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5 Most Important Business Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Have

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, these are the skills you need to have.
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Running your own business means having to wear all different types of hats. Whether it's your marketing hat, your sales hat, or your general people skills hat, you're going to need to know how to court sales, and on the other side of operations, you are also going to need to know how to run a balanced account and continue to grow your wealth.

Though there are many business skills that a successful entrepreneur will have, the following five skills are the ones that you absolutely need to make your business successful:

1. Sales

This one is a no-brainer--of course you are going to need sales skills in order to run your business! After all, marketing can drive customers in to your business, but sales are going to be what keeps them coming back and keeps putting money into your pocket. It is no wonder why most entrepreneurs actually come from a sales background!

2. Planning

Taking one bad step can make or break your business, especially when it is still in the early stages of development. Entrepreneurs that are successful with their ventures make a plan and stick to it, thinking out every risk, benefit, and cost of an option available to them. They also make their plans realistic and factor in things such as time and budget in order to make their plans a reality.

3. Communication

Communication is an underlying skill for many others in business (sales included). Communication is how you will be able to cultivate loyal employees, charm customers into coming back time and time again, and court investors and other sources for increasing revenue for your business. This skill can also come in handy when dealing with vendors or any other necessary business services that may apply to your venture--being friendly in business-to-business relationships is a sure-fire way to be treated a little bit better, therefore making at least one aspect of your job a little bit easier.

4. Customer Focus

Successful entrepreneurs keep a narrow focus--on the customer that is paying their bills. They do not forget that everything that they do is for the customer, since the customer is the one that is allowing them to do anything in the first place. A good business owner will always have time for a customer, whether they have a complaint or praise. Having good customer focus will mean that you see every customer as an opportunity to do better and grow, versus an annoyance or a difficulty.

5. Curiosity

The best business skill has always been a healthy curiosity. This will lead you to look into what your competitors are doing, and it will also allow you to utilize new technologies to the best of your ability to streamline your business and even reach out to new customers. When the only limit you have is what you can imagine and apply, just about anything is possible.

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: Aug 11, 2014

MURRAY NEWLANDS

Murray Newlands is a startup adviser, investor, and entrepreneur. He's written for many major publications, such as VentureBeat and Entrepreneur.




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