Not everyone can put on the shoes of an entrepreneur. Apart from having the courage to face uncertainty, you also need to be a risk-taker. Hence, we see limited people taking the big leap and even when they do, not many are successful! The number is even lesser when it comes to women in business. Women generally play safe yet, they have a proven record for success when it comes to business. Take a look at the likes of Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Simone Tata, Ekta Kapoor, and Manju Bhatia and you’ll get a drift of what we are saying.
There are a few skills that one needs to develop to become a successful entrepreneur. As a woman entrepreneur, developing the below mentioned 10 skills is imperative to be successful.
Networking: One of the first things that one must do to become a successful entrepreneur is to hone her networking skills. Isolation will not earn you anything while on the other hand, you have got nothing to lose when you network. The more people you get to know and interact with, the more opportunities open up. Build a strong relationship with powerful and well-connected people. Ask your friends to introduce you to people, take part in conferences and workshops that allow you to meet like-minded people and also people from the same field. Networking can happen anywhere, even when you are travelling in the bus, so keep yourself open to opportunities.
Delegating: A lot of people go wrong in the way they do things. They try to do everything by themselves and end up going nowhere. One of the most important traits of a successful business person is delegation. You need to inculcate the art of delegation in your daily life as it is one of the most sought after skills in business. You can’t run a successful company all by yourself, you need people to believe in and share the same vision as yours. Start it at home and then learn to adapt the same at work. Determine the best way to motivate people and achieve your goals for the greater benefit of the organisation.
Grow a thick skin: It simply means that you need to learn to be more resilient than you already are to avoid getting affected by things easily. There will be a lot of setbacks as you’re in a business and you’ll find it difficult to deal with them if you are not able to bounce back fast enough. You need to condition your mind and develop mental toughness that will help you deal with any situation, whether the crisis is big or small. Don’t pay heed to what other people have to say unless you are sure that it’ll benefit you in some way.
Sales: This is a skill that any and every entrepreneur needs, no matter what gender. But some women entrepreneurs might have to work a little extra hard to develop this skill as they tend to be shy. While marketing is important to create the brand image, sales is what will drive the business and will help you make money. Most successful entrepreneurs are known to come from a sales background.
Communication: You can’t network or sell if you don’t communicate well. So, work hard on developing good communication skills for they will come in handy in every situation that you face as an entrepreneur. The way you communicate with clients, prospective customers, and your employees says a lot about you. It is very important to build a loyal set of employees and for that you need to be able to communicate well. Charm your customers to make them come back to you again and again. Investors will be impressed only when you are able to communicate your ideas well.
Negotiating: This is yet another skill that you’ll need at every level as an entrepreneur, whether it is to deal with customers, employees, investors, or vendors. It is also one of the most powerful skills in the world. You must know how to negotiate for lower prices with vendors, higher prices with customers, and for better investments with investors. If it is not one of your strengths, then learn how to learn and cultivate it.
Market research: As an entrepreneur, you need to be able to conduct market research that will provide you with key information about your particular industry which in turn will help you develop your business plan. You need to conduct market research on the industry to be able to identify trends and competition and also customers to know their demographics and profiles.
Developing business plan: When you assume your role of an entrepreneur, you also need to know how to create business plans. It is not only to present the idea to investors, but also for your own benefit as it will allow you to chart out a growth plan. Developing a business plan right at the starting will help you plan your future success and will arm you to deal with critical situations. This will also help you in adapting to the changing market situation.
Open to learning: This skill will go a long way in helping you develop a business. Be open to learning, you can learn from anyone and everyone. You don’t have to be an expert in a particular field but must acquire different skills to become a success story. So apart from learning from people, keep yourself abreast with things happening in the industry by reading up online.
Be a master: Learn to be your own master and take charge of your success. Women in general tend to credit their success to anything but themselves. Have confidence in your ability and courage. No one will invest in you if you don’t believe in yourself.
Business is not easy, especially when it comes to being a woman entrepreneur. So work extra hard to develop these skills that will help you overcome your fears too!
Guest Author– Dr. Som Singh has relentlessly pursued her dream of simplifying management and
marketing. She spent a decade in the corporate world, working as a marketing head with various multinational companies. She is now a start-up advisor, angel investor, Nasscom 10K, Microsoft and Target Accelerator mentor and entrepreneur who founded Unspun Consulting Group, a technology-based marketing consulting firm. She has also mentored start-ups like; Taxi4Sure, Chargebee, Mobstac, Hotelogix, TookiTaki, Explara, Indianstage, Unboxed, Indix and has also invested in few. She also conceived the idea of Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CEE) to bridge the gap between the policy makers and the entrepreneurs. The motto is to help entrepreneurs ‘Be Heard.’(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory)
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- Manju Bhatia
- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw
- Simone Tata
- business finance
- Human Interest
- Ekta Kapoor