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5 Basic skills to master as an Entrepreneur

When starting out in business, you will need to wear a few different hats. It is important to have skills when starting and running a business. It doesn’t mean you have to be an expert on the get go. Skills can be learned by researching on the web, watching YouTube videos and observing how other people do certain things.

Here are the 5 most important basic skills to master as new Entrepreneur:

  1. Computer skills

It is a skill most of us have learned over the years and nowadays you cannot run a business without the knowledge to use a computer or smartphone as everything is online these days.

Basic knowledge of Word and Excel can go a long way as it the most used medium to write business plans and keep track of your business financials. There are also many online tools you can use for almost every aspect of your business like bookkeeping, marketing and even simple to do lists and so forth.Market research

2. Market Research

This is quite an important skill to have as it will help you identify if there is actually a market for the product or service you are trying to sell. Many new entrepreneurs come up with an idea they are passionate about and jump right into the process of starting the business without doing proper research on it. The main reason most new businesses fail within their first year is often because of improper or no market research. Google is a great place to start and you can even get insights on how many people actually search for a product or service you are offering. https://trends.google.com/trends

3. Social Media

Everyone is on social media nowadays and you cannot afford to not take advantage of it as it is exactly where your customers will be. You just have to learn how to promote to the right audience on social media and create content that will add value to your target market.

Facebook ads is most probably the most effective way to get your product or service in front of your preferred customer. Old methods like flyers and newspaper ads are fading away fast and the amount of reach you can get with print ads are very limited.

So, start by creating your Facebook page and post content that can add value to your customers.

4. Relationship building

Make friends and build mutually beneficial relationships that will give you the potential for new opportunities in future. Be active with your community’s businesses and collaborate with other businesses as much as possible. Relationships can go along way especially when you need the help of another company to build a website or design a logo.

5. Financial skills

When starting or running a business, you have to understand and know your numbers at all times. Do not just hand everything to your accountant and assume they will run that part of your business for you. Your accountant only makes sure you comply with tax and bookkeeping practices and compile your financial statements. It will be up to you to analyse the financial data and make adjustments within your business to reach a goal called profit.

Make sure to read up on the following to make sure you know your numbers at all times:

  1. Understanding your financial statements
  2. Difference between Gross and nett profit
  3. Difference between Profit margin % and Mark-up %
  4. Breakeven figure
  5. Financial forecast

I highly recommend you keep track of your financials from the start using book keeping software like Xero or SageOne Accounting as it is very user friendly and will help to always know what is happening in your business financially.

Business tips

Important tips to consider when starting a business

Creating brand assets

So many of you think, now what is brand assets….

Well, that is your logo, colours and fonts you use throughout your business. It is the unique look and feel of your business so that people can recognise you everywhere.

The tool I often use to create free logos and artwork for my business is Canva.com. It is easy to use and you have a lot of options to start creating your brand assets from a logo to facebook posts and so forth.

Make sure your branding is consistent throughout all your social media platforms so your customers can recognise you everywhere you appear. That brings us to the next tip.

Create a facebook page

Your customer is on facebook, no matter what industry you are in. Make sure to create a facebook page for your business where your customers can find you, IT IS FREE. If you need help setting up a facebook page, go check out my Facebook page tutorial on my YouTube channel. Click here to go to the tutorial video on how to create a Facebook page

Write and practice your elevator pitch

This is one of the most important things you can do for your business. An elevator pitch is a short and sweet description of your business It contains details about who your customer is, what value you offer and how you offer it. It should not take longer than 30 seconds to explain what you do.

Have you ever been asked the question: What do you do for a living? Then you either bore people with the technical details or you don’t even know how to answer it.

This is where your elevator pitch comes in handy. You should create one and practice it in front of the mirror every day. You will need it when you least expect it.

My Example:

Hi, my name is Sydney Webb. I am an entrepreneur. I am the founder of Hello Entrepreneurs, a community of small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs where I teach tips and tricks to make their journey a little easier especially when starting out.

