Although there are 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, 90% of small businesses fail within the first year. What’s more surprising is that most of the companies didn’t collapse because of lack of funds or fierce competition.
But simply due to the fact that the leaders and decision makers didn’t have the basic skills needed to run a business.
When you’re responsible for the bottom line of your company, you can’t afford to slapdash it.
So if the large percentage of failed businesses hasn’t scared you off, here’s how you can acquire basic skills to start your own business:
1. Learn From A Business Mentor
Business owners, entrepreneurs, and decision makers are an invaluable source when it comes to developing business skills. The internet is full of successful individuals who offer free advice to those who want to follow in their footsteps. In fact, Daymond John- a prolific investor on Shark Tank- has an entire course on setting goals and how to follow through to achieve them.
Choose a successful family member or a business owner you know to be your mentor. Such a person can be a great sounding board for your ideas. And you’ll gain more valuable insights from your mentor than you would from other people. Usually because a mentor will give you specific advice related to your line of work.
Some mentors offer training for free or in exchange for help in their business. While others are a paid service. Try looking for a mentor on LinkedIn or do a search on the SBA’s SCORE website.
2. Increase Your Reading
Reading entrepreneur focused books can expand your knowledge and give you new insight into the business world. You’ll discover new ways of thinking, gain inspiration, and understand various business strategies.
Books can also influence the way you do business. Allowing you to have multiple perspectives on how to solve a problem. And come up with creative solutions that have never been done before.
Aside from teaching you successful business strategies, books can also show you why a company failed. Learning from both perspectives will help you become a better entrepreneur. One who makes fewer mistakes and more good decisions, faster.
Remember: the answers to any business challenge you face can always be found in a book. Here’s a great reading list to get you started.
3. Join An Entrepreneur Community
While the idea of an entrepreneur going at it on their own may appeal to some. The most successful business leaders in the world are part of a team. Working with individuals who are equally, if not more, successful than them. As Jim Rohn puts it, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Joining a business community like Meetaway is the first step to finding a peer group that will influence who you are as an entrepreneur. Attend business conferences, seminars, and events where you’ll interact with other business owners.
Spending time with people in your line of work will quickly reveal gaps in your entrepreneurial skills. And the insights you gain will go a long way on developing your entrepreneurial skills.
4. Volunteer to Lead
Let’s cut to the chase. Entrepreneurs may come from different backgrounds. And have a diverse set of skills. But they all have one thing in common- they are leaders. When you volunteer to lead, you get the chance to practice working with a team. Developing time management, leadership, and organizational skills, which are essential basic skills when starting your own business.
Look for volunteer opportunities in your local community and inquire from your friends and family. You’ll need to be strategic about where you sign up to volunteer. Choose organizations in your line of work to help you move towards your goal of self-employment. You can find skill based volunteer work on sites like VolunteerMatch or All For Good.
Nonprofits are always looking for people to help in precise areas such as marketing, PR, and accounting. Make sure to research the position so you can maximize your time to ramp up your skills and knowledge. Use the time to also meet new people who can become your mentors and coaches, or turn out to be customers or referrals for your business.
5. Start Your Own Business
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur in your industry, you need to engage your strengths. The best way to do that is to start your own business. Explore your existing skill set and look for a business opportunity. Once you find something, identify your target market and validate your business idea.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur is about solving problems. And there’s no greater challenge than building a business from scratch. You’ll give yourself a solid foundation to develop entrepreneurial skills while also earning an income.
When you choose a business opportunity with a solid foundation in one of your existing skills. You’ll have created the perfect place to start your journey of self-employment.