7 Skills Every Startup Founder Needs

Grace Holden

Remember that lightbulb moment when you came up with your business idea? The moment when you thought of all the incredible things your business would be able to achieve? It’s a pretty incredible time that makes you feel like you can do anything. All startups come from these amazing moments, but to make them work, you need key skills that will take your business from a moment to success!

1. Resourcefulness

When starting out, startups have to overcome many challenges, from within the business itself to outside sources. Material resources are limited, team members come and go, investors back out at the last minute. Amongst all these difficulties, being a resourceful leader will help you make quick decisions and think on your feet. Being inventive in your business might look like reaching out to other startups to offer and ask for support or doing a course in SEO so you are aware of best market practices for future endeavours. However you choose to go about it, resourcefulness will allow you to make more clever decisions and be more creative.

2. Leadership

Bad leaders make bad businesses, but amazing leaders make successful businesses. It’s up to you to rally your troops and get them to work to the best of their ability. Being a great leader is about keeping morale up when the going gets tough and knowing that the buck stops with you. However, it’s also important for leaders to recognise when to ask for help and to allow team members to come up with their own solutions to problems that might arise. Leadership does not mean going it alone. A business is always a team effort!

3. Patience

Once that amazing business idea has come to us, we often want it to happen straight away. However, businesses can take time to get going. They require thoughtful planning, extensive research and lots of networking long before they get off the ground. Many startups don’t get investment the first time they ask; there are knockbacks that can be hard to take. That’s not to say you should lose sight of the end product. This is important to ensure you stay motivated and keep the business moving forward. Remember, you will get there!

4. Risk-taking

It is sometimes said that there are no easy decisions in business. Certainly, though there are decisions that are harder than others. These decisions require levels of risk-taking that are important for the growth of your startup. Risks might include going with one investor with a greater risk-reward ratio than another, investing your own money into your startup and trying out a different brand strategy. Not all of these decisions are guaranteed to pay off, but the ones that do can turn your startup into an overwhelming success. Risks should not be taken lightly and you may want to seek advice from friends, family, employees and other startups to ensure you’re taking a calculated and measured decision that will benefit your business.

5. Time management

Poor time management affects everyone, from students waking up ten minutes before their first class to business leaders turning up late to their own meetings. Being on time shows the professionalism needed to build businesses. Having structure in your day also helps you to get things done quickly and avoids panic and anxiety that can lead to burnout. But managing your time doesn’t have to be difficult. Waking up at consistent times, scheduling meetings at the same time every week and setting deadlines for yourself and your team will all help your business.

6. Salesmanship

When pitching to investors and customers, your passion for your startup must always shine through. If you don’t love your business, why should they? As a salesperson, you need a comprehensive understanding of your business and the market you are entering. But selling a product should never be boring. Show the fun side of your personality as well as the business side. If people like you, they are more likely to like your product too!

7. Openness

When we have a vision in our minds it can become difficult to remain open to new ideas. However, it’s not always best to stick with our guns, even if new routes go out of our comfort zones. Members of your team may notice problems where you don’t, and it’s important to be open to solutions. Openness also refers to a healthy work environment, where employees feel like they can come to you with criticism. It’s always important to take the concerns of your team members seriously as the more they feel heard, the more they will want to do a great job for you and your business!

We should never underestimate how difficult building a business is. In 2021, 672,890 businesses were founded in the UK. Not all of these will stand the test of time. But having these seven amazing skills will give you the best chance of making your business the success you know it can be!