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Six Must-Have Skills Every Entrepreneur Needs

written by: Carla Michelle•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/12/2010

Learn the six skills you need in order to excel at being an entrepreneur.

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    Entrepreneurial Skills

    What skills are needed to be an entrepreneur? There are many skills that entrepreneurs develop over time, but there are a few skills that every entrepreneur must have before opening their “doors" for business. Read through this list and if you find any skills that you need to work on, develop them while you are building your business plan. Successful entrepreneurs have to start with these six must-have skills.

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    #1 Self-Motivation

    The most important skill any entrepreneur needs is the ability to wake up in the morning and begin working. If you have been 10 minutes late to work everyday for the past five years, most likely that habit will not change if you own your own business. Not only do you need to be able to wake-up, but you also need to be able to begin and end work on time. Many first time entrepreneurs find themselves wasting away their day talking on the phone, filing and developing binders for clients that do not exist. Schedule your day and stick to your schedule.

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    #2 Self-Confidence

    Every entrepreneur needs to be confident in themselves, their product and their business. You need to know that your product can truly help people and that you are charging prices that are both fair to you and your clients.

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    #3 Ethics & Morals

    Ethics and morals are the foundation of every good entrepreneur. Early on you must decide what you and your business will stand for and what lines you will refuse to cross. Many entrepreneurs close their doors because the dollar outshines their morals. If you stray too far from your morals you will give yourself and your business a bad name. No one wants to do business with someone who will not stand up for their own morals.

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    #4 Time Management

    Every minute is valuable 

    As mentioned under Self-Motivation – Schedule your day and stick to your schedule. This cannot be emphasized enough. New entrepreneurs need to realize that every minute is valuable. When first starting out, most likely you will not have enough “work" to fill an eight hour day. This does not mean that you have time to take a 3 hour lunch with friends. Utilize this time to learn more skills related to your business, find ways to advertise and contact potential clients.

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    #5 Sales

    No matter how much you don’t like the idea of it, every business has to work with sales. Each industry and business has a unique way of handling their sales. As an entrepreneur, it is your job to figure out what type of sales you prefer and what type is best for your services or products. If you have ever worked in retail sales or advertising you already have an edge on most other hopeful business people. All entrepreneurs will benefit from sales seminars, books and motivational programs.

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    #6 Finance

    When in business, knowledge of finance is a must. Knowing how to balance a checkbook and keep track of numbered invoices is all most small businesses need to start out. The most important aspect of small business finance is scheduling time specifically for your finance management and doing it. Granted it helps to have an accounting degree or extensive QuickBooks knowledge but these skills are not mandatory.

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    Possessing or nurturing these skills before going into business will help ensure a successful outcome. So long as you have an excellent salable idea and these six entrepreneurial skills, nothing can stop you from doing your best.