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Skills for Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, April 06, 2011   By Mike Reddy


The desire to start your own company can have several motivations. A desire to make money or to change the world, the urge to be in control of your employment, or the ambition to test out a great idea.

Unfortunately, becoming an entrepreneur takes more than a single good idea. Motivational speakers come up with favourite lists of essential qualities of successful entrepreneurs but within those there are some basic requirements.

Tenacity, or the refusal to give up, is a fundamental characteristic. Running a business is not easy and every day throws up new challenges, such as aggressive competitors, slow cash flow or difficult employees.

Entrepreneurs have to rise above the problem, find a solution and press onwards.

A competitive instinct is essential. Even if your idea is original there will be plenty of imitators who decide that they can do it better or add it to their adjacent portfolio.

Decisiveness is another important trait. The best CEOs don't make the right decisions every time but they won't let critical issues hover over the company either. If you make a bad decision there is often a chance to correct it with a better decision later on.

Businesses are about making money. Your employees depend on it. But they also depend on leadership to inspire them and make their contributions feel valuable. This is truer when you’re asking people to take a gamble and join you in building your great new project before you have time to prove its success or pay them what they’re worth.

An entrepreneur needs to pitch a company’s higher purpose to employees and make them believe in its ultimate goal. Anything less and they’ll struggle to make it through Monday.

Attention to detail is another essential characteristic. Entrepreneurs tend to know the minute facts about their business, the market in which it operates, their competitors, and a good grasp of expenses and sales.

And entrepreneurs need a willingness to change. If a great idea turns out to be less than perfect in reality, an entrepreneur must learn from the experience and take the idea or business towards a modified course that promises greater success.

Those are my views, what are your thoughts?

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.