Anybody can be an entrepreneur; however, not everybody has the skills needed to be an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, one can work to develop those skills but to do this you need to know them. So, the question is what are the skills every entrepreneur needs?
We will be answering that question in this article.
So, we advise you to follow us closely and carefully through our discussion.
To begin, we will be looking at some basics…
Who Is An Entrepreneur? – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
An entrepreneur is a person who creates or starts new businesses or business while bearing risks in hopes of making profits.
However, entrepreneurs are often seen as people who invent new things, goods, services, procedures, and businesses.
So, a person can invent or create a new product without starting a business and still be referred to as an entrepreneur.
In other words, being an entrepreneur is not only when you start a business.
As long as you are a risk-taker, innovator, creative, opportunist, open-minded, and self-starter of something new or recreated, you are considered to be an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is the term used to define the process of starting a business or venture.
Types of Entrepreneurs – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
As we earlier pointed out, someone can invent something new and not start a business but still be referred to as an entrepreneur.
This is because there are different types of entrepreneurs.
All the skills we will be discussing with you are necessary for all entrepreneurs to flourish.
However, because of the different types of entrepreneurs, some skills are more important than others.
In other words, one type of entrepreneur can need certain skills more than another type of entrepreneur.
Hence, we will be looking at the type of entrepreneurs there is, and get to know those skills you need more.
Knowing the type of entrepreneur you are will help you focus on developing the skills you need more before moving to the skills for all types of entrepreneurs.
Social Entrepreneurs – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
Social entrepreneurs are people who come up with innovative solutions for tackling social problems.
They are interested in making society better and less interested in the profit they can make.
Their basic interest or goal is in improving the socio-economic, educational, fundamental, health, and environmental condition of people in the society.
As a result, they mostly take on non-profit ventures.
Some examples of social entrepreneurs include David Brower, Florence Nightingale, Bill Clinton, Ibrahim Abouleish, and so on.
As a result of how vast social entrepreneurship is, it has been further broken into sub-categories which are:
- Community social entrepreneur
- Non-profit social entrepreneur
- Transformational social entrepreneur
- Global social entrepreneur
As you now know, social entrepreneurs are all about making things better for others.
So, possessing a good set of social skills often come in handy for them.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs refer to the people who create and start businesses to change or improve their lifestyle and not because of profits.
These entrepreneurs start businesses for personal gain and passion.
They prioritize their lifestyle above the opportunities presented to them.
In other words, their business supports the lifestyle they want.
They may build their business to something sustainable to support their lifestyle.
However, they are not interested in growing their business like other entrepreneurs or selling to investors or shareholders.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs are often self-employed.
As a result, they work freely and have time to focus on building their project or venture.
Lifestyle entrepreneurs are people who do things they like well and commit their resources, energy, and time to complete their projects.
Some great examples of lifestyle entrepreneurs include Tim Ferriss, Chris Guillebeau, and Pat Flynn.
This type of entrepreneur will do well with skills that will keep their passion burning and strong.
Serial Entrepreneurs – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
Serial entrepreneurs are people who continuously generate new ideas, start businesses, and then sell them to shareholders or investors.
They start several businesses and ventures with no intention of operating them for long.
These people are risk-takers with numerous unique ideas and innovations that are linked to different careers and professional fields.
Some examples of serial entrepreneurs are Josh Kopelman, Niklas Zennstrom, Craig McCaw, and Michael Rubin.
13 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
We just discussed the types of entrepreneurs.
As we said, some skills might be more important to one type of entrepreneur and not so important to another type of entrepreneur.
Nonetheless, all entrepreneur needs to possess the following skills:
1. Communication Skills
Communication skills are essential for every entrepreneur.
This is because you will need to sell your idea to both your potential investors and targeted audience.
As an entrepreneur, you will have to speak in different situations and settings that range from pitching your idea or business to delegating and leading people.
If you cannot effectively communicate with people, you will struggle with growing your idea or business.
So, don’t assume that because you are a lifestyle entrepreneur or serial entrepreneur you do not need this skill.
Remember, every entrepreneur needs these skills.
So, work on improving your communication skills both in your personal and professional life.
There are different skills categorized under communication skills.
- Active listening
- Non-verbal communication
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
These different skills should be focused on and built individually.
However, some basic and simple ways of improving your overall communication skills are:
- Simplifying your message and language
- Maintain eye contact
- Be concise and brief
- Practice using the right medium of communication
- Be confident while speaking
- Watch body language and cue
- Practice active listening
2. Networking Skills – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
Networking skills are another essential skill every entrepreneur needs.
