Today many people are becoming online entrepreneurs because of widespread reach of internet, easy availability of Smartphones and other mobile devices. Technology has shrunk the world all the more and with a few clicks you can run a global business of your own, even from the comfort of your home! At the same time one thing is certain- entrepreneurship is not everyone’s favourite cup of tea. It is a challenging roller coaster ride of tremendous highs and at times, difficult lows. Running your own business involves a lot of work and sacrifice. Anyone who vouches otherwise probably doesn’t know a thing about starting a new venture. You need to put in a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment. You have to be ready to face new challenges every day and sacrifice comfort for the sake of your new venture.
Not all entrepreneurs have the same kind of DNA- they belong to different regions, varied cultures, upbringings, social classes, financial strengths, educational backgrounds and so on. Yet, all entrepreneurs need to hone up a few basic skills or imbibe them in order to succeed. Ask yourself what it takes to be a leader? Can I face new challenges and manage all the aspects by myself? If not, then it is time to go back to your daily office job. If you are determined to tread on the path of success, achieve goals and attain financial growth, read on further, my friends, on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur:
1. Strong leadership qualities
A leader is a synonym for an entrepreneur. You will need to take the lead and inspire your team to reach for the goals irrespective of the hard work involved. Try to evaluate yourself truthfully. Do you think you are a born leader? Do you have the drive and determination to face rough seas and inclement weather and still keep the ship afloat? Do you find that people ask for your opinions and decisions? Further, you should have good communication skills, positive attitude, high level of confidence, determination and motivation. These qualities will help you to foster a healthy and energizing work environment and culture. In the words of John Quincy Adams, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
2. Risk taker & willingness to fail
As an entrepreneur, one of the main qualities you need to possess is that of a risk taker. You have to be brave and ready to take calculated risks as and when the need arises. Things often do not go the right way even if you make the best decision but do not be afraid to fail as it is only a part of the game. Do not think, ’what if’ but think ‘whatever’! You have to risk your existing resources to get new resources and grow further. Many successful entrepreneurs take major calculated risks and they paid off in a big way. Take the example of the billionaire Bill Gates. He undertook a great amount of risk and had to drop out of college in order to help create Microsoft. He took a huge risk, starting his business based on his vision that the personal computer would be a useful tool in every office and home.
There can be no business without innovation. If you open a business in an already saturated market, you are in for a lot of trouble. Think of a novel concept and tap the needs of the people. Scratch your brains and think of new ways to create a niche place for yourself. Keep on developing new ideas in your venture to attract customers and retain talent. Welcome suggestions and take ideas from your peers to constantly improve your products and services. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, took the company to great heights with his creativity and vision for the future.
4. Confidence and perseverance
Entrepreneurs have the confidence and perseverance to work under stress and take challenges head-on. They understand that not feeling confident about facing the challenge will take them nowhere. Where entrepreneurs see an opportunity, others other see a hurdle. Entrepreneurs focus on the result and not the rough path they have to tread on. They are sure they will succeed.
5. Competitive spirit
Entrepreneurs enjoy the competition, as this is what motivates them to do better. In business, you are always neck to neck with your competition and have to prove your worth. You need to adopt a novel approach to outdo your competition. As Steve Jobs has aptly said, “You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” A point to remember is that you have to compete while maintaining integrity and following a code of ethics. You have to prove yourself as a credible business person; else nobody will do business with you.
6. Expert at networking
Entrepreneurs need to network with their contacts, industry experts, peers investors, advisors, and partners. Building valuable relationships is the essence of networking which will lead to mutually beneficial business opportunities. These benefits are not visible in the short time but deliver positive results in the long term. Networking has to be done without any selfish motive. Entrepreneurs should offer help to others and disseminate ideas and knowledge whenever possible. Business leaders should surround themselves in the company of such people who have in-depth knowledge, are proactive and teeming with ideas in order to succeed.
7. Marketing Ability
Entrepreneurs should have the innate ability to sell and promote products. If you, as the architect of the business, cannot promote your product or service, then who else will? Marketing can be done in many ways- through advertisements, public relations activities, social media activity, online contests, meetings, conferences, word of mouth publicity, etc. It will promote your product in the eyes of the people and constantly remind them that you are there!
8. Highly self-motivated
Entrepreneurs are typically self-motivated. They have an intense desire to grow and the drive to achieve their goals. No one can make progress by sitting on a couch and waiting to be served. Successful people work tirelessly and inspire others to do the same. They create a charged atmosphere where everyone is motivated to solve problems and achieve their aims. Entrepreneurs are driven with a wider vision for long term success and don’t worry about small term difficulties. Passion fuels them to look for unique opportunities and overcome challenges. If you are passionate about your work, you don’t feel the stress,enjoy work and bring about positivism.
9. Highly adaptable
In a business environment, there will be many ups and downs. You might have strategized and laid out a well-detailed plan, but the market conditions are often unpredictable and there might a surprise waiting for you around the corner. Entrepreneurs should be able to adapt themselves, take decisions and respond with alacrity to changing situations. This will enable you to steer your course in the right direction and keep your business afloat.
10. Financial Management
Last but not the least; accomplished entrepreneurs must have good understanding of finance and money management. No matter whether you are a start up or have a thriving business, you need to draw out a clear financial map. Stick to the plan and make sure to inform all the stakeholders about the company’s financial status. You should know about your expenses and savings, and then take a call on incurring new expenses, taking loans, allocating funds and fulfilling other financial obligations. Entrepreneurs can get into trouble by spending money as soon as they make it and then running out of resources. Poor financial decisions can sound a death knell for your business, so it is absolutely necessary to have good money management skills.