Having an entrepreneurial mind is great. However, when you get down to the nitty gritty involved with actually starting your own business, you need more than a good idea. You need business savvy and a well-rounded skillset to ensure you successfully launch your entity. What’s more, you need to unpack your strengths and faults beforehand too so that you know where you need to upskill.
Entrepreneurs need to consider how their future looks
By having a vision of where your company will end up, you are able to ascertain exactly what you need to do to get there. You also need to account for failure. If you fail in one direction, what’s the next option?
Where will you end up if you don’t meet your goals? You need a plan A but also a plan B and C. And you need to find out what you should to do to make sure you can make each of those plans work. But this means that you need to upskill yourself accordingly and ensure that you have the knowledge needed for excellent end results
Upskilling is the underlying business of every entrepreneur
Now upskilling could mean that you need to enrol in some courses that offer you technical or business skills which will help you boldly enter the marketplace. You might end up having a great idea but have no clue as to how to get it up and running.
For instance, perhaps you have an excellent idea for an app within an industry that you’re passionate about. Now you may have all the knowledge about your chosen industry and you know that having an app can make you a lot of money but you have no knowledge on how apps work.
Alternatively, you may want to upskill yourself in some soft skills. If you envisage that your company will end up needing a number of staff members, you will need to make sure you have strong people skills.
For instance, if you’re running an ecommerce website, you’ll eventually need a warehouse which means you’ll need staff to fill it. Overseeing a large group of employees will require you to have good soft skills.
You’ll be expected to communicate clearly, keep them motivated and be able to handle people when they’re having problems at work or even personally.
Don’t jump in the proverbial deep end
You need to plan your entering into the entrepreneurial game. You need to make sure you have prepared enough.
Jumping in with two feet, and possibly your eyes closed, will land you in trouble. In fact, most entrepreneurs move quite slowly into their own business. It’s best to do it this way.
Continue working in your regular job while saving up to create a safety net of money for “just in case”. Also, spend time after hours networking with those who are currently in the startup game or in the industry you wish to enter into.
Making connections ahead of when you’d like to launch is a smart idea. You can find out how others managed to make a success of their ideas and essentially this will be the beginning of your competitor research that you can use for a market analysis later on.
Specific skills to focus on before you start
Before you make any type of bold step into the entrepreneurial game, make sure you look into courses that will benefit you in the long run. As mentioned, focus on upskilling yourself in your specific industry but also run an audit over your skillset as it currently stands. Then go ahead and sign up for necessary courses that will help your business.
Have you ever completed a sales and marketing course? Sales and marketing courses are a must for all entrepreneurs. And if you haven’t completed one, then do so immediately. You need at least the basic knowledge needed to set up marketing strategies and close deals.
How are your customer service skills? What about your ability to lead? And can you easily stand up and deliver a speech? These types of skills you can learn through completing business courses. What’s more, you can walk away with certifications at the end of it. This is beneficial for many reasons but also because, if all else fails, your CV will be peppered with certifications that’ll assist you with finding a new job. This might very well be your plan C.
Author: Megan Sell
Megan only discovered her love for writing at the age of 28. Before that she spent her time in the theatre world and then in the magazine industry, where she realised the sweet reward that writing can deliver. After building up her portfolio Megan ventured into the digital realm to try her hand at the online game. Now she is the editor of The Cradle, an African entrepreneurial website that advises entrepreneurs and small business owners across the continent.