I always appreciate feedback and new ideas, so please share them in the comments below.

Business tips

Why you are not making sales

Can you think of phone call you had where someone on the other side tried to sell something to you? Did you buy into the deal they offered? If yes, then I think you can agree it was not something you were shopping around for or even something you needed. That, my friend, was a born sales person who didn’t take no for answer.

Think about it. That sales person persuaded you into buying their product or service and it worked. That is how easy it is to make a sale.

Why do most people fail when it comes to sales then? It comes down to:

  1. fear of looking or sounding silly
  2. fear of being a bother
  3. fear of asking their worth
  4. fear of rejection

Sales is a skill that can be learned and you can overcome fear by facing your fears.

Conclusion:

Don’t be afraid that you will look silly or be a bother. People will buy your product or service when they see your passion and dedication as well as the value you add to their lives by something they didn’t even know they needed. The only fear you should have, is the fear of being in the same place in a year’s time because you didn’t make that sale

Hustle on!

Original idea Business tips

Stop looking for an original idea

So many people think the only way to make money is to have an original idea that nobody thought of. In many cases it could be true, but an original idea comes with its own challenges that you don’t have with an existing product. And you also need more capital to create awareness around that idea. Just think why has nobody thought of that or why has nobody pursued that as a business. Do your research thoroughly.

Take a look at Apple Inc. for instance. Did Steve Jobs invent the computer or smartphone? Absolutely not. He took an existing product and by adjusting it a bit, he built his own brand around it. There are so many Big companies out there who makes a lot of money but are not inventors.

I hear quite a lot of new ideas on a daily basis and some of those ideas need to make money quickly because, well, life happens. I personally love new inventions and will always encourage people to create a business out of nothing, but with that said, it will definitely a be a long-term investment and capital-intensive process and not for the feint hearted.

So, my personal advice and opinion today would be to start your business, live the dream, test an existing product or service. Many will now ask: How will I then be able to compete with all the competitors with the same product or service? The answer will be the “Apple sauce” you pour over it. It will be additional value you add to your product or service that will make customers buy from you rather than from your competitors.

The head start you have with an existing product or service has great opportunities to make money from the get go while a new invention takes time to develop and there are no guarantees that it will even sell.

So, go out there and find the right product or service you are passionate about and hustle hard.

Business tips

Finding the perfect business idea

I recently attended an Entrepreneur’s workshop and learned a few things I want everyone to know. One of the things that stood out was to find a balance to help your idea or business to succeed.

So, you want to start your own business and think you have the passion to succeed but cannot seem to find that perfect Million-rand idea. Let me tell you something, passion is not enough to succeed even if you have a great idea.

There are 3 major parts in helping you to find a potentially successful idea and that is:

  1. Skill

You probably have gained experience and skill throughout your 9-5 career that could help you in taking the step into the business world. Skill is important when starting a business. An accountant will most likely not start a mechanical business as his/her skills are numbers based. So think about what you are good at and use that as a starting point to find out what your business is going to be.

  • Likes & Passion         

You probably wouldn’t like to work at a job you hate, why would you start a business based on things you are not passionate about. Passion plays a big role in the success of a venture because you will put in effort to succeed. Many entrepreneurs start a business that they are passionate about but often than not lack the skills and many other factors. So, the lesson here is that passion alone will not make you a millionaire but plays a vital role in any business.

  • The product or service meet a real need

You can have all the passion and skills on earth, but if your product or service has no need in the market, your idea will not succeed. However, it is possible to create a need and disrupt a new market but it will be a huge gamble and soak up a lot of capital to raise awareness around your product or service. If you can find a product or service that already has a need and you have the skills and passion to run with it, you have a winning product

With these 3 elements you can start a profitable business. It is just a matter of finding the right product or business for you.

P.S. Your idea doesn’t have to be original, just add your value and “magic” for it to stand out from the competition.