Some entrepreneurs seem to be born for the task, starting and running their enterprises effortlessly while others need to learn the skills one needs to become a business owner. However, like leadership skills, entrepreneurial skills are not only for born naturals, as they can be acquired by anyone prepared to put in the hard work.
No matter how you come by them, a set of entrepreneurial skills is a must-have for any would-be business owner. To understand what it takes, here is a brief breakdown of commonly accepted abilities entrepreneurs should have: Image of happy businessmen colleagues talking with each other using the mobile phones.
Entrepreneurship without effective communication is destined to fail. Relationships are built through communication, be they with customers, suppliers, partners, investors, employees, or other stakeholders.
It is vital that an entrepreneur can convey information, instructions, or requests appropriately to develop working relationships with everyone around them. This includes communication on different levels, such as one-on-one, addressing an audience, working collaboratively in a group, and all forms of written communication.
Gift of the gab
An entrepreneur needs to have sales skills to carve out a niche in their market. This takes determination and a willingness to persist through 99 no’s before getting their first yes.
Often referred to as the ability to sell sand in the desert, a set of sales techniques is essential for success. This is a hard skill to learn as it has much to do with personality. Many entrepreneurs choose to take on an employee or partner to handle sales if it is not their forte.
Nerves of steel
To make a success of any business, its owner needs to be prepared to take a risk. Many entrepreneurs find themselves at a crossroads, where they must decide to press ahead or abandon their venture. Those who are risk-averse will second-guess their decisions, while a fearless entrepreneur will press forward no matter what.
Willingness to learn
Any business owner will tell you that it is never smooth sailing. Things go wrong, and plans must change to adapt to new circumstances.
A successful entrepreneurs can learn from their mistakes and those of others to avoid a repeat of them in the future. Flexibility and problem-solving skills are vital. Continuous self-improvement and development are other characteristics of a successful entrepreneur.
Successful entrepreneurs have a sound understanding of what it takes to run a business, from procurement to managing their finances to delivering excellent customer service. Planning, including a set of contingency plans to allow for flexibility and an ability to make decisions on the spot, are crucial entrepreneurial skills.
The world of online business is no different
Whether a startup is an online endeavor or a physical business, the requirements of the entrepreneur remain the same. Knowledge of the core business is not enough for success, so entrepreneurial skills and personal attributes are critical. Too many enterprises fail to get off the ground because their owners do not know about the rigors of running a business.
Why not cut out the startup process?
Several successful business owners have not built their enterprise from the ground up, preferring to visit platforms like Exchange Marketplace to buy existing online businesses. Believing that this will eliminate the need to endure the startup phase where there is much uncertainty, they opt to purchase an online business.
With its established customer base, product offering, and sales record, buying an existing online business sounds like the ultimate solution. However, it is not as simple as inheriting a website, customer database, supplier relationships, and employees.
Unfortunately, when you buy an eCommerce business, you enter a world where entrepreneurial skills are still as important as when you launch a startup. Here is why:
The business needs to grow
Unless you plan on treading water, a decision to invest in online business means that you intend to expand its operations to increase its bottom line and profit. Such plans require entrepreneurial skills, much like those described above.
You still need to develop relationships, garner sales, take some risks, and be prepared to learn on a trial and error basis. Some risks might be slightly more calculated as you have an existing pool of customers, but they still entail a leap of faith.
The business might need a radical shakeup
Often, owners sell their enterprise because they believe it has hit the ceiling and no further growth is possible. This might be due to an unwillingness to make drastic changes to the business, how it is run, and track a new trajectory for its future.
In this case, upon taking over, you will need to take the business through a paradigm shift. This poses a set of inherent risks that you need to embrace.
It could alienate existing suppliers and employees, as people are, by nature, change-averse. Even existing customers might not like the outcomes of your shakeup, leading them to turn elsewhere. Therefore, if you think purchasing an existing business takes the risk out of the process, you are mistaken.
You might need to adapt the business strategy
While the current business strategy might be functional, it might need to change to maximize profits. As the new owner, you need to examine what strategies have been employed in the past and weigh their success or failure.
This could lead to identifying the need to change the business model or looking at new ways of conducting business, possibly by taking more functions online, outsourcing others, and reshaping the organogram.
One of the first things you should be looking at is the current marketing model to see if there is room for improvement. Your perspective might be different from those previously involved in marketing, so you will want to change it.
To make such changes, make sure you are sufficiently familiar with how each business function works, such as marketing, human resources, supply or delivery dynamics, finances, and existing agreements with creditors. With this insight, you can make informed decisions about changes to the business model that will have a positive impact.