The debate about whether entrepreneurs are born or made will likely never be settled, but it seems clear that some people are born with a better skill set for it than others.
However, those who lack the innate skills that most successful entrepreneurs possess can certainly develop them. In fact, if they want to succeed, they must develop them.
Survey says …
Consider these statistics from a recent Gallup assessment of 2,500 entrepreneurs. Gallup concluded that when compared with their less-skilled peers, highly talented entrepreneurs are:
- Three times more likely to build large businesses and to grow them significantly
- Four times more likely to create jobs
- Four times more likely to exceed profit goals
- Five times more likely to exceed sales goals
The question is, what are those skills? Here are a few:
Plain and simple, entrepreneurs want to make money — so long as they don’t lose sight of customers while trying to maximize profits.
“As an entrepreneur with high Business Focus, you have sharp business instincts, and you use them to price products or services to guarantee a profit on each sale. Consistent with your emphasis on money, you run a tight ship, keeping a close check on operational costs,” Sangeeta Bharadwaj Badal wrote for the Gallup Business Journal.
All business decisions need to take cost into consideration. If you are not naturally business-focused, be sure to remind yourself to keep an eye on the bottom line. Think about profitability when trying to make decisions. Don’t just run with a new idea without factoring in the financial implications it may have.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media
A website does no good if nobody sees it, which is why SEO is important. A recent Huffington Post article noted that 78 percent of U.S. Internet users researching products and services online and a Social Times article reported that 33 percent of organic searches go to the first result, with the top four search results garnering 83 percent of all clicks. Also, 90 percent of all clicks happen on the first page of Google’s search results.
In other words, SEO can’t be an afterthought when designing a website.
If you have no SEO knowledge or experience, take the time to learn it. Taking an internet marketing course or certificate program could help. There are also plenty of other online resources about SEO to teach you the basics.
Internet marketing courses and resources can also help teach you how to effectively use social media for your business. Social media can help you attract and retain business, so it is a vital skill for entrepreneurs.
Even if you plan on hiring someone to do your SEO and social media work, it is important to understand the principles so you know what to look for in an employee and can measure success.
Ability to Build Relationships
It doesn’t matter how brilliant you and your ideas are if you can’t communicate those goals – and can’t find anyone who wants to work with you to achieve them.
The best relationship feature trust and mutual respect, as well as open lines of communication.
Being able to communicate well can also help with business promotion. One of the biggest problems new companies have is getting anyone to pay attention to them. The best entrepreneurs have a bit of salesmen in them. If you don’t have confidence in your own product or service, nobody else will, either.
There’s an old saying “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” which applies to all entrepreneurs. By nature, entrepreneurs must be gamblers, but the shrewdest business people known which risks are prudent to take and which are too risky.
Risks can take many forms, but they all tend to come down to one thing – money.
Ability to Delegate
Entrepreneurs tend to be control freaks, but businesses need more than one person to develop. Delegating important tasks to trusted employees will go a long way toward success. You can’t do everything yourself, so learn to assign the right things to the right people.
These are just a few examples of skills entrepreneurs need to succeed today. Others include confidence, creative thinking, independence and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be should take note of which skills they have and don’t have. Knowing what areas you can strengthen will allow you to focus on improving them.