5 Skills every Entrepreneur should have

Photo by Christopher, available under a Creative Commons license.

There are thousands of budding entrepreneurs all over the globe, yet the number of stories of those who truly make a real success of their business is relatively small.

I would like to share what, I believe, are the specific gifts or qualities you need to succeed as an entrepreneur. These beliefs are based on the companies and people that I know and the qualities that sets them apart.

It’s not that these are qualities that are impossible to learn, but more than most people don’t take the time to learn them, and consequently don’t enjoy the same success that they would do if they had made the time to learn them.

So, if you’re a budding entrepreneur and you want to ensure that you have the best chance of achieving your goals, read on for my list of 5 of the most important qualities for entrepreneurial success:

1)   Planning

Perhaps the most important quality an entrepreneur can possess; the ability to plan is absolutely fundamental to the success of any small business or startup.  Not only do you need to have an idea of where you want your business to go, you also need to be able to plan for a variety of eventualities.  Failure to do so could see you getting caught short or left behind by your competition.  So if you really want to make a success of yourself, sit down with pen and paper and learn how to plan.

I’ve found that it is easy to practice on something close to home, perhaps unrelated to work.

For instance my first project outside of school was planning a charity project. There was little pressure on me which meant that I felt free to carefully plan the project. This project was a success and this gave me confidence to work on the next project which ultimately led to me starting my business.

2)   Sales

You may say that you’re not a salesman, but the truth is that it is practically impossible to be a success as an entrepreneur without being able to sell yourself.  A good entrepreneur should be able to confidently state why their service or product is the best on the market, and make it clear to potential clients and customers that they should be buying from you.

You may have the best idea in the world, but if it isn’t sold well then you’ll struggle to make a success of it. In short, find something you are passionate about and be passionate about it. I have found this comes across instantly when meeting prospective clients. Immediately you have a differentiator from the competition.

3)   Communication

Good communication skills are absolutely imperative for the budding entrepreneur.  For your idea to be considered, you must be able to accurately convey the unique selling points of the product or service, and you’ll need to convey that information quickly, with good diction and vocabulary.  If you’re concerned that you don’t possess this skill, then don’t be alarmed as it’s eminently possible to learn.

I started out very uncomfortable in front of people. With a little practice and a few painful experiences I learnt to get better. Whilst in no way a master communicator, I now enjoy the buzz of standing in front of people.

4)   Time Management

Working for yourself is a very different kettle of fish to working for someone else, and one of the first things many entrepreneurs realise is that time management is absolutely key if one is to make a success of their idea.

Running your own business is demanding and time consuming, but the crucial skill to have is the ability to be able to maximise the time that you do have in order to complete all the tasks that need completing.

After all time is your most precious resource, however most entrepreneurs are reckless when it comes to personal time. This has inevitable knock on effects such as trade offs in your personal life or simply being stuck in the rut of working in the business and not leading.

5)   Persistence

Last, but certainly not least, persistence is an essential skill that every single entrepreneur must possess.  Sometimes it can be difficult to remain positive after a setback or a difficulty, but the difference between a wannabe entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur is the ability of the latter to get straight back on the horse and keep going.

Remember that mistakes are a vital part of learning. On more that one occasion I have allowed a setback to put me back into my shell. It is human nature to revert back. Don’t do it, keep at it. Learn from the experience


These are five qualities that tend to set successful entrepreneurs out from the rest. There is one overriding trait that binds these qualities together. It is LEADERSHIP.

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