9 Skills of an Entrepreneur and How To Develop Them

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Entrepreneurs start businesses, often managing them throughout the beginning phases of growth. To successfully start and manage a business, entrepreneurs often have several specific skills sets that allow their businesses to continue to function effectively. Learning about entrepreneurial skills may help you decide if becoming one is the right path for you. In this article, we discuss the definition of entrepreneurial skills, provide examples of several common skills of an entrepreneur, describe how to improve these skills and give examples of how to highlight them.

What are entrepreneurial skills?

Entrepreneurial skills are abilities and knowledge that individuals gain to start and successfully run a business. Entrepreneurship often requires self-motivation and risk-taking that can produce enormous rewards if executed well enough. The entrepreneurial mindset often involves taking risks in search of financial gain for personal fulfilment, instead of maximising profits for shareholders only. The most successful entrepreneurs often exhibit many different abilities at all levels in their organisation.

9 skills of an entrepreneur

Here are examples of entrepreneurial skills, with descriptions of each skill:

1. Communication and listening

Business owners and entrepreneurs often develop effective communication skills before starting their businesses. From active listening to discussions during meetings, being able to communicate effectively can help you work with others to build your business. Likewise, effective communication can also translate to how you promote awareness of your brand. For instance, effective and clear messages through emails, content marketing, social media and other advertising methods can positively influence how you reach your target market.

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2. Problem-solving

As both business owners and entrepreneurs, you may also need to be able to effectively address problems that may arise. For instance, if your company's website goes down, or if you encounter copyright issues, you may need to work with the right professionals to solve the problem. Likewise, your business may face problems when dealing with clients. For example, clients may make complaints about certain matters that you can address effectively by offering them positive solutions.

3. Time management

Time management is important because it can help you stay on top of all operations within your business or company. Time management skills are also important because they help you plan for future operations and activities within your company or business. For example, you may use time management skills to plan a release of a product while also managing your business's budget.

4. Creativity

Whether you want to develop new products or create new services, you may need to be able to come up with creative ideas. Creativity is important for entrepreneurs because it can help them solve problems in innovative ways. For instance, if your business has limited funds, you may need to find ways that allow you to create products or services that don't require a lot of money in the long run. Creative ideas can also help your company adopt alternative marketing strategies.

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5. Self-motivation

Self-motivation is important because it helps you push through challenges without the need for external motivation. Self-motivation is also important because it can help you develop your business or company in a professional manner that allows you to achieve success in the long run. For example, when starting a business with only a few employees, you may need to self-motivate in order to grow the business in its beginning stages.

6. Collaboration

As an entrepreneur, you often need to be able to work with others effectively. The right people in the right jobs can become your main support team. Likewise, if you want to grow your company or business, you may also need to place people in the right jobs, such as project managers, designers and marketers. Effective entrepreneurs are able to be a source of value to others by offering unique perspectives that can help grow their company.

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7. Evaluating your business and company

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you may need to evaluate the performance of your business and company. This is important because you need to know how well your company is doing and what you need to do in the future. Likewise, as a business owner, it is also important that you look at the big picture of how your business or company is performing as a whole.

8. Networking and marketing

For entrepreneurs and business owners who want to grow their companies, their success often originates from networking with those in related industries. This can help you find strategic partners who are willing to promote your products or services. Likewise, your reputation as an entrepreneur may grow through good reputation management on social media sites.

9. Financial management

Finally, as an entrepreneur or business owner, you may need to understand basic financial matters. This is important because managing finances well allows you to avoid financial problems that may arise. For instance, avoiding financial problems may allow you to spend more time focusing on other factors that can help grow your company.

How to improve entrepreneurial skills

There can be many different methods that you can use to develop your entrepreneurial skills. You might take a class, attend a seminar or take part in a networking workshop. You might also consider the following steps to help you improve your skills:

1. Take a course

One highly effective method to improving your skills as an entrepreneur is to take a course on business, marketing, financial planning. Taking a business course, for example, can help you develop the business management skills necessary to achieve success as an entrepreneur. You may also complete a formal degree in several fields, such as business administration, marketing, finance or economics, in order to continue to develop your skills.

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2. Attend events and workshops

You might also attend entrepreneurial workshops and networking events. Many of these types of events may have experienced business owners and entrepreneurs speaking about business and networking topics. Aside from the direct benefit of learning, you can also gain valuable contacts, talk with experienced brand owners and speakers and get insights into your business.

3. Seek out experienced mentors

Much like asking questions in a class, seeking out mentors can also be highly beneficial to developing your entrepreneurial skills. You might shadow a brand owner for a day to observe how they manage their business or you might meet with a professional group once a week to discuss how you are implementing various skills and resources to build your brand. Often, experienced and successful entrepreneurs are more than happy to help mentor you and offer their professional advice.

4. Build your leadership skills

You might seek out opportunities to be the team leader or manager to help you practise these skills. For example, you may take a course in leadership from an accredited institution. As you perform in leadership roles, you may also ask for feedback from teammates and other colleagues to help you further develop your management and leadership skills.

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5. Learn how to manage finances

Another key aspect of owning your own business is that you most likely may manage your business's finances. You can usually employ a financial planner for assistance, however, it can be to your advantage to learn about the financial processes that take place within a business. There are many accounting, budgeting and finance courses that can help you develop these skills.

Entrepreneurial skills in the workplace

As you develop your entrepreneurial skills, you can practise applying your skills in the workplace by:

  • Finding leadership opportunities, such as managing specific projects or teams and requesting feedback on your performance as a team leader to help you improve these skills

  • Helping co-workers organise and manage their time by helping them develop strategies that keep them organised and on task

  • Learning new skills that can transfer to owning your own business-like financial analysis, budgeting or networking skills

  • Learning from your supervisors by observing the approaches they use to manage teams, make decisions and collaborate with other managers

Ways to highlight entrepreneurial skills

You might also consider highlighting your entrepreneurial skills as you look for other employment opportunities. The following information illustrates how you might showcase your skills on your CV, in a cover letter and during an interview:

  • Entrepreneurial skills on a CV: You might consider highlighting your technical skills, management and leadership skills and other entrepreneurial skills that can show employers your professionalism and your motivation to succeed.

  • Entrepreneurial skills in a cover letter: You might use your cover letter to illustrate how your skills have helped you achieve success in past roles. For instance, if your management skills helped build an effective team, you might mention it in your cover letter.

  • Entrepreneurial skills during an interview: Consider discussing your strengths and how they helped you complete different tasks and projects. You might also highlight your entrepreneurial skills by offering insight into how you manage and build a network of like-minded professionals.

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