by Kirsten Whitfield on 20/07/11 at 9:46 am
Entrepreneurship is a very appealing alternative to employment and one that many people dream of. However, it’s a difficult thing to pull off and many people who attempt it fall short. Here are some vital skills that you will need if you intend to follow the entrepreneur’s path.
Organisational skills and time management
Entrepreneurs are required to be very organised in order to succeed. You will have to know exactly what you need to be doing at all times, and maintain a steady grasp over every facet of your enterprise. You will be taking on a lot of responsibility and your daily tasks may seem endless. It is fundamental that you learn good time management skills, if you are not naturally gifted in this regard. You need to learn to prioritise; to know what has to get done right away, and what can be put off for a bit. There will always be something to do, and you must know how to fit it in. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
While it is important to maintain control over what is going on in your organisation, it is also fundamental that you are able to step back, from time to time, and delegate. You need to employ people that you trust with your work, so that you can hand things over to them without worry. It is also important that your employees can see that you trust them, as it will improve their working environment and attitude.
Good entrepreneurs know when to hold back, and when to put themselves on the line a little bit. Taking calculated risks might be the thing that makes your business. The word to remember here is “calculated”. Of course, you shouldn’t make outlandish decisions, but it is important to know when a risk is worth the potential returns it could bring you.
Obviously, an entrepreneur needs to know how to manage finances. At the beginning, you will be alone in this, so it is vital that you develop a working knowledge of finance and accounting.
Of course, it is important for an entrepreneur to have some sort of leadership skills. You may not be a natural leader, but there are various different styles of leadership and you can find one that suits your personality. If you are good at organisation and have a solid grasp of finances and, most importantly, an exciting idea, it shouldn’t matter that you are not the most charismatic leader, as long as you are confident in yourself and your enterprise.
Kirsten Whitfield is a member of the academic department of GetSmarter, a high-touch online education company. GetSmarter works together with University of Cape Town to present short courses in small business management, project management, internet marketing, financial management and much more View more articles by Kirsten Whitfield.