An entrepreneur sitting at a desk managing shipping, processing orders, and packing boxes.

The 4 most important skills for entrepreneurs

Written by Morgan Shaw

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Starting your own business? These entrepreneurial skills can set your venture up for success

Everyone has a dream, and for many people, it’s running their own business. There’s nothing more exciting than heeding the entrepreneurial call and building a startup with your own efforts.

Starting a side business – and venturing into entrepreneurship – is a great way to start your second career, to follow a dream you’ve had, or to simply bring in a little more income so you can pay for your kids’ college tuition. Whatever the case, you’ll need a few key skills that all successful entrepreneurs eventually master.

Not sure which skills to prioritize? Don’t worry – we’ll take you through a detailed breakdown of the skills you should develop to maximize your entrepreneurial efforts.

1. Money management skills

If you want your side business or entrepreneurial venture to be successful, you’ll first need to learn to manage money successfully. Money management is tough to master, even if you’ve been paying your bills for years.

But it’s one thing to manage money for your personal finances, such as paying your bills on time, making sure you have enough saved up to go on vacation, and so on. It’s another thing entirely to manage the money for a growing business.

To that end, you’d be smart to take some finance or accounting courses.

As you start developing your new business, you’ll need to learn:

It can be a lot to handle at first, but money management skills will continue to improve as you develop your entrepreneurial dreams. The better you are at managing money, the less likely it is that you’ll overextend your finances.

2. Time management skills

A business owner checking her watch to keep track of time.


Managing time is just as important as managing money. Time is the great equalizer – while businesses have bank accounts of varying sizes, everyone has the same 24 hours in a day to get things done.

When you first begin your startup, you’ll need to manage your time wisely to:

It’s important for a new entrepreneur to learn time management skills, as you’ll probably need to start your new business while juggling other responsibilities, like your current job or family duties. At first, you might only have a few hours per day to dedicate to your new venture. That’s okay! As your entrepreneurial career grows, you can devote more time to it. In the meantime, you can learn better time management by practicing some quick tricks or drills like these:

3. Communication skills

Three people sitting down to speak and communicate about business. One person is taking notes.

Any successful business is contingent on excellent communication. It’s no secret that the best leaders are those who know how to listen to and communicate well with their employees and their customers or clients.

Communication is a natural talent for some. If you don’t have the gift of gab yourself, don’t worry. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to communicate better is always achievable.

Consider taking a public speaking class or practicing in front of family or friends. Pick up a book with a lot of good advice on the subject, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People, which is often considered the go-to communication guide for sales people, business managers, and entrepreneurs across all industries.

These “people skills” shouldn’t be underestimated. Effective communication skills are just as important as time management or being a big-picture visionary for an industry.

4. Leadership skills

As an entrepreneur, you’ll be the leader of your business, whether that business includes just yourself or (eventually) a dozen new employees.

Leadership skills, in many ways, mix some of the skills described above – a good leader can manage time wisely, handle finances, and both inspire employees and give tough feedback when needed.

But leadership in the entrepreneurial sphere is also often about boldness or decisiveness. In the business world, someone has to make decisions all the time. Therefore, you can curate your own leadership skills by learning to overcome hesitation and improving your self-confidence.

To become a better leader, start by making small decisions more quickly (such as ordering what you want to eat at a restaurant) and build up to big decisions, like what to name your new company!

Management skills are similar. They include knowing how to manage your employees, where to place your people for the best results, and how to hire great talent after a single interview. Again, don’t worry if these skills don’t come naturally to you; every successful entrepreneur starts where you are now and builds their managerial skillset through trial and error.

You can practice your business and project management skills by:

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References accessed on June 13, 2021:

Aim to Win LLC – Giving Tough Feedback

Aim to Win LLC – Growing Your Career

Daze Info – How to Be a Better Business Leader in Pandemic Impacted 2021 – 10 Proven Time Management Skills You Should Learn Today

Forbes – 10 Ways to Make People Like You from How to Make Friends and Influence People

I Done This Blog – The Scientifically-Backed Best Ways to Spend a 15-Minute Break

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