You’ve got heaps of ambition, and your determination is ten-fold: but do you have the soft skills to make it as an entrepreneur?
Ever heard the phrase ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know?’ In business, networking is crucial not only to launching a business, but also to keep it afloat. When building relationships, think about your outreach strategies: how are you communicating with your target audience/potential partners? Are you using the right methods and are you providing the correct information? It’s also important, to be honest, open and reliable in order to build a reputable image as a professional in your field and attract interest in your company.
Whether you’re arranging your company registration or simply responding to some emails, being able to manage your time and prioritise tasks is probably the most important soft skill as an entrepreneur, particularly if you’re just getting started and don’t have many (or any) staff.
Keep a diary, so you always have a record of meetings, tasks, phone calls etc. and make sure it has space to keep notes for when you get an unexpected phone call or enquiry. Maintaining a simple to-do list is one of the most effective ways to stay on track with daily tasks.
Public speaking and presentation
Often the hardest skill to master as an entrepreneur is public speaking. Also, being able to present your business to others can be daunting but is also fundamental to your success. Practice is key in both cases: know your speech/presentation so well you could do it blindfolded; try to sound natural; don’t rely on cue cards or presentation slides too much to guide you and keep moving around the room when presenting. Not only that, you should make your movements emphasise your words, pause when necessary and try not to rush through it.
The business world is hard to navigate, especially for those who have never had to negotiate to get what they want. While it may be a tough skill to master, negotiation goes hand in hand with owning and running a company and should be top of your skills list.
Firstly, it’s important to remain calm and not to get frustrated if you can’t reach a resolution quickly. Ensure you can back-up any claim you make and also be considerate of other speakers, even if you disagree. You should also make sure you have thought about what you are willing to compromise on if you can’t achieve what you initially set out to do.
As an entrepreneur, dealing with daily stresses and strains is all part of the job. With big dreams come big responsibilities, so its important to be able to cope with the pressure. The key to developing resilience at work is to maintain a positive, proactive attitude, embrace new challenges and always focus on your ultimate goal. Keep in mind that resilience is a quality that comes with experience, developing over time as your business grows.
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This post was written by Chris Beck