10 Skills You Need as an Entrepreneur

There are several entrepreneurial skills that you need if you want to run a business successfully. Developing these skills can help you mitigate risks and more.

A woman entrepreneur surrounded by money.

While business owners all lead in different ways, there are core skills that they share in common. Having entrepreneurial skills helps them manage teams and deal with difficult situations as they arise. If you want to run a successful business, here are the skills you should nurture.

What Are Entrepreneur Skills?

Entrepreneurial skills are a set of abilities and qualities that help solopreneurs and business owners to launch, grow and sustain their businesses. The skills encompass everything from soft skills to technical skills to interpersonal skills.

Can You Learn to Be an Entrepreneur?

Yes, you can learn to be an entrepreneur at any time. While some people naturally have the skills necessary to lead a company and others might enroll in school for a business degree, there are still plenty different ways to become an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship is like any other skill — for example, singing, writing or a sport. The more you put into it, the better you can become. Through a mix of education, experience and personal growth you can reach entrepreneurial success.

Importance of Entrepreneurial Skills

Having the right combination of skills can take you far as a business owner. Honing these skills can help you:

  • Drive innovation: Being able to work with others, have a resilient frame of mind and embrace creative thinking can all help you become more innovative. The skills necessary for entrepreneurship can push you forward in your business.
  • Adapt: Running your own company is more than having a business idea or a business plan. While those things are important, you will meet unexpected hurdles along the way. Successful entrepreneurs recognize this and remain flexible, so they can take on whatever comes their way.
  • Problem-solve: Entrepreneurs who have the necessary skills to solve problems will go further than those who cannot. You can address challenges and develop solutions that keep your business moving in the right direction.
  • Compete with others: The right entrepreneurship skills can make your business more competitive because you can find ways to stand out, work around problems and adapt to the market. All of this can push you to create more efficient workflows, improve customer service and find other ways to provide a better product or service compared to your competitors.

10 Key Skills for a Successful Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs have a diverse set of skills that help them navigate the challenges of starting and running a business. Here are a few of the most important to possess:

  1. Emotional intelligence: Being able to manage your emotions and that of others can help you when it comes to working with others and making decisions.
  2. Networking: Even as a solopreneur, networking can be beneficial. Connecting to others can lead to unexpected partnerships or growth opportunities that you might not otherwise be able to access.
  3. Leadership: Being a strong leader can make it easier to work with others or even show your customers that you take initiative.
  4. Critical thinking: Critical thinking skills empower business owners to make sound decisions, adapt to any circumstance and build a sustainable business. As a critical thinker, you look at your business decisions through an analytical eye and work to have a robust business strategy.
  5. Organizational skills: As a solopreneur, there are a lot of things (such as deadlines and unexpected issues) that can occupy your time. If you organize yourself well, then you can effectively handle anything that pops up.
  6. Growth mindset: A growth mindset is the desire to keep learning and finding new ways to push forward. This can help entrepreneurs handle the often difficult dynamics of running a business.
  7. Communication skills: Being able to accurately deliver a message is necessary. You'll need it when building relationships, whether that's with customers, vendors or investors.
  8. Time management: Entrepreneurs have a lot of responsibilities. To reach business success, they must be able to allocate their time to critical tasks and priorities.
  9. Risk assessment: Entrepreneurs can weight the risks and benefits of different outcomes, which can help them avoid pitfalls.
  10. Problem anticipation: Being forward-thinking means you can see what problems might arise. And if you can do that, then you can make contingency plans and take a proactive approach to running your business.

How to Develop Entrepreneurial Skills

Whether you want to develop your leadership skills or networking skills, you have several options when it comes to becoming a stronger entrepreneur. Here are just a few ways to get started:

  • Take classes. Continuous learning is a good way to build new skills. You can take individual courses (for example if you want to increase your financial literacy) or even a course meant for entrepreneurs.
  • Look for a mentor. You can grow as an entrepreneur if you work alongside a mentor. This type of setup allows you to have one-on-one time with someone who possesses the skills that you feel you lack.
  • Read more books. There are so many books that outline what you need to find success as an entrepreneur. Find businesspeople that you admire and see if they have books to learn how they did it. This can inform how you move forward in your own company.
  • Seek feedback. Constructive criticism is essential when you hope to grow. Ask your customers, vendors and other partners for their honest feedback — the good and the bad. If you see overlap in areas where you can improve, you can use that to inform what areas you can do better. (Here's a tip: Noodle automatically asks customers for feedback, so make sure to take advantage of this feature so you can continue to develop your entrepreneurial skills.)
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