This is because as an entrepreneur, you most likely will not work alone.
You will need to grow your brand or sell your idea or business to people.
However, if you cannot network, you will struggle with building your idea or selling it.
Networking skills can help you to meet and connect with people who will help make your entrepreneurship venture a success.
Yes, you need innovative ideas, ambitious goals, discipline, and a good work ethic to flourish as an entrepreneur.
However, you need more than that.
You need people who will encourage, inspire, and push you and your entrepreneurship venture forward.
So, if you don’t have good networking skills, you need to work to develop or improve them.
Some networking skills include:
- Public speaking skills
- Nonverbal communication
You can work to develop and improve these skills one at a time.
Or you can try the following to generally improve your networking skills:
- Practicing good communication
- Attending networking events
- Asking friends and family for constructive feedback
- Learning to ask good questions
3. Leadership Skills
Several successful entrepreneurs possess good leadership skills.
This is why it doesn’t come as a surprise that leadership skills are one of the needed skills for every entrepreneur to flourish.
As an entrepreneur, you should have ambitious goals and clear visions.
However, you need to convince other people to buy into your vision and support it.
You also need to inspire them to work with you to achieve your goal.
When you possess great leadership skills you will be able to do this with ease.
If you are the entrepreneur who will want to grow and expand your venture, then you need leadership skills to organize and effectively lead people.
So, if you don’t possess effective leadership skills you should work to develop or improve them.
Some leadership skills include:
- Conflict resolution
- Giving and receiving feedback
These skills can be worked on one at a time.
Or you can decide to generally improve these skills by doing the following:
- Practice discipline
- Inspire others
- Be willing and ready to learn at all times
- Take on more responsibility
- Develop situational awareness
- Learn to listen to people
- Try resolving conflicts
4. Organizational Skills – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
As an entrepreneur, you also need organizational skills
This is because organizational skills help you keep things in order as you work on your idea or business.
They will help you to properly file your documents, create to-do lists, and do things the proper way.
When things are done properly and kept properly, you will find it easy to focus on what is most important to your entrepreneurship venture.
So, if you don’t have effective organizational skills you should work to develop them.
Some examples of organizational skills include:
- Project management
- Task analysis
- Workflow analysis
- Strategic planning
- Meeting deadlines
You can work to develop or improve these skills individually or work to generally improve your organizational skills by doing the following:
- Create a neat workspace
- Create a to-do list
- Organize your tools and materials
- Prioritize your tasks
- Fix your tasks into a schedule
- Maintain good work-life balance
5. Risk-taking Skills
Every entrepreneur is expected to be a risk-taker.
This is because they try out new things hoping for a good result but can get a negative result.
However, they still pursue and do those things that are new and risky till they get their desired result.
If you are not a risk-taker, you will struggle to begin a successful entrepreneur.
Possessing strong risk-taking skills will not only boost you with the courage to pursue your dreams and be innovative but also help you calculate and manage your risk.
Hence, you don’t only need to be a risk-taker but one who calculates your risks to flourish as an entrepreneur.
So, if you don’t have strong risk-taking skills, you should work on them.
You can do this by:
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Relationship-building skills ‘
- Regulation knowledge
- Financial knowledge
- Mitigation Strategy skills
- Risk quantifying
- Strategic thinking
You can work to improve these skills individually or work to generally improve your risk-taking skills by:
- Developing a risk assessing system
- Overcoming the fear of failure
- Practicing risk-taking on a small scale
- Measuring and evaluating progress
- Learning to experiment
- Seeking and learning from calculated risk-takers
6. Social Skills – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
As you know by now, as an entrepreneur, you need to communicate and connect with people.
This is because you need people to push your entrepreneurship venture forward.
If you cannot form connections with people, and build strong relationships with them, you will most likely work alone.
And this will make it a tad difficult to achieve success.
So, to avoid this for yourself, you need to possess social skills.
Social skills will allow you to interact and communicate with people.
Some social skills include:
- Active listening
- Relationship management
- Conflict resolution
You can work to improve these skills individually, or work to generally improve them by:
- Engaging with people
- Asking open-ended questions
- Practicing good eye contact
- Offering compliments generously
- Practicing good manners
- Paying attention to body language
Check here to discover the important social skills in the workplace.
