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5 Must-Have Entrepreneurial Skills for Aspiring Business Owners

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Thinking of running a business or embarking on another entrepreneurial pursuit? Maybe you have a bachelor’s degree in business, or you have some experience from your family shop that inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship. 

Your skills aren’t necessarily linked to what’s on your resume or what your family did. A lot of the gusto that makes entrepreneurs successful really comes from within. What skills do you need to bring your business from a notebook idea to a functional, money-making reality? Solid entrepreneurial skills. 

Today, we’ll run through the five must-have entrepreneurial skills for the aspiring business owner, ideas on how to develop those skills, and a great resource to fast-track your path to entrepreneurship.

entrepreneurial skills

1. Adaptability

Every business owner has to adapt to changing markets, customer expectations, economic scenarios, supply changes, and more. And even if you’re adaptable, things might still not work out. But failure is familiar to most entrepreneurs, as it’s just something else to adapt to and learn from. 

Sometimes, change makes people panic. If that’s you, you need to work on your adaptability skills before embarking on a business journey. Change helps you grow, allowing you to take your business to new heights and learn from mistakes. 

To become more adaptable, allow yourself to be curious. Ask questions and try to learn about what feels uncomfortable or uncertain, and always look forward instead of dwelling on the past. As French billionaire businessman François Pinault says, “I have no sense of nostalgia. Tomorrow is what interests me.”


2. Strong Work Ethic and Discipline

A strong work ethic entails dedication, professionalism, and ambition. As an entrepreneur, you might not be able to shut down the day at 5 p.m. if the job isn’t complete. Doing so might harm your relationship with your clients. 

You should have the discipline to manage your time effectively and get things done. And if you make a mistake, you need to be accountable. That means taking responsibility, communicating with your clients, and improvising to find a solution. If you need help cultivating self-discipline, start with recognising your strengths and weaknesses, and delegating tasks accordingly. Some experts also attribute mindfulness and meditation to greater levels of individual discipline. 

Your work ethic is visible to your audience, clients, and competitors, and maintaining it is essential to your reputation. 

Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”


3. Communication

Every business owner has to effectively communicate daily, with all sorts of different people — clients, potential clients, stakeholders, competitors, and sometimes media representatives. While professionalism and eloquence will serve you well in all your communication, so will consistency and adaptability. 

For example, your communication skills may need tailoring for different audiences. You might not share as much with a client as you would with a partner or employee. Communication helps you build relationships with everyone who interacts with your business, including employees, partners, and clients. 

Moreover, strong communication entails updating necessary parties on your ongoing projects. Clients need consistent communication to continue to have faith in your business, whether that communication is about setbacks, updates, or new opportunities. 

Communication can also make or break a first impression with a potential client. Entrepreneurs must be clear, concise, and subtly persuasive in the way they present ideas and negotiate. 

Are you a good communicator, or do you struggle to find a way to present yourself? Don’t worry. You can start improving your communication skills by actively listening, taking your time to respond, reading and writing more, and carving out time in your schedule for important conversations. 


4. Organisation

Now, organisation isn’t the only skill an entrepreneur needs to succeed. In fact, if you have all the other skills in this article, you may get by even if you’re a little scattered. 

But things are certainly easier if you’re organised. Learning how to keep accurate records (or hiring someone to do so) about inventory, profits, expenses, taxes, and everything else will help you feel confident and clear in moving forward with your business. 

Organisation is also important for time management, which is vital since everything in your business will demand your time. And finally, a sound corporate strategy requires strong organisation skills to see a process to its end and improve upon it. 

Are you disorganised? To improve, start by making use of calendars, project management tools, and lists. But if you still need support, you might benefit from taking a course or certificate programme. 

For example, EDHEC’s Advanced Strategic Management Certificate helps you learn the organisation and strategic skills necessary to develop and implement a corporate strategy. 


5. Find Meaning in What You Do

Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis once said, “After a certain point, money is meaningless. It ceases to be the goal. The game is what counts.”

All the above entrepreneurial skills are vital to a business owner’s success when it comes to money and reputation. But as Onassis says, money isn’t the only goal. You need to find fulfilment in the way you spend all your time. Your business might be a 24/7 job at certain points, so you better make sure that you find some pleasure in it!