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Essential Skills for Every Budding Entrepreneur

Not everyone has the passion and drive to start and build a business. So it makes sense that successful entrepreneurs — whether they’re running a very large corporation, a startup or micro business — share some common skills. Here’s a look at some of the personal and professional strengths you may want to work on if you’d like your small business to take off.

They’re good at hiring the right people

Good entrepreneurs know they can’t do everything at their company, and it’s unrealistic to think that they can. Instead, they know how to hire a group of talented individuals who are strong in the skills they lack (as well as the things they just don’t have the bandwidth to do). Finding skilled and enthusiastic employees helps create a company culture that attracts other talented individuals. Once they’ve hired the right people, good entrepreneurs also understand the importance of giving them the freedom to build and lead without micromanagement.

They strive for balance

Running a successful company means working beyond the traditional 9 am to 5 pm. Entrepreneurs understand that they’ll need to think about the business after hours and it will probably take over parts of their weekend, too. But that doesn’t mean that work should take up 100% of their time. According to recent research by the cloud-based accounting company Xero, 58% of successful entrepreneurs said that spending time with family in the evenings helps them perform better as business owners, and 55% said that it was important to set aside time on weekends for personal activities and loved ones.

They motivate others

All leaders needs to know how to inspire the people around them, but for entrepreneurs it’s an absolute necessity. If the people closest to you don’t believe in your ideas, how are you ever going to convince your customers? Motivation extends beyond rousing speeches. Every employee is motivated in a different way: some respond to pay increases, some to benefits or perks, and others to a flexible work schedule. Great entrepreneurs take the time to understand what gets their team members excited, and offer incentives that convince employees that being involved in the business is something they can’t possibly refuse.

They understand how to fail

Successful entrepreneurs understand that they won’t be right 100% of the time, but that doesn’t take away from their accomplishments. In fact, knowing that they can learn from failure makes them stronger business people. The ability to turn mistakes into lessons that can be applied to future success can ultimately strengthen a business opportunity.

They know when to ask for help

Entrepreneurs aren’t born with the innate ability to start, run and grow successful companies. An inherent drive to create, inspire others and develop amazing ideas is one thing, but there are never any guarantees. The Xero survey also found that around one-third of successful entrepreneurs have asked a mentor or support group for advice about their company, compared to 14% of those whose businesses have failed. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it demonstrates that you’re intelligent enough to seek input from those who have succeeded before you. In the long run, you’ll be saving time and money by learning from others’ mistakes, rather than repeating them for yourself.

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