5 Skills For Every Wannabe Entrepreneur

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
By Emily Pope

We’ve already established that lady bosses are taking over the world (or, you know, starting to get our fair share of leadership opportunities). And, as female entrepreneurship rises, it’s crucial to arm ourselves with the skills and know-how to take our careers — and our businesses — to the next level.

Whether you had the monopoly on neighborhood lemonade stands at age 10 or you blossomed into your entrepreneurial pursuits later in life, here are some hard-earned skills that you should consider developing to make it as a kick-ass entrepreneur in today’s digital landscape. 
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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
You might have a brilliant idea, but it’s hard to validate it as a business opportunity unless you have at least some business prowess. As an entrepreneur, you must be able to develop a persuasive business plan, validate your idea with an MVP (minimum viable product), and convince investors to help finance your business (even if your investors are your mom and Uncle Jerry). It’s hard to think about the big picture and organize these intricate details without an understanding of basic business concepts and tactics.
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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Whether you like it or not, every entrepreneur is a salesperson. You are constantly selling your idea, products, or services to investors, customers, or even employees. Part of achieving sales is creating your perfect elevator pitch, constantly acquiring new customers, and establishing a strong conversion funnel. Without these essential parts in place, your idea may fall flat.
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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Now, I’m not saying you have to become a full-stack web developer (although, it wouldn’t hurt!), but if you are developing a tech or online business, having a basic understanding of web or mobile development concepts is crucial — even if you don’t plan on coding your own product. As a founder, you must be able to understand what needs to be done and how to do it. This will help you quickly test and iterate your MVP, make critical hires, and manage a technical team. As your company grows, this will become more and more important.
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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Setting up an analytics package for your mobile app or website is an essential part of being able to track, measure, and optimize your online business experience. Knowing how to set up and use tools such as Google Analytics or KissMetrics is crucial in helping you optimize your site to drive sales and refine your business strategy.
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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
Constantly improving your product or service through customer feedback is an important part of ensuring that your business is in it for the long haul. Understanding product management helps you know when it’s time to introduce a new product or service, or pivot your business altogether.
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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
In the end, great entrepreneurs know that they don’t know everything. That’s why it’s essential to surround yourself with people who push you, inspire you, and in some cases, know more than you do. Always be learning, whether it’s by surrounding yourself with a great team, attending industry and networking events, or taking a class in an area you need to work on.

Getting a leg up on these skills will put you in the best position to get your entrepreneurial career off the ground. Broadening your skill set will make you more marketable and it may also help you figure out exactly what it is you want to do.
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