Wanting to start a business but don't know where to start? Here are 10 entrepreneurial skills you need in order to be successful as business owner that successful business owners already have. Utilize these entrepreneur tips and you're sure to start your business off on a successful foot!
There are 10 things you need to know how to do before you start a business in order to be successful:
1. Know How to Self Motivate
This is a skill that can actually be taught and not one that you have to be born with. You can train your brain to receive positive messages and affirmations - did you know that? Our mind is an incredibly powerful tool and it responds really well to repetitively. Every single morning, I read the same quote to get me going before I dive into the workload, "Keep moving forward, because you can't go back and standing still is not enough." I keep it on a post-it note on my computer screen so I don't ever miss it. For some reason, this quote really gets to me and encourages me to keep moving forward, even if its just baby steps.
2. Know Where to get Business Knowledge Needed to Succeed
Depending on your industry and field, the successful female entrepreneur will need to be able to access knowledge and information about their industry and field as well as competition. For example, in the legal realm, we have certain software programs to draft documents and programs for legal research. Having these two main software programs, though expensive, is extremely high value when it comes down to cost v value.
3. Know How to Build a Consumer Base and Audience
This is a duh one, right? You'll need to know how to build a consumer base and audience online as you need a consumer base to sell to and an audience to educate and motivate. This will be potential, current, and old clients and you'll need to learn how to recruit them and keep them around for retention and referral purposes.
4. Know How to Balance Family + Work Life
This one is the hardest for women to do, in my experience. Women tend to feel guilty if they take time for themselves, aren't constantly on-the-go, or just want to take a break. Let me tell you something that you already know, but tell me it doesn't hit different in this context: your kids are watching you. They're watching you burn out. They're watching you always put yourself last. They're watching you exhibit habits that you don't want your daughter growing up and doing herself.
On the other end of the spectrum, my advice is to save work for the office and when you come home, be home and be present. Take self-care days (or an hour if that's all you have!). Take the long scenic route home with your partner so you can just enjoy each other's company a little longer. Take hold of those little moments with your family, because that's what really matters in life.
5. Know How to Manage Finances
Another skill that can be taught, and no you can't just farm out all of your finances (not in the beginning anyway!) and even if you could, as the owner you need to know how all aspects of your business work, even if it isn't your forte. Mapping out cash flow predictions and managing cash flow during seasonal highs and lows require a basic financial background. So does calculating your breakeven point (how many hours you need to work to pay the bills). If you want to be successful and actually make money, these are things you'll need to be calculating and looking at each quarter.
6. Know How to Build Networks + Connections
I have a saying that I've stuck with since majoring in Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin (hook em!): "There's no shame in the marketing game." Business really is all about who you know. Gaining those big $$$ clients sometimes (most of the time) requires an introduction from someone credible (i.e. already successful).
7. Know When to Delegate + Ask for Help
This one is the hardest for me personally and I'm sure its hard for other women out there as well. Women tend to want to do it all themselves because that's what we're used to. But, GIRL! If you have willing helpful hands - you better be taking advantage of them. Running a business requires you to be wearing multiple shoes at once (marketing, networking, working...) and honestly, you just can't do it all yourself. Education and training of staff (or your super helpful partner!) is key here. You'll need to be able to trust your delegate to complete the tasks as if you had done them. That way, you'll actually use them over and over again.
8. Know How to Create a Competitive Advantage
What's your USP (unique selling point) - your special sauce. What gets your customers in the door? You'll need some sort of advantage (notice I didn't say gimmick) over the competition. Knowing this means knowing your worth and value and soon not only your business will be taking off - your confidence will as well.
9. Stay Organized + On Top of Technology
Calendaring and scheduling is most of what my assistant does for me, especially during busy season. You can't always be on the phone scheduling appointments (because hello! you're super successful!), but you can automate appointment scheduling through online platforms and sites. Not only that, depending on your industry there are countless apps, websites, resources, etc. online or through your smart phone. Staying on top of the latest technology in your industry will be key for you skyrocketing ahead of your competition.
10. Stay Disciplined + Consistent
No matter what, you have to consistently show up and perform. Even when it's hard and especially when it's tedious. Starting a business can be tedious at first if you don't have help, but consistently showing up daily and putting in the work that needs to be done in order to set you up for success (rather than just coasting through) is what makes the difference between businesses that make it and those that thrive.
Most of these skills required to start a successful business can be learned, luckily! You just need the motivation (No. 1!) to dive deep and the resiliency to stick with it (and pivot when needed) when the going gets rough. And it will!
There are always rough spots in starting a business, but don't worry - I'm here to help you out!
But, Don't Know WHERE to Start?
If you're thinking about starting a business and want to be your own boss, but don't know where to start -- check out my Business Starter Kit.
The Business Starter Kit shows you how to start a business step by step and includes templates as well as information on the different types of business entities, how to fund your start up, and SO much more!