The growth of e-commerce has seen a considerable number of people looking to monetize their hobbies or picking up entrepreneurial skills to start a small business,. Whether they have been retrenched or just want to do something new, the small and emerging business sector has grown in the USA over the last 5 years, and the small business sector accounts for 47.8% of the workforce.
The current economic climate is such that starting any business will require significant effort, time, planning, and a fair amount of luck. This article will detail the essential skills needed to be successful in this regard. It is paramount to remember that you will need these skills from the very first day, as there will be no point in having started the business and then realizing that you don’t have some of the necessary and essential skills.
Here are 5 entrepreneurial skills essential to success
Innovation and creativity
In an age where the internet provides the most answers and is at the forefront in terms of ideas, concepts, and research, any business idea needs to be innovative, fun, and present genuine value for the buyer. Your creativity and the level of innovation that your product or service provides will be key in the modern age. The idea that there are no more original ideas may mean that you simply perfect an existing design or idea. The point is that in the competitive marketplace that the world of e-commerce is, your business needs to be cutting edge, different, and provide innovation and creativity to even get off the ground.
There is generally no training or courses that you can take to improve your creative capabilities, but you can be on top of all the trends in your sector and the prevailing technology that will allow you to be able to provide the market with what it is looking for in the specific sector that you are in.
It will also pay to keep in mind that should your small business place a premium on innovation and creativity, these skills will not only be used for product and service development but the same skills are required for ongoing problem-solving. New businesses will need you to bring in existing ideas to improve processes and systems all the time. Innovation is a skill that you can look to improve or learn, and this will go a long way to keeping your business at the forefront of your sector.
There are a number of traits that a successful business person should have, and these habits can be developed as you go. However, the skills that you must have, are all related to the management of the business, and these are not an option and should be in place before you start. So, for example, to develop an effective business plan, which can be transferred to a working organizational structure to implement and execute the plan and then support track and monitor the progress of the plan’s implementation are all management skills that successful small businesses have had solidly in place before they begin to trade.
Being able to provide general management of all the aspects of the business is essential for a successful business. One of the best-proven options in this regard is the MBA Management course that will provide this kind of foundational management skills and the practical and theoretical skills to run the business. The MBA is the go-to course or qualification for the entrepreneur and small businessperson as it will provide a foundational professional basis to be able to at least understand all of the business functions.
The best advice for the management of your business is that you must have these skills before you start. You can definitely bring in the skills you need and outsource some of the specific aspects of business management; however, if you are serious about owning and running your own business, you must understand the management of the said business.
Financing a start-up or small business is one of the defining factors, as is the fiscal management of the business moving forward. Although it will most likely be included in any management qualification worth its salt, finance is worthy of a separate discussion as it is essentially the lifeblood of the business.
The entire premise of the business will generally be to generate profits through revenue, and as such, how you then look after, spend, and strategically organize your finances will be a defining feature of a successful start-up. Having these skills in-house would be useful, but it will be best to outsource this function if there is any doubt. As a small business owner, you don’t need to know detailed financial planning and accounting, but you will need to have a good working knowledge of financing and strategic financial management.
Basic financial literacy is essential, and no start-up businessperson should be considering the business world as an option unless they have this grasp of the basics. You will need to know what your figures are and what they mean; understanding some of the terms is almost as simple as it needs to be:- profits, losses, net profits, leveraging finance, equity, and the profit margins; these are examples of the basic financial terms that all business people need to know and understand in relation to their start-up finances. Nothing will be more embarrassing and cause more damage to your emerging brand than a conversation with a financier or possible funder wherein you can’t explain your business finances and fumble with your numbers.
Commitment and dedication
If you’ve read anything about the start-up process and small business development in the USA, then you would have come across a range of statistics about failure rates. The bottom line and accepted figures note that 20% will fail in the first year, 30% by the end of the second year, and over 50% of all new businesses will not exist by the end of the fourth year. After 10 years, only 30% of these businesses will remain; this is a business failure rate of 70%. There is a myriad of varied reasons for such business failure or closure, and regardless of whether we look at each failure as a learning experience for the next business adventure, the aim is to succeed, and this article will focus on the changes you can make that many of those who fail did not.
One of the oft-overlooked skill sets or personal attributes required is commitment and dedication.
The commitment of time:- A start-up business requires a massive commitment of time. Founders need to be aware that they will miss many other family and fun activities as they work on getting the business going.
Energy or sweat equity:- A significant amount of effort will be needed to get a business off the ground; this sweat equity will not be paid back and may not result in a direct financial return on your investment.
Emotional commitment to the business is discussed by many business writers as more important than the financial, intellectual, and physical commitment and will be the trigger for the discretionary effort put into the business.
Commit to the business and brand values:- The brand of a business needs to be consistent both internally and externally. Those who work for the brand need to believe in it just as much as those who buy the brand.
Starting a business in the information or data age will require that you are knowledgeable as to how to access information and how to use the proliferation of data that exists. The times of a small businessperson being able to run their business with a mobile phone and occasional time spent in an internet café are over. The date and information age will require that your business is online and connected and integrated with your customers, suppliers, supply chain, stakeholders, and shareholders. The IT managed service is the current trend for small businesses, and software as a service will be the way to go, where you can pay as you go and use it as you need to.
This is all good and well, and the solutions for your IT infrastructure, connection to the cloud, and all your internally required software can and should be managed by professionals; however, if you don’t have a clue as to what you need for the business, then you may not get a system that is efficient and effective for your specific business. Any small businessperson of the modern age must have a solid grasp on the technology required to manage an office and a business, let alone the production associated tech or innovative tech inclusion.
Starting your own business is one of the most fulfilling processes; however, if the proof is to be in the pudding, then the real joy of starting a business is being part of its successful growth and development and making some money in doing so. The skills that are detailed in this article are the ones that you should not start without; these are the foundations upon which successful businesses are built.