The 17 Skills Required to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

From the ability to manage money to managing relationships and stress, the list of what it takes to build your business is long.

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By Sujan Patel

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There's a question that haunts every would-be entrepreneur – and many actual entrepreneurs – every day: "How do I know if I have what it takes?" Yes, the Internet is full of ideas, tips, tricks and even awesome quotes. But do you actually have the skills? Find out -- here are 17 skills every entrepreneur must have to be successful.

1. The ability to manage money.

Very simply, if you can't manage money, you can't manage a business. Do you know where your money goes each month? Do you live off less than you earn? If the answer to these questions is no, you'll struggle to manage a business budget as well.

2. The ability to raise money.

Once you can manage money, can you get more? In order to get investment, you need to not only understand where to get money, but how to convincingly make a case that your business is a good risk as well.

3: The ability to relieve stress.

Stress is no laughing matter. If you allow yourself to get frustrated and upset by setbacks, you'll struggle as an entrepreneur. Learning how to use stress to your benefit is essential.

Related: 7 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Now

4. The ability to be productive.

This is a big topic, because there's no one right way to be productive that works for everyone. Learn about your peak energy times, your routines, and the productivity tools that work for you in order to create your own plan for success.

5. The ability to make entrepreneur friends.

According to entrepreneur Jim Rohn, "You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with." So who do you want to be? Improve your odds of success by finding entrepreneur friends who will be able to understand your struggles and give you much needed insight.

6. The ability to identify strengths and weaknesses.

As a business owner, you don't need to be perfect at everything. You do, however, have to understand where you're strong and where you're weak. Assessing this will inform everything from the business decisions you make, to the partners you bring on, and to the employees you hire.

7. The ability to hire effective people.

Speaking of hiring, this is easily one of the most important skills any entrepreneur could have. Having great people on your team will give you access to new strengths, while also building a company culture that people want to be a part of. Hiring the right people is essential to get where you want to go.

Related: 5 Effective Hiring Tips for Early-Stage Startups

8. The ability to train new staff.

When you bring on someone new, a robust onboarding process will ensure that they know what to do and not do. Not only will this help keep your company moving the correct direction, it will increase the commitment level of good employees and give you grounds to follow up on misconduct.

9. The ability to manage staff.

Once you have the right people, you need to manage them well. Early on in your business's growth, you'll be everyone's manager, so it pays to be effective. If you don't already know how to manage, take the time to learn how to motivate, encourage, and develop your staff.

10. The ability to conduct basic SEO.

In the beginning, you'll be doing the work of every business department. With that in mind, do you understand basic SEO and digital marketing? If not, you'll want to brush up on this area before you launch a business.

11. The Ability to A/B split test.

A split test is a simple process that involves running a scenario two ways to test a possible change. It's commonly used to make websites effective, but it can be used in many areas of project management and marketing as well.

Related: How to 'Split Test' Your Website to Engage Online Customers Better

12. The ability to connect via social networking.

Along with SEO, social networks represent a key part of any business's marketing strategy. Not only will you need to understand each platform, you'll want to arm yourself with the best strategies for getting your startup and personal brand noticed on each one.

13. The ability to focus on your customers.

To be clear, without customers, you have no business. Make sure all of your pitches, products, and services are focused on actual customer needs. If you don't know what these are, research and ask questions so that you're able to give great customer service.

14. The ability to close a sale.

Letting customers know you understand their pain is important, but asking for the sale is where many entrepreneurs get stuck. If you're nervous about this step, try enrolling in a sales workshop to learn these much-needed skills.

15. The ability to spot new trends.

Business moves fast, so you've got to have the ability to see changes coming in your industry. Make it a point to keep up to date on new startups and the advances in technology that could be poised to disrupt your field.

16. The ability to deal with failure.

No business venture is a straight line to success; knowing how to deal with ups and downs is essential. Remember that every successful person out there failed dozens of times before getting a win. Failure isn't the end - it's just a data point on the way to success.

17. The desire to improve your world.

In the end, the best and most enduring motivation is to make a positive change in the world. When you focus your business and your success on that top priority, you'll find yourself ready to weather any storm to meet the goal.

Don't let this list intimidate or discourage you. Being an entrepreneur is a big task, but all of these skills can be learned. If you notice one you're lacking in, go get it! Your eventual success depends on it.

Related: These 10 Peter Drucker Quotes May Change Your World

Sujan Patel

Entrepreneur and Marketer, Co-founder of Web Profits

In his 14-plus years as a marketer and entrepreneur, Sujan Patel has helped hundreds of companies boost online traffic and sales and strengthen their online brand reputation. Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits and Mailshake.

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