What skills do I need as an entrepreneur?
Many people have often wondered, “What does it take to start a business?”. Many who consider this question simply do not know how to take their idea and turn it into a means of living. Others see the required skills and back down, afraid that they might not have what it takes. This article is here to address some of these skills and to challenge the notion that the entrepreneurial lifestyle isn’t for “the unskilled.”. In this article we’ll emphasize the key skills required to market your products and to get the word out about your business. While Marketing is only a component of the business acumen required to start and maintain a business, it is often the most daunting. This article will help to address those apprehensions and to help you utilize the existing skills you already have and understand what you need to do in order to further develop those skills on behalf of your business.
Knowing Your Product
Before you can market your product, you must fully understand it. If there’s anyone who knows your product better than you, you’ve made a critical error. So, whether you’re selling something you designed and created yourself or you’re joining an existing team and selling what someone else has created; it is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your business that you expertly familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of what you have to offer. If you do not know what it is that you’re asking someone else to buy, you cannot expect them to trust you enough in order to buy it.
Knowing your product is a skill that most entrepreneurs initially forget to take into account, especially when joining with an existing organization and line of products. However, it is a necessary skill that the best entrepreneurs have mastered. It allows you to convey not only the abilities of your products but the good faith that you have in what it can do. When you understand what your product is, what makes it different, and why it is important you can address the ways in which it will not just meet but exceed the needs and expectations of your customers and clients.
Empathy- Understanding a potential customer’s needs
This takes us into the next key skill you need to successfully market and sell as an entrepreneur, empathy. Can you connect with an individual, whether personally or digitally, and understand their needs? Empathy can be easy or complex depending on the nature of your product and that is what can make this a difficult skill to master. If your product is a candy bar, the surface level need to eat is much easier to understand than it is with more complex products like industrial machinery. However, every product is made to satisfy a want or need and when you understand your product, you identify the consistent needs and wants that is satisfies. When you have an existing idea of what needs your product meets, you can anticipate the driving factors that bring any particular customer or client to the table.
Empathy is a learned skillset that is acquired through conversation and through information learned about your client. As an internet marketer you most likely won’t deal with in-depth concerns and needs when moving customers through the sales funnel, however it is still an important skill to have. Why? Because understanding what drives one customer to your product helps you to hone your marketing campaigns towards customers with similar wants, interests, and needs. Because social media and search engines allow you to target according to very specific demographics, the knowledge you gain about your target audience helps you to further meet them where they are at. Empathy, the ability to understand and know the client in front of you, is a valuable skill regardless of what medium you do your selling over.
Selling- You must get the customer to see what you see
Once you’ve taken the time to hear the customer, to access their needs and take note of their wants, you must do the most difficult part of the sales process. In order to successfully complete the sale, you have to get the customer to empathize with you. However, you are not asking them to see your needs but to adopt your perception that the product you have to offer them is the best fit for the needs that they already have. This can be a very confusing thing for inexperienced salesmen to wrap their heads around. However, when you have mastered the fundamentals of understanding your product and have taken the time to hear the customer’s needs, you have both the tools you need readily at your disposal.
Selling is the blending of these two essential skills; taking your mastery of the product or service and highlighting the strengths that make it the best fit for the needs and wants your customer has. Now there will always be additional considerations such as cost and availability but if you can establish what makes your product uniquely suited to the customer’s desires, you can overcome those hurdles to complete the sale.
Tech Savviness- What digital tools are in your belt?
The final skill that we will discuss in this article doesn’t tie directly into the sales funnel process as the previous three did. Where the skills of product knowledge, empathy, and selling were each steps in a single process, technology is a tool that can make mastering and implementing those skills easier or harder. Many first time entrepreneurs, especially older ones, wonder if they have the tech savviness to market online. The good news is that you do not need to be a master of any platform, search engine, or tool to begin marketing online. These platforms, Facebook for example, all feature step by step advice and plans that can teach you about the process while you market. This means that you can learn by doing, and ideally learn by selling. Tech savviness is a necessary skillset to grow your business via the internet, but it is not an unattainable one. Anybody can learn and grow their technology know how and pursue the business of their dreams.
Do You Have What it Takes?
You have what it takes to be an entrepreneur. If you can understand your product and understand the market it is best suited for, you can put the two together. This isn’t to say that there are no more skills required, far from it, but that those skills can be attained and nurtured while you utilize the skills that you already have. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start working towards your dreams and goals, take the skills that you already have and put them to good use today.