The ability to stay on top of day-to-day financial matters is a significant advantage when running a business
Successful entrepreneurs often display a noted set of skills and traits that allow them to build profitable businesses. These skills can be learnt and nurtured so there's no cause for concern if you don't consider yourself a natural entrepreneur. Taking time to hone your skillset - and improving your prowess - can be a great way improve your chances of being successful.
Not for everyone
Starting and running a business is not for everyone. Financial backing and a great idea are not enough to make a business successful; a combination of select skills are required to take the business in the right direction and ensure it maximises all opportunities. Running a business never takes a set course; there are always obstacles to overcome and curve-balls that must be sent in the right direction. Success is never guaranteed, but the right mix of skills can help tip the odds.
Running a business involves liaising with people from varied walks of life, all with agendas and unique personalities. Bankers, suppliers, competitors and lawyers are just some of the groups you’ll need to deal with. Good communication and people skills allow you to empathise with all parties and ensure mutually-agreeable progress is made. Establishing rapport is essential, as is delivering a reputation for being likable. Considering the needs and goals of others, and not just your own, is valuable business skill.
Being committed to starting and running a successful business is important. If you are quick to give up when things go wrong, running a business will prove difficult as obstacles to success are natural and unavoidable. Putting in the long hours required and giving everything 100% is a trait commonplace to successful entrepreneurs. Owning a business can often interfere with interpersonal relationships, hobbies and other activities. Continuing to nurture the business despite these intrusions is fundamental to success.
Caring deeply about your business goals can also make the difference between success and failure.
Caring deeply about your objectives can also make the difference between success and failure. You need to fully believe in your product at all times; if you don’t it’s easy to lose motivation. Passion is essential to drive hard work, week after week, particularly in the initial waves of growth. Only start a business if you're sure your passion will not wane considerably when the going gets tough; natural peaks and troughs will occur but once you start taking short-cuts and losing enthusiasm in the long-term your business may well be on its last legs.
Business success always comes down to profit. Monetising your idea is essential; the best ideas will never become successful businesses without commercial potential. Confidence with day-to-day financial management to protect both cashflow and profit margins is also essential. Without a grasp of how financials contribute to business success it can be difficult to build a successful company. Those lacking confidence should consider training.
Building practical business skills is not impossible. Look on the internet and in industry publications to see what's available. On-the-job training is also important; try getting voluntary work in a company similar to the one you wish to build. It’s much harder to develop the passion, commitment and drive required to turn a business from idea to success. However, bear in mind that these skills are ideal traits; you may be stronger in a particular area. Take the time to work on your weaker areas and you’ll be putting yourself in a much better position to make your business a success.