3 Essential Skills You Need to Become a Successful Entrepreneur
Growing up, nobody ever dreams of having a boss. They want financial and creative freedom to live their life however they want. And for most this means visions of someday bringing their own business into the world.
Unfortunately, this remains a fantasy for too many people. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Of course the waters can be rough, but with the right strategy, know-how, perseverance, and offering, your dream company can become a reality.
It will never be easy, but navigating the path ahead will go much more smoothly for budding entrepreneurs if they understand the following skills. By honing your abilities in these three essential areas, you will greatly increase your odds of finding business success in your new life.
Targeting Your Market
Making profits in any industry largely comes down to understanding your customer. You need to know who they are, what they want, and how to give it them. Hopefully, you already have some knowledge in your area, but doing more research is always required. The key is to find the proper scope. You want a customer base that is wide enough but not too wide. For Chevrolet or McDonalds, their market can be almost everyone on earth. But that is not a practical or useful target for most entrepreneurs.
You should instead be focused on trying to dominate a more niche segment that you understand inside and out. But this market must also be one with enough of a user base that finding leads won’t be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Business author and consultant Mike Michalowicz offers some good advice about how to know when you’ve found the sweet spot. “What group of people are under served or ignored (never served)?” he writes. “Does the fact they are underserved or never served upset you? Does it anger you? Does it motivate you to finally stand up, take action and care for them? That’s your niche. They are starving for you.”
Always be closing. No matter how good your product or service is, you must know how to sell. If you can’t, you’re dead in the water before you even begin. This is why every budding tycoon must read time-tested books on business and leadership by such as Dale Carnegie, Jack Welch, Tony Robbins, Gary Vaynerchuk, and UCLA coach John Wooden. It’s cliché but the need to gain insight from the masters cannot be overstated.
However, learning isn’t doing. You also need to get out there and make some sales to get first-hand experience. While some people have the capital and time to strike out on their own fully as they launch their new business, others find much more success by walking a well-known path to profitability.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs, for example, have opted to hone their sales and business skills by starting their own business with a direct sales company like Amway. What is an Amway business? It is a means to launch your own sales company with little upfront costs and a proven sales model. The company considers its program low-risk because it offers a large support network, provides 80 free online business courses, and incentivizes growth through monthly bonuses and other initiatives. For anyone who wants to truly learn what it takes to sell, experiences like this can be an excellent place to get started.
Learning to Say No
Once you have identified your market, targeted the right leads, and sold them on your product or service, you will soon have a long list of clients. Some of these will be great customers. Some will make you pull your hair out and call you up almost daily with yet another issue, whether real or imagined.
Eventually, most successful business owners learn to prioritize their energy. Like time and money, this is a finite resource even if few people realize it early on. You simply cannot put your focus on everyone all the time. It is a rule of thumb that most companies make the bulk of their profits from the top 20 percent of their customers, so anyone who is in that 80 percent is expendable. At the outset, when generating every single cent of revenue is a struggle, you will end up with customers who are not a good fit. And that is OK. But you need to understand when to cut ties.
This reality is especially true in the B2B world, but it can apply to the retail stores, wholesalers, distributors, or other companies you have partnered with while expanding your business. If these relationships are wasting your time, cutting into your margins, or just hurting your mood, end them. By learning to understand that it doesn’t have to be like this, you will realize you are not beholden to every single person who offers you a dollar. Cut out the clients and partners that cause you the most stress and focus your attention on the people who deserve it.
Achieving Entrepreneurial Success
There are no fast paths to entrepreneurial success. If it was simple, everyone would do it. But you don’t need easy. Really, you don’t even want easy. What will separate you from the rest is your dedication, drive, and ingenuity.
That said, you will save yourself a lot of headache if you move forward with wisdom and keep an eye on the most important aspects of growth and ongoing profitability. Work hard to learn how to target your customer, crush sales, and know when to say no.
If you can figure out just these three areas, it will do you a world of good. In no time, you will move from an entrepreneurial dreamer to a successful business owner.