by Craig Goodliffe, Founder & CEO of Cyberbacker
Many people take a chance on themselves and dive into the world of entrepreneurship, choosing to start their own businesses. However, without a few essential skills, aspiring entrepreneurs will, unfortunately, be unprepared for the challenges that leading a company will present.
1. Make a calendar and stick to it.
The first skill that an entrepreneur must learn to succeed is time management. Setting a calendar and sticking to it is one of the best steps a leader can take — for the health of themselves and their business. Sticking to a calendar will not only ensure that every task gets done by its deadline but also that the entrepreneur’s workload does not become unmanageable.
Once a business reaches a certain stage of its growth, it becomes time for an entrepreneur to learn how to delegate tasks responsibly. A strong business leader can determine when a task should go on their calendar and when it should go on the calendar of someone who works for them. Some tasks, such as scheduling appointments, are necessary for the functioning of the business, but the business leader’s time is better spent on more demanding tasks.
2. Commit to continuous improvement.
Entrepreneurs should not forget to leave time on their calendars to continue learning. The goal of becoming an entrepreneur is to experience continual growth.
There is no way to grow a business without learning. Activities as simple as reading books and listening to podcasts are enough for an entrepreneur to continue to learn, but attending conferences, workshops, and seminars can also be an extremely valuable way to spend their time.
3. Learn how to manage expenses.
One of the most critical skills for an entrepreneur is managing their company’s expenses. Managing expenses encompasses a significant majority of an entrepreneur’s duties, particularly in the early stages of their business. However, it is also important to remember that money is one of the main reasons that new businesses fail. Being unable to manage the business’s expenses is one of the worst things an entrepreneur can do.
An entrepreneur’s best friends are tools like budgets, revenue sheets, financial projections, and forecasts. Although these might seem like little more than a bunch of abstract numbers to some, they are essential in assessing a business’s current situation and understanding how much financial wiggle room it has. It takes time for a young company to reach profitability, but leaders must be able to manage expenses so that they are not hemorrhaging money at an unsustainable rate.
4. Understand legal compliance.
Another essential skill for entrepreneurs is an understanding of legal compliance. Every business has specific rules and regulations by which they have to abide, and not knowing these is an easy way to get in trouble. Although busy entrepreneurs might be tempted to cut corners and take the easy way out, these rules are in place to protect both the consumer and themselves.
Of course, the most important reason to understand legal compliance is that it will keep entrepreneurs and their companies out of hot water. Penalties for lack of compliance can range from fines to something more substantial, like losing the business or even jail time. However, businesspeople who understand all of the laws and regulations applicable to their business will also be able to understand the loopholes and how they can flirt with the edge of what is allowed. This is the key to maximizing your business’s abilities without taking things too far.
5. Manage emotions.
Effective entrepreneurs should also be able to manage their emotions. It can be easy for an entrepreneur to become overwhelmed with the amount of responsibility they have at any given time. The lines between work and home often blur for an entrepreneur, meaning that achieving a positive work-life balance is often difficult. However, an entrepreneur must be fresh and reasonable while making important business decisions, and without regulating their emotions, achieving this is nearly impossible.
An inability to manage emotions could also significantly affect employee morale. Employees look to the leaders of their companies as an example, and if they see that their boss is constantly unhappy, chances are that they will begin to feel unhappy too. Entrepreneurs can avoid this by taking time to take care of themselves by doing things they enjoy, meditating, or doing anything else they find relaxing.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of starting a new business, entrepreneurs can easily forget some of the basics of what they do. However, these fundamental qualities — time management, managing expenses, understanding legal compliance, and regulating emotions — are necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur. Learning and honing these skills early in one’s career will prep entrepreneurs for the best chance to thrive.
Craig Goodliffe is the CEO of Cyberbacker. Launched in January of 2018, Cyberbacker is one of the fastest-growing remote working companies. For over a decade now, Craig Goodliffe has also been coaching people to achieve – and exceed – their goals. Craig enjoys coaching people who are truly committed to hitting their goals and helping them uncover their purpose.