Are you thinking about opening up your own LLC or other type of business? Has it always been a dream of yours to start your own company and be your own boss? I think at some time during everyone’s life they have a moment where they hate their job and want to tell their boss to shove it. If that sounds like you, then you need to possess a certain number of entrepreneurial skills in order to take action and kick your 9-5 to the curb. It will not be easy, but if you are determined to never work for anyone again, these business skills are 100 percent necessary.
The nice thing about owning your own business is that you don’t need to have a formal education in order to be successful. I know several individuals who did terrible in high school, skipped college and decided to start their own business by utilizing their street smarts. But there are a few key business skills that everyone needs in order to put one foot in front of the other and really become a business owner. Here are some of the skills needed to become an entrepreneur.
If you are not a motivated individual, you are going to find it extremely difficult to start your own business. As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to stay motivated no matter what the market throws your way. And not to deter you from starting your own business, but you’re likely to find many challenges along your journey — that’s just par for the course when owning a business.
Just because you own a business does not ensure rainbows and sunny skies every day. You will have ups and downs when launching your dream business, so you need to be prepared. You need to keep your head on straight and stay motivated, especially on your most difficult days. If you can stay motivated on your most testing days, it will make the good days that much better.
If you are in need of some extra motivation, I would highly recommend checking out some of the leadership conferences that might be in your area in 2019. If you decided to go to one of these conferences, make sure you take a notebook — you will get a ton of helpful nuggets that you will want to write down and start implementing. Also, while there, network with anyone and everyone. Just like you, they are there to help grow their business, and connecting with like-minded individuals is never a bad thing.
If you are anything like me, patience is not one of my strong points (at least in my personal life). When it comes to my business, I’ve learned to trust the process and not be so impatient that it brings out frustration. You need to be willing to play the long game in order to be successful — this is one of the extremely important business skills you need to learn early on.
Gary Vaynerchuk (an extremely successful entrepreneur) always talks about having macro-patience and micro-speed. You’re not going to go from a startup to a multi-billion-dollar business in the next week or month. You shouldn’t even expect it to happen in the next several years unless you come to market with something extremely special and your business resembles a unicorn. Growth will take a lot of hard work, patience and determination. You will be tested, you will need to pivot and you will need to make adjustments along the way — it’s just part of the process.
Just like when setting long-term goals, you need to set smaller goals for your business that will align with your overarching business aspirations. Each small step you take should lead you down the path to where you want to be and allow you to grow each year.
If you are starting a business yourself, you need to be able to sell. If you can’t sell, you better find someone who can to work with you and handle that aspect of the business. Sales are what bring in the money — no sales equals no business. You don’t need fancy formulas or graphs to explain that cold hard fact. If you want to grow and maintain your business, this is one of the essential business skills you will need to possess.
Something you should realize, though, is that being able to close sales isn’t truly difficult if your business solves a problem. If you can get in front of your ideal customer and showcase how your service or product will help solve a problem they are facing, it should be almost as simple as asking how much they want to spend. One thing to remember is that being pushy is likely to backfire. No one wants to be “sold to;” you simply need to utilize all of these business skills to move them toward making the decision on their own.
Marketing and sales go hand-in-hand: Your marketing efforts should help you convert sales. If you aren’t sure where to start with your marketing efforts, I recommend you read up on the subject and better your business skills. While many people think they need to spend a lot of money on marketing, that isn’t always the case. In today’s digital world, social media is a great driver that should not be forgotten about. Learn how to write copy or hire someone who can create engaging content/copy that can help sell your product or service. Marketing skills will not only help get your brand in front of people, but also improve sales.
Make sure your startup has a Facebook business page. In addition, the type of business you have will determine the other social platforms you should focus on. If you are a B2B (business to business) startup, consider leveraging LinkedIn as that is where business professionals and business owners are. If you sell a physical product through B2C (business to consumer), definitely look into Instagram, where you can take photos of your product and post them on your social pages. You can even repost from customers who take pictures with your product(s) to help build and market your business. Use social to push product launches, sales, or anything you want to tell your customers about your business.
Something else you should consider and act upon early on in your business is creating a website. If you have no place to direct people or showcase your business, how do you expect anyone to find you? You can utilize platforms such as WordPress to start your own website; make sure it is optimized to be used on both a desktop computer as well as mobile. More and more people are using their smartphones to do business these days, and having a website that can easily be viewed on a mobile device is extremely important.
Last but certainly not least on our list of business skills is organization. It sounds so simple, yet many business owners are all over the place and have no organizational skills at all. They can possess some of the highest entrepreneurial skills out there, but failing on organization can be detrimental to the overall success of a business. Without being organized, you’ll miss deadlines, lose key pieces of information, and ultimately destroy your business before you even get off the ground.
Every part of your business should have its specific place. Use your calendar for everything from meetings to deadlines to follow up (or use a CRM software). Use a filing cabinet and folders to organize your accounts payable information as well as your accounts received. File away any other materials that need to be kept and stored so you can find them easily when needed. And to simplify things with your accounts/customers/clients, have individual folders for each of them as well.
Organization is especially important when it comes to tax time. Being unorganized can cause you several headaches, and the last thing you need is the IRS auditing you and not being able to find the information or documents you need to show them. If you need help with your taxes, Incfile can help you file your tax return and manage other moving parts of your company as well.