Starting your own business means having to wear all different types of hats. Starting and running a business isn’t something you can do on the spur of the moment – it takes having the right mix of management, leadership, communication, execution and marketing skills.
Entrepreneurs are people who start their own business. They’re known for embracing risk, having big ideas, and making major innovations that change how others do business. Though there are many business skillsets that all successful entrepreneurs have in common, the following five skills are the ones that you absolutely need to have to make your business successful:
A great entrepreneur must be able to effectively communicate, sell, focus, learn, and strategize. Along the way of your entrepreneurship journey, you will surely need to be able to communicate your vision, ideas, plans, and goals to business partners, customers, existing and potentials employees, etc.
The way you communicate will determine your future success, so you need to know both how to convey a message and how to respectfully listen to others. This is the only way to win people over and earn their trust, so make sure you always communicate clearly and pay attention to what others are saying.
Entrepreneurial leadership involves organizing and motivating a group of people to achieve a common objective through innovation, risk optimization, taking advantage of opportunities, and managing the dynamic organizational environment. The qualities of a good leader tend to be more subtle and come naturally.
Leaders help themselves and others to do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, and create something new. Leadership is not just about having fancy titles such as Chief Exec. Officer(CEO), Managing Director (MD) etc. It’s about having the right qualities that make others want to follow you.
3. Money Management
Very simply, if you can’t manage money, you can’t manage a business. You need to put structures in place to monitor where your income comes from and where your expenses go to. Finance management has the ability to make or break a business. Handling resources properly and carefully assessing investments compared to ROI is a solid requirement for Nigerian entrepreneurs.
As an entrepreneur, it helps immeasurably to know at least the basics of profit & loss, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Understanding the numbers behind a business helps you plan, manage stress, and keep you focussed on key targets.
4. Sales and Marketing
Selling is an essential skill every entrepreneur must master. Think about it: Starting from day one in your business, you’re selling. Whether it’s pitching your idea to potential investors or showcasing your latest innovation to prospects, the success of your business depends on your ability to sell.
To be successful in sales, you have to be willing to keep going even in the midst of rejections. Keep asking one more time, contact one more person, try one more time. The one way a new entrepreneur can develop this is to stay motivated and surround themselves with what helps them keep pushing and moving toward their goals.
5. Time Management
Think of time management as one of the hard skills for entrepreneurs. Time management helps you to battle procrastination when making crucial and everyday business decisions. As entrepreneurs, you are your own boss. It may sound exciting but honestly, it also means that you have to manage your resources (especially your time) accordingly.
Sometimes, being an entrepreneur can be messy, your head may be filled with hundreds of tasks, plans and business concerns that all demand your urgent attention. Effective time management is key to achieving and staying on top of all these demands.
There is no magic formula to being a successful entrepreneur in Nigeria but seeing it as a career with a set of skills that can be developed over time is a good mindset to be developed.
Which one of the above 5 skills do you feel is most important for a Nigerian entrepreneur? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!