Succeeding as an entrepreneur of an Alaska start up will require you to have a specific set of skills. These skills can be difficult to master, but the benefits are worth the effort. Knowing these things can make you more efficient as both an entrepreneur and as a person.
The lifeblood of your start-up is in your customers and your employees. If you don’t have either, it will literally be impossible to take it to the next level. Empathy can help you get and keep both groups.
For customers, empathy can help in both product development and customer service. Your product must not only solve problems, it must make users feel good. In customer service, it’ll help you figure out what’s making them angry and thus help you solve their issues, which can turn a consumer into a regular customer.
As for your employees, empathy can help you figure out what makes them tick and angle your company culture to support them best. It’ll also help you diffuse any arguments and concerns that may come up.
2. Time Management
Managing your time is of utmost importance. It’s how you’re going to get things done, and as every entrepreneur knows, there’s always something that needs doing. There’s no one true path towards effective time management, so you’re going to have to figure that out. What’s important is that you focus on getting the most important things done. Plan out your weeks in advance so nothing slips through the cracks. Planning will also figure out when you don’t have enough time to do something, which can allow you to delegate.
3. Asking for Help
Entrepreneurs are, for the most part, trailblazers. They’re often highly individualistic and like to do things by themselves. The problem is they can’t literally do everything by themselves and will need to ask for help at one point or another. Some people have trouble asking for help, and while that’s okay when it comes to pickle jars, it’s not a good thing when you’re an entrepreneur.
Delegate some of your responsibilities when you need to. Wanting a hand in everything is fine and is a good attitude to have – what isn’t okay is letting that desire cloud your judgment. Let people do their jobs and let them help you.
4. Actively Listen
Listen is one of the most important skills you’ll need as an entrepreneur and as a human being. If you can’t listen you can’t receive feedback or find out what your employees and consumers need and want. If you’re having trouble with this skill, try active listening. Focus on what they’re saying and clarify things that confuse you. Repeating what they just said may seem silly, but it will help with making sure that everyone’s on the same page.
The fact is that it doesn’t matter what other people think of you. Chances are they’re thinking about you at all. What does matter is what the man in the mirror thinks. Believing in and motivating yourself is indeed a skill, one that many people fail to truly master. It’ll take time to have confidence even if no one else seems to think you should.
A big part of self-motivation involves getting rid of negative thoughts. There’s no bigger critic to you than yourself. Learn to ignore the voice in your head that says you can’t, and listen to the one telling you how you can.
Your focus will play a large part in your entrepreneurial success. Can you keep an eye on your responsibilities without being distracted by what everyone else is doing? That means almost everyone else – your employees, your partners, even the competition. You’re the boss and founder and that gives you a unique set of responsibilities that only you can perform. Micro-managing your staff can be tempting, but you hired them because you trusted them to fulfill their duties. Let them do their jobs and focus on your own.
Being an entrepreneur is all about having the right skills. Developing those skills is by no means easy, but it’s worth the effort. Learn to focus and motivate yourself. Actively listen to people and make sure that you’re hearing exactly what they’re saying. Empathize with the people around you. Manage your time. These skills will improve the chances that you can pilot your start-up and take it to the next level.
Not sure where to start with Alaska Start Ups? Alaska Venture Capital, Growth Equity or Private Equity? Venture North Group will provide Alaska entrepreneurs a clear understanding of what next steps to take and how to raise Venture Capital in Alaska and beyond.