When entrepreneurs are in the early stages of starting their ventures, it can feel like navigating open waters without a map. Entrepreneurs will face several challenges throughout their company’s lifecycle, but the challenges they face during the first few years of their business are the key factors determining whether or not their business will have longevity.
Thankfully, by fostering a few core habits and a positive mindset, entrepreneurs can more effectively handle this pressure and be prepared for success.
Having Strong Time Management Skills
One of the critical habits of a successful entrepreneur is making a calendar and sticking to it. Entrepreneurs have dozens of tasks on their plate — especially in the early stages of their business’s growth when they wear multiple hats. While having a business plan is essential, a strong business plan means little without putting in the time to execute it. This is where building a calendar comes in.
Eventually, an entrepreneur’s business will grow to the point where they will have to hire more people to work for them, which is when learning how to delegate tasks becomes vital. Plenty of tasks are essential to a business’s operation — such as scheduling appointments — but don’t need to be completed by those at the top level of the organization. A successful entrepreneur will know how to determine which tasks should go on their calendar and which belong on someone else’s.
Many entrepreneurs tend to forget to commit time to continuous learning. After all, the whole purpose of becoming an entrepreneur is to grow — and the only way to grow is to learn.
Although an entrepreneur’s schedule can be overwhelming, the most successful ones still make time to read books, attend seminars, listen to podcasts, and do other activities that will allow them to better themselves and their business. It can be as simple as listening to a podcast on the drive into the office, but a continuous commitment to learning is what allows continued growth.
Effectively Managing Business Expenses
Managing expenses is one of an entrepreneur’s most important job responsibilities and a skill they must pick up quickly. Poor money management is one of the main reasons that new businesses fail. While it naturally takes time for a company to reach profitability initially, entrepreneurs must be careful that the money they spend never exceeds their business’s revenue.
To effectively manage expenses, entrepreneurs should create a budget, build revenue sheets, and closely monitor their company’s financial projections and forecasts. These tools will not only allow entrepreneurs to understand the current situation of their business but also anticipate their future situation and adjust their spending accordingly.
The most successful entrepreneurs are also skilled at navigating the complexities of legal compliance. Although a business needs to remain compliant — a lack of compliance can risk fines, losing the company, or even jail time.
Therefore, understanding the limitations of laws and regulations will allow entrepreneurs to keep their businesses legitimate while taking advantage of any loopholes or flexibility that can help their businesses.
Keeping Your Emotions at Bay
Another essential skill entrepreneurs must learn to be successful is the ability to manage one’s emotions. As the business’s leader, employees look to entrepreneurs for guidance and examples. If an entrepreneur constantly feels stressed — or worse yet, taking that anger out on their employees — it could significantly affect employee morale and productivity.
The life of an entrepreneur is filled with tremendous pressure. Not only are they faced with difficult decisions at work every day, but they have to make sacrifices in their personal lives to support their career and business.
While the lines between work and home are often blurred for entrepreneurs due to the extreme demands placed on them, it is essential to strive to build at least some separation. Entrepreneurs need to be as fresh and relaxed as possible when making crucial business decisions.
To create this division between work and personal life, entrepreneurs must remember to set aside time for self-care. Activities like meditation, spending time with family, and hobbies can be just as crucial as business meetings. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will allow business leaders to thrive at work and at home.
As an entrepreneur, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of a fledgling business can be easy. However, it is vital to slow down and develop healthy habits as a business leader, or the company will not be primed for success. Learning how to manage time, expenses, and emotions effectively takes time for entrepreneurs, but these are some of the most pivotal skills for success.
About the Author
Craig Goodliffe is an entrepreneur, job creator, and CEO/Founder of Cyberbacker, the leading provider of virtual assistance and administrative support services from anywhere in the world to anyone in the world. Goodliffe is an expert on business development and shares his insight as a MAPS coach who helps clients earn seven-figure incomes. Read more about Goodliffe in the International Business Times and the Forbes Business Council.