We are surrounded by successful entrepreneurs. Everywhere you look, it seems some people have a knack for creating and managing successful businesses. It may be the mom-and-pop outfit around the corner or a large conglomerate that has offices worldwide.
What skills do these people have that make them successful in business? Can an online MBA degree help you develop these skills?
Anyone can become an entrepreneur. It does not matter your race, age, gender or where you live. So long as you have patience, drive and dedication, you can create a successful business.
The skills you need to be successful in business are not innate. Most people are not born with them, they learn them along the way.
An online MBA degree, such as the one offered by Aston University, is one way to gain the vital skills needed for business. The other is by getting out there and trying different business ideas. You will experience some failures, but they will teach you what you need to do and the pitfalls to avoid when you are building a business.
What skills do you need to be successful in business?
- Basic math and finance
Whether you are a Wall Street venture capitalist or a village businessman, math and finance skills are essential.
You have to know how to add and subtract and how to calculate profits and losses. These are skills you can gain with a basic education. Indeed, many successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they attended school for just a few years.
Do you need higher education to be skilled in math and finance? It depends on what you aspire to. If you want to be a venture capitalist, for example, a post-graduate degree is vital. An online MBA degree will equip you with the skills needed to work out complex finances.
If you want to run a small business, you do not need high-level finance education. Understanding basic math will help you buy and sell to your customers.
Today’s business thrives on innovation. Those who are creative and inventive do better in business than those who are not.
Some people are born with innovation and creativity. Most of us are not, but we can learn it along the way. It starts with curiosity.
Those who want to know the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of things tend to be better innovators than those who do not question their surroundings.
Building networks is difficult for shy, introverted people. They do not feel confident interacting with others, so they tend to be wallflowers.
However, being a successful entrepreneur requires building networks. You have to go out and meet people who can guide you to new opportunities. Fortunately, you can hire influencers to help you with networking.
Who are you more likely to do business with — the mousy man who cannot look you straight in the eye, or the bold one who engages you in conversation and explains the benefits of his product?
Confidence is important if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. Some of us are born with it, but most of us have to learn it as we grow up. Putting yourself in different social situations is one way to develop confidence in yourself and your ideas.
If you are the kind of person who procrastinates or has a hard time moving on after a failure, you will find entrepreneurship difficult.
To be successful you need to be a self-motivated go-getter. When you encounter failure you have to learn to brush it off and move on.
Those who are successful in business will tell you that it is not easy. Many a time they had to keep going when they were at their lowest.
- Strategic thinking
This is one of the skills you learn if you enroll in an online MBA degree. Strategic thinking is about making decisions about the future using the data you have today.
A strategic thinker tries to always be a few steps ahead. Rather than wait for events to catch up, they make plans so that they do not get caught up in situations that can negatively impact their business.
You can learn some elements of strategic thinking in a post-graduate course. You can also master strategic thinking by keeping up with events around you and the world at large.
- Open-mindedness and accepting new ideas
Being obstinate can be helpful at times, but successful entrepreneurs will tell you that acceptance of new ideas is vital if you want to stay in business. Sticking to the old way of doing things will not move your business forward.
- Problem solving
Every great entrepreneur is a good problem solver. They understand that opportunities lie in helping people solve the problems they encounter in their lives. If you can identify a problem, come up with a solution and package it properly, there will be a ready market you can tap into.
Leadership is a vital skill in business, and you can learn it with an online MBA degree. The best courses have an emphasis on leadership because it is vital in every business. Leaders motivate their people. They listen to different opinions to understand what is needed to create a successful business.
How can I develop entrepreneurial skills?
One way is to get the right education. An MBA will impart some of the skills discussed here. The other way to develop entrepreneurial skills is to spend time with people who already have them. If you spend time with confident people, for example, you will slowly become more confident yourself.
Many entrepreneurial skills are developed by trying and failing at different ideas. Rather than retreat because of a failed venture, you should learn from it and apply those lessons to your next idea.
It is a rare entrepreneur who succeeds at everything they try. More often than not, they experience failure and they use it to create better businesses in the future.
Certain skills are vital for successful entrepreneurship. While some can be learned in class, these skills are mostly gained through experience. If you start a business and you do not succeed, do not give up. Try again and use the lessons from your failure to avoid pitfalls.