Skills Needed to Succeed as an Entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur is creative and self-employed person who promotes free enterprise and self-sufficiency by creating and spreading wealth to the grassroots levels as a contribution to economic growth, employment generation and social progress.
Self-employment may be described as the seizing of available opportunities to generate or getting involved in activities that could be realized for self-development and profit making. It is a fulfilment of a desire for an enterprise that could afford a comfortable life, promote goodwill, enhance leadership qualities, and consolidate economic gains.
Here are some of the skills entrepreneurs need to succeed their business.
An entrepreneur’s success is measured by how profitable the enterprise or firm is and the growth it has recorded over the years. This is so, in taking cognizance of the fact that these entrepreneurs are not experts in money management or financial control. In other words, •they have limited knowledge of finance and accounting, though they are technically competent by their education/skill training. However, circumstances and situations arising from the day to day running of business necessitate that good accounting records must be kept with regards to their customers, business associates, financial institutions and general prudent financial management. It follows therefore that entrepreneurs need to know how much money that comes into the business every day or week, how to determine the selling price for their products, how much is spent every day, week, month or year on raw materials, labour, utilities and other miscellaneous expenditures. Furthermore, the person needs to know how much should be drawn for personal and family use, so as not to liquidate the business. This is so because without them the entrepreneur can get up one day to discover that he has used up the working capital and can no longer pay salaries of his staff, cannot repair or replace equipment, cannot purchase raw materials as consumables and can no longer pay for other utility services. The knowledge of fundamental accounting competencies good financial management, which is aimed at ensuring that there is adequate cash on hand to meet the necessary current and capital expenditures as well as to assist in maximizing growth and profits. It requires knowledge of liquidity. Management of money demands that the entrepreneurs must plan for all their future need for funds, plan for the most economical way of acquiring funds from different sources. They should also be able to plan for the most efficient way of putting to use acquired money from friends, family members, banks and other sources.
Marketing of products and services at a profit is the overall goal of every entrepreneur. The sole aim of marketing is to ensure that the products or services required by the customers or consumers are made available at affordable prices with a good profit margin. The entrepreneurs need to know the markets and where they are located, plan for effective customer and products services, correctly price their products in order to make profit, reach the greatest number of customers through effective sales and distribution channels and be able to carry out good advertising of their products with efficient sales promotion. The fulfilment of these goals is dependent on the entrepreneurial educational attainment of the entrepreneur. Therefore, marketing skills are very imperative for goal achievement and economic growth.
Management skills are abilities acquirable through entrepreneurship education. The problems arising from lack of entrepreneurship education seem far more serious than those connected with the mere shortage or lack of capital. In every entrepreneurship endeavour, there are entrepreneurial skills or competencies that are needed and which one must be acquainted with to ensure the success of the enterprise. Before a good plan can be made, a decision to make the plan must be taken. The management skill to be acquired include Planning and Organizational skills.
Public Relations Skills:
Every business action has consequences and the way impacts of such actions are communicated to the public is very important. Accordingly, public relations are indispensable in every thriving organization in order to keep in touch with and responding to the media and interest groups. It is a way of clearly making sure that the relevant people are informed about things likely to generate public interest, that is, arrival or availability of new products and services. An organization reputation is one of its most critical assets. The role of public relations is to build and enhance a good reputation. Public relations provide valuable complement to advertising. Many entrepreneurs do not have good and effective public relations activities that could improve the overall public perceptions of their establishment’s goals. Public relations supplement paid advertising campaigns also as well as increase public awareness. An essential aspect of public relations for self reliance is that quantity of information is less important than the quality.
Communication is important in order to get one’s messages through with clarity. Effective communication helps employees to know the direction the organization is moving. Communication skills assist the employer to ascertain the likes, dislikes and needs of employees for better planning. Entrepreneurs as managers of their own outfits need to talk honestly to both staff and customers so that they can get honest answers in return. It has to be stressed here that to improve internal communications, self-employed business men and women have to be persons that can communicate clearly and consistently at all times. To avoid repeating mistakes following from analysis of positive and negative feedbacks, an action plan need be in place especially for external communication as it is a way of posting the establishment of the outside world. Furthermore, there is need to communicate the right message to the right people; project self-confidence and speak confidently as a quality of an entrepreneur, think carefully about a message before deciding on the strategy on how to best communicate it. They accept feedbacks about communications passed to others excluding prejudices of all kinds, always constructive and civil in interacting with others. They are able to apply the rules of good writing to external and internal communications, apply the rules of soft and hard selling to put across one’s points of view, make reports about the organization to be accurate, concise, clear and well structured and strive to understand how all relevant audiences react to the organization. In all, it is needful to acquire communication skills through entrepreneurship education so as to achieve better economic results.
Records Keeping Skills:
Records keeping are the ability of keeping vital information about the day to day business activities of an entrepreneur through documentation, computer and film strips and so on with a view to looking at it in the future. Such information is necessary to enhance effective planning, organization, control and evaluation of the progress of the business. The pace of change in today’s business world makes business records keeping on daily basis inevitable. Entrepreneurs are unaware of their business status and are unable to table sound decisions because of inadequate records keeping or failure to keep records up to date. Furthermore, due to lack of understanding of the functions of financial management entrepreneurs often neglect the values inherent in good records keeping. In addition, reliable business records are critical to managing a firm successfully.