what is an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is:

An entrepreneur sees an opportunity which others do not fully recognise, to meet an unsatisfied demand or to radically improve the performance of an existing business. They have unquenchable self-belief that this opportunity can be made real through hard work, commitment and the adaptability to learn the lessons of the market along the way.

Characteristics of an entrepreneur

5 Skills Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Master

1. Communication. When you’re a solopreneur, you may think communication is less of an issue, since you don’t have staff to interact with. But you’ve still got to maintain clear lines of communication with your customers via email and phone, as well as ensure that the message you send through your website and social-media profiles is the one you want.

2. Branding (personal and business). Whether you’re striving to brand your business or looking to establish yourself as an expert in your industry, knowing how to do so online is essential to your success.

Branding starts with being active on social media, and is shaped through content publication, whether on or off your website. Be aware, though, that poor content can lead to negative branding. It’s important to know how to deliver content and resources that your target audience wants and will find valuable.

3. Sales. You may not identify with salespeople, but the fact is, if you run a business, you’re involved in sales. You might have a sales team that handles all of your company’s sales, but every time you deliver your elevator pitch about your business, negotiate with a vendor, or even just persuade anyone to do anything, you’re tapping into sales skills.

4. Strategy. It’s easy to think about the “right-now” aspect of your business, because the results are easy to see. But what about the bigger picture, long-term challenges and goals? How often are you thinking about those?

Without a constant eye on your business’ strategy and skilled assessment of that strategy relative to the industry and your competition, you can’t hope to grow it over time and remain competitive in the marketplace.

5. Finance. While you don’t need to be a CPA to run a successful business, you should still have a decent understanding of your finances, profit margins, cash flow and funding. The more comfortable you are with all of these numbers, the more confident you’ll be, and the better decisions you’ll make.

If you have an accountant to handle all the number crunching, that’s great, but don’t use them as a crutch to keep you from digging in and really understanding where your money’s going. It’s your duty to rein in costs, optimize efficiency and find ways to grow revenue.

How important is an entrepreneur

1. Chief Customer Officer. Lets face it if you don't have customers, you don't have much of a business. Here's the challenge many business owners face: they confuse great customer experience with great customer service. For example, they think smiling, saying thank you and being nice will get them where they need to go which is no longer the case. The customer experience involves every touch point a customer has with your business and isn't about tactics, its about creating a true customer experience strategy and then executing on it. Bain & Company says 80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8% of their customers agree. There are hundreds (thousands, even) of great books, articles and blogs you can read on creating your customer experience strategy, but the bottom line is you need to have one.

2. Chief Financial Officer. Ah, the part of running a business almost everyone would like to get rid of bookkeeping, accounting and tax. The reality is these are some of the most important functions in your business and your numbers actually tell a story a story of where you've been, how healthy your business is and what you should change to be successful in the long term. If numbers aren't your thing, find someone who loves them (like an accountant or bookkeeper) and make sure you have regular, proactive, on-going communication with them. If you leave a meeting with your accountant feeling confused, wondering what they just said, you simply have the wrong accountant and its time to find a new one.

3. Chief People Officer. You may not have employees yet but nonetheless, you're now in a leadership role. The most important person you need to look after? You! Its easy as an entrepreneur to get caught up in everything that needs to get done and find yourself working all hours of the day and night. Doing something you love and are passionate about makes time fly by. However, while you're caught up in the adrenaline rush called entrepreneurship you can get burned out, so make sure you take time to look after you and exercise, eat properly and get some rest and down time. You'll need it to keep fuelling the passion!