7. Time Management Skills
Another skill that every entrepreneur needs is time management skills.
Time management skills are important for you as an entrepreneur because they will help you to make use of your time intelligently to ensure you get a more effective result.
These skills help to reduce stress and make you more productive.
You need time management skills to plan your task and pursue your goals.
The skills classified under time management skills include:
- Stress management
You can work to develop or improve these skills individually or you can work to generally improve your time management skills by:
- Setting long and short-term goals
- Managing your calendar
- Prioritizing your tasks
- Starting your activities or tasks early
- Taking breaks
- Understanding your productivity pattern
- Organizing your workplace
8. Active Listening Skills – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
Active listening skills are classified under communication skills.
However, these skills are most needed by entrepreneurs that they should stand independently and build on.
Effective active listening skills are needed by entrepreneurs because it helps them to listen to people and know how they can improve their idea or business.
Also, they allow you to accept constructive criticism and feedback while building and maintaining strong working relationships with people.
This is why being able to communicate effectively is important is not enough.
You also need strong active listening skills.
So, if your active listening skills are slacking you need to pick them up and work to better them.
You can do this by:
- Paying attention to people when they speak
- Keeping an open mind
- Being relaxed and attentive
- Not interrupting people when they speak
9. Strategic Thinking Skills
Strategic thinking skills enable a person to make use of critical thinking to plan for the future and solve complex issues or problems.
At one point in every entrepreneur’s journey, they will be faced with obstacles and challenges while pursuing their goals and objectives.
Hence, every entrepreneur needs strategic skills as they will enable them to overcome obstacles, address challenges, and accomplish business goals and objectives.
Some skills associated with strategic thinking include:
- Analytical skills
- Communication skills
- Managing and planning skills
You can work to improve or develop these skills individually, or you can generally improve your strategic thinking skills by:
- Observing and reflecting
- Asking strategic questions
- Considering opposing ideas
- Embracing Formal Training
10. Negotiation Skills – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
Negotiation skills are another set of skills every entrepreneur needs.
This is because they need to know how to discuss and come to an agreement or compromise with people about things concerning their entrepreneurial venture.
If you don’t possess strong negotiation skills, you might likely cheat yourself while conducting business with people.
Or you could even lose good working relationships.
So, you need to develop or improve your negotiation skills.
Some skills classified under negotiation skills are:
- Emotional intelligence
- Expectation management
- Rapport building
You can work to develop these skills individually, or you can do the following to generally improve your negotiation skills:
- Discover people’s interest
- Know and believe in the value of what you are negotiating
- Learn to control your emotions
- Conquer your fear
- Make and maintain eye contact with people
11. Problem-Solving Skills
As you should know you will be faced with one problem or the other on your entrepreneurial journey.
Just like you, every other entrepreneur will also be faced with problems.
So, every entrepreneur needs problem-solving skills to tackle and overcome the problems they encounter.
Hence, if your problem-solving skills are weak, then you should work to improve them.
You can do this by:
- Focusing on a solution and not the problem
- Define problems
- Simplify things
- Come up with as many solutions as you can
- Be positive
12. Financial Management Skills – Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
Every entrepreneur also needs financial management skills.
This is because you will need money to conduct your entrepreneurial ventures even if it is an NGO
So, you need to understand how money works.
In other words, you need to possess financial management skills to ensure that the financial aspect of your venture function well.
If you lack good financial management skills, you should work to improve them.
By doing the following, you can improve your financial management skills:
- Learn to create personal and business budgets
- Stick to your budget
- Balance your checkbook
- Learn to save money
13. Decision-Making Skills
Every entrepreneur needs decision-making skills to flourish.
This is because they will be faced with different options to choose from concerning different matters.
If they don’t possess effective decision-making skills, they will likely struggle with making the right or best decision.
Strong decision-making skills will help you to be more decisive.
So, as an entrepreneur, you need to work on your decision-making skills.
You can improve your decision-making skills by:
- Making plans
- Being assertive
- Keeping things in perspective
- Setting deadlines
- Limiting your choice
- Weighing your options
Conclusion on Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs
As an entrepreneur, you need to possess a list of skills that will help you flourish.
These skills are necessary for all types of entrepreneurs.
We have discussed these skills and have also shared tips on how you can improve or develop them.
Since some of the skills are linked and associated with one another, developing or improving them will not be too difficult.
We encourage you to take the first step in becoming a better entrepreneur by making use of the information we provided.