By J. B. Fagoyinbo
An entrepreneur is someone who, within his capacity and willingness, organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business. An entrepreneur is an agent of change.
Entrepreneurship is the process of discovering new ways of combining resources along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses. In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources and capital can produce profit.
The entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation, risk-taking, passion for improvement in product and process quality, optimism about honest possibilities and wholehearted participation in the process of production. It is, also, an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.
To be able to achieve success an entrepreneur should obtain a higher market value through his new combination of resources than the market value these resources can generate elsewhere individually or in some other combination.
To effectively accomplish this he needs a combination of the following skills:
- Planning: Entrepreneurs must be able to develop business plans to meet goals in a variety of areas, including finance, marketing, production, sales and personnel.
- Communication: Entrepreneurs should be able to explain, discuss, sell and market their goods or services.
- Find and manage people. Only by learning to leverage employees, vendors and other resources will an entrepreneur build a scalable company. They need to learn to network to meet the right people. Entrepreneurs strive to guarantee they will get honest and timely feedback from all these sources.
- Interpersonal relationship: The ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with customers and clients, employees, financial lenders, investors, lawyers, accountants and other possible stakeholders, is crucial to the success of the entrepreneur’s business venture.
- Leadership: The ability to develop a vision for the company and to inspire employees to pursue it is imperative for success
- Marketing: Every entrepreneur is a salesperson whether they want to be or not. They are either selling their ideas, products or services to customers, investors or employees. They work to be there when customers are ready to buy. Alternately, they know how to let go and move on when they are not. Good marketing skills are critical to entrepreneurial success.
- Resilience. The ability to weather the ups and downs of any business since it never goes exactly the way the business plan described it. This skill enables the entrepreneur to keep going when the outlook is bleak.
- Focus. After setting a long-term vision, knowing how to “laser focus” on the very next step to get closer to the ultimate goal. There are so many distracting forces when trying to build a business that this skill is not easy to master.
- Invest for the long-term. Most entrepreneurs are not patient and focus only on what comes next, rather than where the company needs to go. Overnight success may take 7 to 10 years. Entrepreneurs need to stop, pause and plan on a quarterly basis.
- Learn. Successful entrepreneurs realize they don’t know everything and are aware that the market is constantly changing. They stay up to date on new systems, technology, and industry trends.
- Self-reflection. Allow downtime to reflect on the past and plan for the future. Always working only leads to burnout physically and emotionally.
- Self-reliance: While there is a lot of help for the entrepreneur, in the end, they need to be resourceful enough to depend on themselves.
You will notice that in this discussion we have not mentioned finance as a basic ingredient of an entrepreneur though finance is required for investment. The major requirements of the entrepreneur are capacity and willingness with the ability to organize, manage, and assume the risks of an investment.