ENTREPRENEURSHIP / NOV. 25, 2014
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How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills

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If you want to start a business, you need to take time to develop the necessary entrepreneurship skills. The following are some of the characteristics and skills which will help you succeed as an entrepreneur:

1. Personal characteristics

Here are some of the common beliefs, values and characteristics of successful entrepreneurs:

  • Vision – Entrepreneurs can not only see the ‘bigger picture’, but can also articulate it clearly. In addition, they can easily motivate others to work towards that vision.
  • Optimism – Every business goes through high and low seasons. Therefore, being optimistic is very important to get through the ebbs and flows of business.
  • Initiative – To succeed in entrepreneurship, you should be someone that is able to take initiative even without external motivation.
  • Risk tolerance – Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers. Can you make difficult decisions even when success is not certain?
  • Drive and persistence – You might have to work hard persistently to achieve your objectives. Therefore, you need to be an energetic and self-motivated individual.
  • Resilience – Successful entrepreneurs are able to learn and grow from their failures. Do you have the capacity to keep going even when things don’t go according to plan?

2. Interpersonal skills

To succeed in entrepreneurship, you need to learn how to build relationships with people. This could be customers, your employees, shareholders, suppliers or investors. The following are some of the interpersonal skills required:

  • Motivation and leadership – To achieve your goals, you will need to tap into the knowledge and skills of others. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to lead and motivate people.
  • Communication skills – Business involves a lot of communication via email, phone, instant messenger and video conferencing, as well as face to face interactions. To succeed as an entrepreneur, you should be able to communicate effectively with your team, potential clients, investors and suppliers, among others. Learning how to listen is especially very important. Take time to learn empathetic as well as active listening skills.
  • Ethics – It is very important to relate with people in fairness, truthfulness, integrity and respect. Being credible in all your dealings allows you to win the trust of people.
  • Negotiation – This is an integral part of business. Good negotiation skills will not only enable you to get an upper hand in deals, but will also help you solve disputes between people.

3. Practical skills

Here are some of the practical skills necessary for success in business:

  • Goal setting – Are you able to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them?
  • Planning and organizing – A good entrepreneur is able to develop a comprehensive business plan, as well as coordinate people to accomplish the set goals.
  • Decision making – To succeed in entrepreneurship, you need to learn how to make decisions quickly using the information available.

4. Creative and critical thinking skills

The ability to think critically and creatively is an important characteristic of entrepreneurs.

  • Problem solving – Entrepreneurs are able to find solutions to the challenges they are facing.
  • Identifying opportunities – As an entrepreneur, you should be able to spot opportunities when they emerge.
  • Creative thinking – Entrepreneurs can examine situations from different angles and come up with creative ideas.  

Take time to assess your skills in each of these areas. Where you fall short, it would be advisable to take steps to develop your skills. The more skillful you are, the higher your chances of success.

 

Image: iStock

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