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8 Critical Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

As an entrepreneur, you get to be your own boss, choose when and where you want to work, and, best of all, the sky's the limit when it comes to how much you can earn!

But to be a successful entrepreneur you are going to need to possess and develop certain traits and skills that will give you a competitive edge in the marketplace. Without them, you’ll find it a lot more difficult to generate wealth and reach your financial career goals.

8 Critical Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

So, what do you need to have in your locker to follow in the footsteps of Warren Buffet, Michael Bloomberg, Sheryl Sandberg and the like?

Here are eight critical skills every entrepreneur needs to possess.

1. Academic Excellence

The likes of Sir Richard Branson, Sir Alan Sugar and Mark Zuckerberg might have bucked the trend. But by and large, academic excellence is a very important trait for entrepreneurs to have.

According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, around 95% of business owners in the USA have a bachelor’s degree. While in Australia, some 5.5 million people are graduates - many of which run their own business.

For those specifically wanting to be entrepreneurs, institutions like UTS Online run a range of business management courses that can give them a good grounding to launch their careers.

2. Communication

It doesn’t matter how academically qualified you are, if you are not an effective communicator you are going to struggle to be successful.

Irrespective of whether you intend to run an owner operated venture or aspire to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, it is important that you are able to effectively communicate with all your stakeholders. This includes customers, employees, investors, mentors, peers and creditors.

Communication comes in various forms, including written, non-verbal, verbal and visual. So, make an effort to brush up on each of these aspects.

3. Drive and Focus

To really be successful as an entrepreneur takes a lot of drive, because as your own boss, it is ultimately up to you to realise your goals.

For this reason, you need plenty of determination and focus to stick to your plans and processes and keep going.

Business as a solopreneur can be very challenging. Therefore, you need to need to keep motivating and pushing yourself forwards, particularly when the going gets tough.

4. Selling

Like it or not, possessing the ability to sell is an essential component of any successful entrepreneur. However, selling doesn’t just mean physical products; it also means ideas and potential.

When running your own business, you need to be able to sell products to customers to keep your cash flow constant. However, you also need to sell your vision to potential investors to grow your venture, as well as the values of your company to your staff. 

Selling goes hand-in-hand with good communication, but it is a fine art that requires the ability to pitch. 

5. Fast Learner

In any aspect of life, whether that be as a student at school, a professional sportsman, an artistic performer or a business executive, your ability to learn quickly will go a long way towards helping you become successful.

As an entrepreneur, your day is full of learning opportunities, incorporating everything from new skills and market trends to how to better sell your products or streamline your business. Often, they come through mistakes or failures.

Rather than dwelling on them, the quicker you can learn the lesson they’ve taught you, the better you will be able to run your business.

6.  Time Management 

Time is a very valuable resource for an entrepreneur, so to become a successful one you will need to be able to manage yours as effectively as possible.

You only have a certain number of hours at your disposal per day, so it is important not to waste them through procrastination. Instead, you should work on minimising distractions, maximising productivity, and meeting deadlines.

To do this, you will need to prioritise your tasks and, where appropriate, delegate responsibilities to others.

7. Leadership Skills 

As an entrepreneur, you are a figurehead, so you must have good leadership skills

Primarily, this should involve propelling your business towards its goals by recognising and seizing market opportunities, fostering innovation and empowering, motivating and inspiring employees.

However, ultimately, it involves creating as positive a workspace culture as possible, because without it, you are doomed to failure.

It is important to note that leadership isn’t just about human interaction, but it also relates to the degree to which you incorporate digital business reources.

8.  Networking Skills 

The most successful people in business tend to be very good networkers, and this is particularly true for entrepreneurs.

By building a strong professional network you can expose yourself to new partnerships, collaborations and potential markets on a regular basis.

Additionally, you could also find mentorship opportunities, gain valuable industry insights and even potential new clients and investors.

Maintaining a regular presence on professional networks like LinkedIn is a good starting point. But you should also try to attend regular industry events and trade shows.

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