An entrepreneur can be defined as someone who starts and builds up a successful business, or someone who is willing to take risks where others are not.

If you are thinking of starting your own business, you will need certain entrepreneurial skills, management capabilities, business skills and personal attributes to succeed in the competitive business market.  Even if you do not have all the skills needed to be a good entrepreneur, there are some basic ‘must-have’ skills when it comes to operating any kind of business.

Personal Characteristics

A successful entrepreneur has certain values, beliefs and personal attributes, such as:

  • Focus – Setting a goal for the business, and sharing that vision with employees and stakeholders.
  • Optimism – Seeing the glass as half-full instead of half-empty.
  • Initiative – Being a self-starter and a creative thinker.
  • Drive – Having energy and the motivation to work hard.
  • Resilience – Learning and growing from one’s mistakes and failures, rather than avoiding taking action for fear of failing.
  • Self-confidence – Being confident in oneself, the product and the business.
  • Flexibility – Adapting to a changing market, but remaining focused.

Interpersonal Skills

An entrepreneur will have to work closely with other people and must be able to build good interpersonal relationships.  The following interpersonal skills are crucial for any entrepreneur:

  • Good communication skills – Verbal and non-verbal.
  • Leadership and motivational skills – Leading and motivating others, and delegating tasks as appropriate.
  • Negotiation skills – Negotiating business deals and resolving differences in a positive way.
  • Respect and integrity – Operating the business in an ethical manner.
  • Problem-solving skills – Finding effective solutions to a range of problems.
  • Decision-making skills – Basing decisions on facts rather than feelings.

Practical Skills

Most entrepreneurs start out small and have to fulfil a number of different roles within the business. An entrepreneur must therefore possess certain skills in order to deliver an effective service and run a successful business:

  • Time-management skills – Planning and managing one’s time efficiently.
  • Administrative skills – Performing general administrative tasks effectively, especially in terms of maintaining a filing system.
  • Planning and organising skills – Having the necessary talent, skill and ability to achieve one’s goals.
  • Marketing and sales knowledge – Understanding the market for the business and knowing what needs to be done in order to enter that market successfully.
  • Financial know-how – Generating money from the business (understanding how entrepreneurs raise capital, and knowing what needs to be done to make the business successful).

Steps to follow in becoming an entrepreneur:

1. Think of an idea/product
2. Write up a business plan

An effective business plan has the following components:

  • Product description
  • Market analysis
  • The competition
  • Marketing strategies
  • Sales
  • Manufacturing
  • Finance

3. Attract an investor
4. Sell and distribute your product

References

  1. http://powerhomebiz.com/vol69/entreskills.htm
  2. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV_76.htm
  3. www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCDV
  4. http://www.brighthub.com/office/entrepreneurs/articles/39016.aspx
  5. http://www.wikihow.com/Become-an-Entrepreneur

 

Uploaded: 4 November 2015

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