Are you looking to start your own company at some point in your life? Without a doubt, achieving this task is hard. But starting a company without the right skillset is almost impossible. That’s why there are so many business schools and online entrepreneurship courses out there.
In fact, according to 2017 The Kauffman Startup Activity report, the rate of new entrepreneurs, or the percent of people who started their business in the U.S, has increased markedly since 2014. Specifically, 330 persons out of 100,000 opened their gigs, which translated to 550,000 new entrepreneurs every month.
Here are the complete data.
Just think about it: 550,000 new people start their businesses every month! Great, right? Unfortunately, many of these businesses will fail. Forbes, for example, Forbes states that 20 percent of small businesses fail in their first year and 50 percent fail within five years.
Undoubtedly, there’s a great risk involved in starting a new company, but you can minimize it substantially if you possess and apply effectively a number of specific skills. So what is needed to start a small business? This article will review the ones in the following list:
- Time Management
- Sustained Networking
Let’s now review each of them.
#1 Time Management
When you’re a leader of your business, there’s going to be a lot of demands of your time. Even if you’re a part-time entrepreneur, employees are going to need you to assist and answer their questions. Investors are going to want to talk to you about the way the business is going and how you spend their money. Customers are going to need you to help them with their question regarding your products/services.
In other words, you’ll quickly realize that superb time management is one of the most important skills needed to be an entrepreneur because you’ll spend a lot of time doing things that aren’t directly related to a long-term success of your business. If you don’t know how to effectively manage your time, chances are high that you’ll end up overwhelmed with your job and eventually burned out.
Many beginner entrepreneurs who lack knowledge about how to run own business make a mistake by thinking that leadership is about being nice and making the lives of other people easier. While it’s certainly important to be compassionate, being a leader means so much more, like stepping out of your comfort zone every day for the sake of advancing your business, and challenging people to reach new heights.
People used to think that leaders are born, but recent studies suggest that leadership is something that you can learn and get good at. That’s why a lot of people are taking both online and traditional leadership classes.
If you want to check out what’s available, leadership courses from Coursera and Udemy are a great option.
Business is an ever-changing field, so and you’ll understand that from the early days of your company. Many new entrepreneurs make a mistake by staying too attached to their original vision of their business and expectations they had before they launched. As a result, they resist changes that potentially could make their startups more adapted to the business landscape.
A constant reinvention and adaptation are basic skills for entrepreneurs, according to the best ones. For example, here’s Richard Branson’s rule for embracing change, taken from Virgin’s website:
"Every success story is a tale of constant adaptation, revision and change. A company that stands still will soon be forgotten. Trying to provoke positive change is a principle we've embedded across the Virgin family."
Indeed, he’s the right person to give advice about adaptation because his first company, Student magazine, didn’t make any money. If he had decided to go with the original vision and continue with advancing his magazine, he may have gone under but he had chosen to reinvent his business and founded a mail-order record business. Eventually, the second business was the one that really took off and earned him millions.
#4 Sustained Networking
In our ever-connected world, a lack of relationship building skills can reduce your chances for success because business relationships can be so beneficial. For example, it’s a known fact that many hiring decisions are made based on personal recommendations, so having a person who can recommend you a great employee is important.
According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, about 60 percent of U.S. employers have job openings they can't fill for 12 weeks or longer. The resulting skills gap cost companies nearly $1 million and the situation has not been getting any better.
In addition to receiving personal recommendations of employees, networking skills can also help to run your own business by assisting you with finding better partners, inspiration, moral support, and, of course, more business. So, try to make friends with people working in your industry or niche and build mutually beneficial relationships, and they may give you some great opportunities in the future.
If you’re wondering how to run your own business, be sure that it requires a knowledgeable, supportive staff at your side. Having a reliable and skilled staff is extremely important for all companies, especially for new ones because you’ll have lots of projects to complete and issues to deal with, and sometimes you won’t be available to do that.
A smart startup owner will learn the art of delegation because they need to focus more on how to grow their business. The employees who will be entrusted with performing important tasks will feel more appreciated and empowered, which is also important for employee retention.
According to the recent 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 43 percent of Millennials plan to quit their jobs within two years and only 28 percent want to stay in their current company for more than five years.
One of the main reasons for such desires is a lack of personal and professional development opportunities, so I strongly advise to learn delegation and keep your employees engaged and happy.
These findings are supported by Gallup’s report How Millennials Want to Work and Live that found that 59 percent of Millennials say that opportunities to learn and grow personally and professionally are “extremely important to them when applying for a job.”
The Bottom Line
Starting a new company is hard. But it will be much easier if you possessed the skills listed in this article. Don’t get me wrong, no one’s ever really ready, but with them you’ll be as prepared as you possibly can. Good luck!
Some people say that leaders are born, but no leader is going to succeed in the current ever-changing business landscape without a proper knowledge. If you want to kill it as an entrepreneur, you’ll have to learn a number of specific business skills, so read this article to see what kind of learning awaits you in the future.
About the Author
Daniela McVicker is an experienced blogger who writes about startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurship. Currently, she works at Top Writers Review where she shares her rich writing expertise. Besides blogging, Daniela’s interests include traveling, making new friends, and wine tasting.