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Being an entrepreneur can pretty much be summed up in two words – demanding and rewarding. More people than ever are choosing to start their own businesses, taking control of their lives and their profits and choosing to create a business model and a way of life which aligns with their personal values and offers them more control and freedom over their working day. It remains a goal for many people to run their own successful business – but we all know that some succeed and others don’t. What are the magic factors which determine success? Why do some people seem to take to entrepreneurialism so well and others not? What are the qualities they possess which enable them to do so well? Wanting to be a businessperson and having the drive, the skill set and the ability to do well at it are two separate matters. But there is some good news – all of the qualities that you need in order to make a go of it can be learned and developed. You may possess some of them naturally, others you may need to put a bit of learning and conscious effort into – but they can all be acquired, and once you have them you’ll be on the path to succes.
When it comes to business, one size does not fit all. While you can start up a business in a lot of different fields – from repairing smartphones to running an eCommerce boutique, undertaking graphic design projects, offering consultancy services or becoming a plumber – you do need to find a business which suits you. Think about what you’re good at and what your skill set is – what do those qualities lend themselves to? What problem in the world could you solve for your customers? There’s no doubt that, however satisfying, running your own company can be a lot of hard work, so you have to be passionate about what you’re doing in order to really succeed.
You may well need to upskill yourself to launch your business. Remember it pays to never stop learning. Think about what you need to do well in order to make your venture a success, and be honest with yourself about where your skills are lacking. It doesn’t always have to be a formal qualification, although those are certainly necessary in some fields. Sometimes self-directed online learning can be a massive help, or shadowing someone for a while. If you need more support, working with a training provider like STL Training can help to boost your knowledge in areas like project management or productivity.Keep an open mindset and you’ll constantly be able to apply new skills to developing your business.
The main skill that you can influence as an entrepreneur is to make sure your company is forging an identity and a reputation which connects emotionally with customers. In a crowded marketplace, competing on price or promotions only leads into a race to the bottom that won’t benefit you in the long term. Strike a chord with your key demographic however, and you’ll find it easier to convert customers into advocates who give you both repeat business and valuable word of mouth marketing. Spend time mapping out the customer journey, understanding their expectations and pain points along the way. Develop personas for different customer sub-sets so that you can deliver targeted marketing activity, using metrics to inform the dynamic development of your strategy. Getting under the skin of who buys from you and why is essential.
Entrepreneurs are pulled here, there and everywhere during the course of an average working day. It’s a role which is filled with competing priorities – from pitching for investment to chasing up unpaid invoices, working on a new sales plan or keeping an eye on your business social media feeds, you have to get through a huge amount of very varied tasks – often with little or no support to begin with. Therefore, time management is one of the most valuable skills that any entrepreneur can possess and it will serve you well to improve on yours. Whether it’s learning how to create a prioritisation matrix so that you handle tasks in the best and most proactive way possible, or using the Pomodoro Technique to ensure that you stay focused and get the most out of your busy days, there are always more skills to learn to manage your diary and get the best out of your time at work.
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