Most businesses don’t fail because of lack of demand for the product or service being sold. The biggest reason why most small business owners fail at being successful entrepreneurs is because they do not have the right set of business skills.
It is very common for small business owners to assume that because they may be a good salesperson they have what it takes to run a business. This makes sense when you think about what a business is and how it survives. So why is that not enough to run a business successfully? Using their negotiation skills, entrepreneurs bring products and services together with customers to make a sale. But it doesn’t take long before they begin to understand that there is a lot more that goes into being an entrepreneur.
It has nothing to do with the quality of your services or your products; it is simply the lack of fundamental business skills. The most valuable products and services are what break down the barriers that keep entrepreneurs from competing in the marketplace. But the quality of the idea is not the determining factor – the execution of your idea is far more important.
How you execute your idea so that it manifests into a profitable business is a measurement of your capabilities. It defines your level of success as an entrepreneur. Here’s why.
Running a Business Does Not Come Naturally
Being a small business owner is nothing like being an employee of the business. When you are working a job, you are only required to have a certain skill set, along with common sense, in order to perform the duties. But when you are an entrepreneur operating a business, your job description covers a multitude of roles and responsibilities. The best way to fail in business is to limit yourself to your sales abilities or technical skills. Those alone will not be enough for you to successfully operate the business.
As an entrepreneur, your focus is not on conducting business, but building the business. That means you have to oversee the entire operation and all processes that take place within the business. In addition to sales, you have to manage finances, networking, executive leadership, branding, marketing and even invoicing. If you have no knowledge of any of these areas, it will be impossible for you to establish a cohesive operation.
In other words, if you are good at painting houses, it does not automatically mean you are good at securing clients and managing a team. It does not mean you are an efficient manager, and it does not signify that you have great leadership skills.
But these are the skills that are necessary – minimally. Without these skills, your entrepreneurial endeavour will be unable to thrive because your weaknesses will outweigh your strengths. In that regard, you could have the most creative and unique product on the market and not have the ability to build a business around it.
Above all else, entrepreneurship is the most essential business skill you need to build. Without it, you cannot be in business.
Your Most Important Business Skill Is Entrepreneurship
How effective are you at developing innovative ideas and creating profitable business opportunities from them?
Above all else, the most important skill you need to develop from the time you complete the company registration is entrepreneurship. Many people think the idea is the first step, but that simply isn’t true. Being an entrepreneur is about creating systems and processes that are centred around your product or service. Developing your entrepreneurial skills means increasing your efficiency at creating strategies that streamline transactions from ideas.
Entrepreneurs are not categorized by the number of novel ideas they are able to think of. Instead, your success is determined by the number of successful launches that you have profited from. It is not your idea that generates the profit; it is the solutions to the problems that you solve. Your idea needs to address a concern that people have, then resolve it. If the solution is good enough that people will pay you for it, then you have entrepreneurial skill sets.
Become a Master at These Skills in Order to Enhance Your Entrepreneurship Abilities
- Communicate Effectively When Writing and Speaking
While having an idea is very important, it is just as important for you to be able to communicate those ideas. You have to convey your vision so that everyone sees it the way you do. That means you have to be able to effectively articulate your idea in a way that attracts people’s interest – or risk the world rejecting you.
Why is communication such a vital skill? Because entrepreneurs must be able to sell a vision. The idea cannot become reality without customers, employees and investors believing in the value of the concept. Your idea could be something that will save thousands of people’s lives, but if you are unable to communicate the benefits in a way that makes your vision clear and undeniable, then your product might as well remain undiscovered. And even if your presentation does not require public speaking skills, you still need to be able to communicate through other channels.
The most novel ideas are the most creative, so entrepreneurs need to have a vivid imagination. Even more, you need to explore out-of-the-box perspectives in order to identify hidden opportunities that can hit towards unmet consumer demands.
As an example, the sharing economy has emerged as a recent trend in which consumers wish to find new ways to do things they already do. In doing so, it created an opportunity for entrepreneurs to provide ride-sharing services, offer money-making driving opportunities and even bring new life to the vacation rental market by renting out their home.
Entrepreneurs who were able to envision ideas that fit in with the trend of the sharing economy ended up creating Uber and AirBnB, two of the biggest companies out there today.
What is the best way to start brainstorming your own creative ideas? Start with the things you’re most familiar with, then think of ways to approach them differently. Your goal is to train your brain to think of things from alternative perspectives in a way that solves problems that people commonly have.
- Plan Strategically
In order to be a strategic planner, you must be able to map a strategy from company formation to sale. Planning strategically is how you outline your goal, by segmenting the process so that each step is clear. It also requires that resources are integrated so that they complete your overall blueprint. It all boils down to spelling everything out in detail and implementing productive action.
As an entrepreneur, your resources, ideas and availability are limited. So it is not in your best interest to apply your energy towards different activities sporadically in order to execute multiple tasks at once. Use your time and resources strategically so that you are able to focus on being effective in the tasks that are most important.
- Network and Collaborate in Order to Create Strategic Partnerships
When starting a new business venture, it is important that you align yourself with experts in your industry who are more knowledgeable and have more experience than you. You may not be able to hire these people to work for you, but that does not mean that you cannot collaborate with them.
This is where you need to have strong networking skills. By aligning yourself with people who have already accomplished what you are attempting to do, you can take years off your learning curve and avoid mistakes. Even more, their knowledge will teach you how to be more effective while using less effort.
- Ability to Analyse and Research
Before you start approaching potential customers, entrepreneurs must take the time to understand the buyer persona of the customers they’re targeting. Most business owners can easily identify who their demographic is. But performing effective market research requires an intimate and personal understanding of how your customers think, what their pain points are, and what type of solutions are they looking for in order to solve them. This type of information, classified as psychography data, will help you paint a picture of your customers’ emotional attributes. Demographic information such as location, education, age, sex, and even income will help you learn about their lifestyle and the type of purchases they are most likely to make.
Now that you know which skills you need to master in order to become a successful entrepreneur, the first thing you need to do is execute a plan of action. Not with the objective of turning an idea into a business, but with the goal of enriching other people’s life. In business, the greatest virtue is to serve the needs of others. When you solve everyone else’s problems, your needs will be fulfilled at the same time. In this case, your reward is a profitable, operating business. Not only that, you gain the distinguished title of being an entrepreneur.