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Great entrepreneurs are born, not made. You can learn many of the skills that a good entrepreneur needs to succeed; while some qualities may be innate, and thus give some entrepreneurs a competitive advantage, there’s nothing about running a successful business that you can’t learn and implement yourself. With that said, there are definitely qualities and assets that all entrepreneurs will need if they want to make it in the cutthroat world of business. Here are 10 things all entrepreneurs must-have.
10 Things Every Entrepreneur Must Have
The number one quality all wannabe entrepreneurs must have is determination. If you want to succeed and weather the many slings and arrows the business world will send your way, you really need to believe in your idea. Don’t allow yourself to give up when things get difficult and don’t let challenges get in your way. Be creative and think in terms of solutions, not problems. Determination is a philosophy you can practice in all areas of life, so be sure to focus on developing this skill.
Unfortunately, if you want to get your business idea off the ground, you’re going to need to justify it to investors or lenders. That’s why you need to gather funding if you want to realise your business dreams. You don’t need a lot of money; if you don’t secure a small business loan, even £1000 loans can be enough to kickstart a great idea. You should, of course, look to lenders and investors to make sure you can secure appropriate funding before you start using personal finances, though.
3. A great idea
Contrary to popular belief, your business idea doesn’t necessarily have to be original. After all, there are very few truly unique ideas left; the chances are that if you think of something, someone has already done it somewhere. All you need to do is identify your core demographic and execute your idea well enough that you trump your competitors. Of course, that sounds much easier than it is, but rest assured that if your idea isn’t innovative, it doesn’t matter; you can innovate elsewhere.
4. Communication skills
Communication is at the core of everything you do as a business owner. Not only will you need to talk to your own staff and collaborators, but communication with your customers and clients is also key to your operation. Brush up on your communication skills and you’ll reap the benefits. Think hard about emails you write and press releases you send, and make sure that you listen to people you’re talking to rather than just waiting to get your point across.
5. An open mind
Sometimes, as a small business owner, you’re going to face challenges you didn’t expect. When that happens, you’ll almost certainly be expected to adapt or face obsolescence. Keeping an open mind in these situations will stand you in good stead when it’s time to change up your approach. That could mean branching out into an area of business you hadn’t previously considered, or it could mean moving staff around in a way that initially seems maverick, but makes sense on further reflection.
6. A ruthless streak
It’s a myth that entrepreneurs need to be entirely ruthless people. Having a compassionate personality can help when it comes to understanding employees’ needs or branching out into more ethical areas of business. However, if you want to get by as an entrepreneur, you will need to have a ruthless streak. Whether it’s making a tough decision to fire certain employees or squashing a competitor if the opportunity arises, ruthlessness is a virtue in business, albeit in moderation.
7. A collaborative spirit
Working with other businesses is the only way you’re going to succeed as an entrepreneur. It’s important to be able to reach across the divides and offer collaboration to friends and rivals alike. Sometimes, you can only succeed in business by bridging those gaps; for example, if you and a competitor are aiming for the same niche and neither of you is emerging as the victor, perhaps you could collaborate and merge your existing audiences!
It’s not enough to have the dedication and determination to realise your entrepreneurial dreams. You also need to have a vision that you want to execute. Your business plan should contain your vision for where you see your business going in the future; you should have an end goal in mind before you even start acquiring funding. If there isn’t a concrete goal for your business, you’re going to flounder; having a clear direction is crucial for success.
9. A readiness to fail
You’ve got to be ready to fail as an entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs don’t judge themselves by their successes; instead, they fail and learn from those mistakes to build a better approach next time. If you’re always afraid of failure, then you’ll never take any of the risks that could lead to progress for you and your business. This doesn’t mean you should set out to fail, of course; you should be trying to succeed in everything you do. Still, don’t shy away from risks because you’re afraid of failing.
10. Realistic expectations
Although a vision for your business is important, a true entrepreneur understands the scope of their enterprise. If, for example, you’re opening a coffee shop, it’s highly unrealistic to believe you can compete with huge chains from the off. You need to identify a niche that’s on your level and work within that until opportunities present themselves to expand. It’s good to have ambition, but keeping that ambition in check with pragmatism is also important.