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6 basic skills every entrepreneur needs to develop

Becoming an entrepreneur can be an exciting and daunting venture at the same time. With all the relative freedom to do as you please comes the real test; do you have the courage to push through the tough times and do you have the basic skills to succeed at being an entrepreneur or to improve your entrepreneurial journey?

Here are six basic skills to develop on your journey as an entrepreneur.

1. Communicate well

You need to be able to communicate your ideas and information about your business well. You will be interacting with employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders and being able to convey your message well is crucial. Furthermore, you will need to learn to communicate across a variety of platforms from face-to-face communication to using social networks, emails, and messaging apps to share your message.

You learn more about business writing from Google’s Digital Skills for Africa’s business communication class. Another good resource is Business English Communication Skills Specialization on the Coursera platform.

2. Manage your time effectively

Time is a commodity that can easily be wiled away without realising it. You need to ensure you manage your time effectively so you can create a business you are proud of. There are many ways to manage your time and to find the right fit for you is critical. Some steps you can start with are:

Create a to-do list

Write a list of five critical activities you need to do in your day to achieve your short- and long-term goals. By creating a list, you will get the satisfaction of crossing off the activities you do, and you will have physical evidence of how you moved towards your goal.

Create a routine

This has two benefits. The first is that you will know what you do every day and some of your daily habits will become automatic. The second benefit is that you will save some of the time you spend on deciding by having a routine for an action, you may not need to think about the action and thereby free up time and thought space to think about your business.

Know when you flow

You may have heard of people talking about being in the zone or flow. This just means that you are in a space where you are connected to what you are doing. These flow times happen at different times for different people byfinding out when and how you go into a flow or zone, you can optimise that for the most important tasks in your work.

3. Understand your finances

Cash flow is the lifeline for your business. You must understand where every cent of your money goes in your business. By managing your cash flow, you can move to grow your business. You need to also understand basic terms in accounting so that when investors ask how your financial situation is you can answer them.

You can learn more about small business accounting on Xero’s website. You can also learn about the fundamentals of accounting here.

4. Become data literate

In business, you will be given a lot of data but what does it all mean? By understanding data, you will be able to use Google analytics and other analytical programmes to clearly understand how your business is doing.

You can learn more about data literacy at the Data Literacy Project.

5. Know how to sell

As a small business owner, you will need to know how to sell. This is crucial to the success of your business. You will not only have to show the value of the service or product you offer but you will need to sell yourself to your employees and investors.

6. Be resilient

Resilience is critical as an entrepreneur. There will be many times where you will face a challenge and may even fail but as Will.i.am said to a young singer on the Voice Kids, think of the “no” as “know”. Now you know what doesn’t work and when you attempt it again you can do better because you will know what not to do.

By mastering these six basic skills you will be well on your way to becoming an accomplished entrepreneur.

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