under Self-Motivation Schedule your day and stick to your schedule. This cannot be emphasized enough. New entrepreneurs need to realize that every minute is valuable. When first starting out, most likely you will not have enough work to fill an eight hour day. This does not mean that you have time to take a 3 hour lunch with friends. Utilize this time to learn more skills related to your business, find ways to advertise and contact potential clients.

#5 Sales
No matter how much you dont like the idea of it, every business has to work with sales. Each industry and business has a unique way of handling their sales. As an entrepreneur, it is your job to figure out what type of sales you prefer and what type is best for your services or products. If you have ever worked in retail sales or advertising you already have an edge on most other hopeful business people. All entrepreneurs will benefit from sales seminars, books and motivational programs.

#6 Finance
When in business, knowledge of finance is a must. Knowing how to balance a checkbook and keep track of numbered invoices is all most small businesses need to start out. The most important aspect of small business finance is scheduling time specifically for your finance management and doing it. Granted it helps to have an accounting degree or extensive QuickBooks knowledge but these skills are not mandatory. Possessing or nurturing these skills before going into business will help ensure a successful outcome. So long as you have an excellent salable idea and these six entrepreneurial skills, nothing can stop you from doing your best.