It’s almost a cliche at this point, but it’s still true: the world of business can be a cut-throat one. In almost every industry, competition is fierce, especially given the duress under which the coronavirus pandemic has placed the world. The conditions for being a successful entrepreneur have always been exacting, but the world of business is, even more, demanding these days, so you’ll need to step up if you’ve got an idea you want to make a reality. Here are 10 things every successful entrepreneur needs in 2021.
Naturally, if you want to start a business of any kind, you’re going to need funding in order to do it. There are various ways you can accrue the kind of money you need in order to start up your business. For example, you could look into the possibility of short term loans, which could help you to get started before you’re really making a profit. You could also petition family and friends to help, or you could dip into your savings. However you do it, money is essential for starting a business.
Business success won’t come to you overnight. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of hard work before you can truly realise your dream. For this reason, every entrepreneur needs to display an incredible amount of dedication. There are going to be times when you’ll feel like giving up, but the mark of a true entrepreneur is pushing past those choke points and continuing on the road. When things look rough, don’t quit straight away; keep working at the coal face.
Again, it sounds like a traditional business cliche, but there will be times in an entrepreneur’s life when they will need to be somewhat ruthless. This doesn’t mean you’ll need to fulfil the stereotype of the emotionless businessperson, but it does mean you might need to make some difficult decisions about hiring processes or cutting certain aspects of your business. If you can’t face the truth and deal with it accordingly, you may not be cut out to be an entrepreneur.
Including this one so late in the list might seem foolish, but good business sense is crucial for an entrepreneur. It’s possible to learn this skill, whereas the others are arguably innate, and there’s a certain degree of learning on the job as well. As your business progresses, you’ll learn what decisions are best for it and which ones might hurt it, so if you do make some mistakes earlier on, don’t worry – good business sense will come with time.
While this is somewhat similar to the dedication, it is possible to be dedicated to your business and still to be relentlessly negative in your attitude. Keeping a positive outlook is crucial because the mark of a good entrepreneur is lifting a business out of tricky situations. If running a business was smooth sailing, then the failure rate for small businesses wouldn’t be so staggeringly high. When things look glum, keep your chin up and look for the positives.
When you start a business, you’re going to be living and breathing that business for the foreseeable future. Until the business is fully operable without you, there are going to be a lot of decisions falling onto your plate, and you’re not going to be able to delegate. That means you’ll need to dedicate a lot of your time to your business. This doesn’t mean you’re going to have no free time; it’s still important to draw a boundary between leisure time and work. Still, your business will dominate a lot of your life.
Marketing knowledge will be vital for your business, especially early on when you don’t have the money or inclination to hire a dedicated social media team. You’ll need to hit the streets (proverbially, of course), getting the word out about your business. This means having social media savvy, knowing how to get your message to the right people, and – perhaps most importantly – being able to create and maintain a brand for your business. Again, these skills will come with time.
Just like marketing, another area of your business you’ll need to handle personally at the outset is customer relations. Whoever your business is intended for, you’re eventually going to receive at least one complaint; there’s not a business out there that has a completely spotless customer service record. When this happens, you’ll need to know how to deal with the enquiry promptly and politely, and without taking it personally as well. It’s not easy, but it’s an essential skill.
You won’t get very far in the business world if you aren’t willing to compete with your rivals for market share. However, it’s important not to let this competition become personal at any stage. The business world is intensely competitive, but it doesn’t need to be vindictive. In fact, many of the businesses with whom you’re competing could one day become your collaborators, so you need to maintain positive relationships wherever you can. Still, at the end of the day, there isn’t room for every business in the world to thrive.
Chasing those golden opportunities is critical, but so is knowing when to stop. A good entrepreneur doesn’t just know when to sign the cheques; they also know when to put the pen away. This goes both for business decisions on the micro level and for the fate of the business as a whole. Sometimes, business endeavours just don’t work out, and part of being a good entrepreneur is accepting that gracefully and moving on. If you don’t, you could find yourself in worse trouble as a result.