5 Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed

Whether you are managing your family’s business, starting your own company, or operating multiple organizations here are 5 skills you need to know to be a successful entrepreneur. 

1. Finance Skills

Budgeting and knowing how to keep track of finances is essential for entrepreneurs. Small business owners need to be able to understand financial statements which are records that hold the details of a business’s activities and its overall financial performance. Entrepreneurs will need to know how to calculate return on investment (ROI=Net Return on Investment/ Cost of Investment x 100%) This is important in order to evaluate your organizations use of  investments so you can ensure your using your resources effectively.  

2. Communication skills

Being a strong communicator is very important for entrepreneurs. Negotiation, confidence, and networking are three communication skills that are extremely useful for business owners.

Negotiation: When creating business deals with investors, clients, suppliers and whoever else you need to work with negotiation is extremely important. While there are many different philosophies on negotiation, one of the most sought after is the win-win scenario where both you and the other party benefit from the deal. 

Confidence: You must be your business’s biggest advocate. You should know your small business inside and out so show confidence when talking to suppliers, clients, and the competition. Being able to confidently persuade others about your business cannot be underestimated. Whether it is persuading a customer to purchase the product you know is best for them or connecting with retailers to offer your product or service you need to stand strong against any and every obstacle that is placed in your path. 

Networking: Networking can be done with co-workers, alumni, professors, supervisors, clients, and other business professionals in or outside of your industry. Keep the following networking tips in mind:

    • Anyone who can guide you on your journey as a small business owner/ entrepreneur is an asset for your business. 
    • LinkedIn is a great way to connect with others across the country who share similar interests, and have similar business models as yourself. 
    • It is important to learn how to identify those who can not only assist you but who you can assist as well. No one wants a one sided relationship where one party is giving and the other is just taking. Make sure you are providing value to others in your network as well. 

3. Leadership Skills

Strong leadership skills are essential for running a business. Your employees and co-workers will look to you for guidance. Leading your team by example, over coming difficult challenges while staying calm and collective is no easy task yet extremely important. Developing a leadership style geared towards your employees and business will allow your organization to be the most effective.  

4. Time Management

There are only 24 hours a day which is never enough time in the life of an entrepreneur. While running a business you need to prioritize your work day to maximize your efficiency. Keeping organized with calendars, creating a to do list for you and your team as well as hiring individuals with specific skill sets will allow you to be more efficient. 

5. Sales

Sales is the bread and butter of your business. If you are not able to reach out and sell your product or service you are already out of business. Sales are important because it allows you to make money and acquire a client.

Branding is a big part of sales. You need to ensure that every product or service your business provides is tailored just right for your customer and customized for your business. This is especially important for more expensive high-end small businesses. You need to remember that every product/service you provide a client reflects on your business creating your brand. A positive experience with your brand will bring your business repeat customers creating a consistent stream of income.

Additional Skills

Honorable mentions include data analysis which is becoming very important for business owners. Strategic planning is another that allows business owners to not only recognize opportunities but owners can set up their organizations to create and take advantage of different opportunities. 

Resources At Binghamton University for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships

Incubator Programs

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By Michael Lorusso
Michael Lorusso Internship Program Coordinator Michael Lorusso