If you want to rule your business, then familiarize yourself with the skill sets that entrepreneurs need to run sustainable businesses. Companies don't fail because they can't compete against their competitors. Competition is just a part of doing business. The real reason businesses fail is due to the lack of one or more of these skill sets. We asked our founders what they thought, and they shared their personal experiences of what it takes to run sustainable businesses.
So, what are the six skill sets that every founder should embody?
A Man's Cave, LLC
"One, you should have a vision. Two, what I learned is you need to have people that are smarter than you to help you execute your vision," said Judith. Having experts that can help you bring your vision to life will help you to go further than you could imagine. Judith says discipline is another important asset. There are many distractions, but discipline enables you to go from dreaming on the sidelines to creating something. Judith says you have to have those skill sets and those characteristics to grow your business and sustain it.
Expenses were a harsh lesson for Ehi. "It's the little expenses that can sink a whole ship. It's that whole where you're losing money, and you need to plug that," she said. The money leaks in your business are what can turn your whole ship upside down. Ehi always reviews the expenses and continues to be strategic and finding creative ways to increase her profit margins. She suggests that you negotiate and find more affordable suppliers every quarter you review your expenses, which will continue to keep your costs as low as possible. Keep an eye on your numbers because you can do $3 million in revenue but have expenses of $2.5 million. You're wasting your time," she said.
Black Girls Who Paint
Resilience is the key to success. "We're always going to be put in positions that's going to make us uncomfortable or an unforeseen circumstance. We have to be ready to pivot. There will always be high highs and low lows. Try to stay grounded, celebrate the wins, knowing anything can change, and that's okay. It's not a representation of my hard work," she says.
The Nile List
"You have to be able to manage yourself and others, but most importantly, managing yourself," says Khadijah. As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself all over the place and struggling with time management. As a result, you have to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Entrepreneurs tend to fall prey to doing everything themselves, filling every role without realizing that they don't have to. Learn how to manage others to do those things through outsourcing.
Managing people is a different skill that needs nurturing. It's a skill many people don't realize is essential. "I have to manage myself and organize myself, so my team can do what they need to do," says Khadijah. Things will not work well if you don't manage yourself first. As a business owner, you have to train them, make sure that they have the systems they need, and learn to correct course. And because you're spending money on these employees, you want to ensure that everyone is doing their job correctly, so you don't lose money.
The most critical skill in business is curiosity and the ability to continue to learn because once you believe you know something, you stunt your growth. Curiosity has been an incredible asset for Shana.
"They need to be self-critical. I think when people are building their companies, they're not open to constructive criticism, and that's because your own personal ego can stop you from being critical. You shouldn't be hypercritical of yourself but think from a different perspective, and be honest with yourself."
Bianca continues to say be observant of how your narratives could potentially be impacting your business as there are many times where objectivity is a critical element in the process. Be Careful of tunnel vision and make sure that you can see beyond your peripheral.
Share with us what you think the most important skill sets are.