General Practical Skills

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ICT Competence: Advanced

English Language Skills: Advanced

Action type: Simple actions that can be implemented immediately without requiring an investment

The general practical skills needed in entrepreneurship refer to a set of pragmatic skills which allow one to be in charge of a company. The most important skills in this section are:

a). Project Management: as an entrepreneur, you are likely to be in charge of projects and even teams, so this skill is crucial for your success. According to The Project Management Institute, project management represents the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. In order for that to happen, you need to know exactly what your goals are, how you’re going to achieve them, what resources you’ll need, and how long it will take you to reach that specific goal. Moreover, the project manager has to make sure that everyone involved in a project knows these and is aware of the purpose of the project. Project Management is a thorough discipline aimed at following the project progress and achieving the final goals in an organised and formal manner.

Project management processes fall into five groups:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

Project management knowledge draws on ten areas:

  • Integration
  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Procurement
  • Human resources
  • Communications
  • Risk management
  • Stakeholder management

For the purpose of project managing your company, you can use specific templates (which you can download from this list of 41 examples) or even dedicated software, free (list with free software) or payed.

For more information, here is an article in which the general discipline of project management is adapted for an entrepreneur: Project-Managing-the-Start-Up--What-Entrepreneurs-Can-Learn-From-Project-Managers

b). Financial Management - proper records are vital for understanding the financial state and cash flow of your business. This subject is elaborated in depth throughout the present project, therefore we will focus on mentioning some key points to keep in mind when it comes to managing finances for a small company. Here are five best practices which can help you stay on top of your financial situation: manage expenses, maintain financial stability, monitor & measure performance, use a cloud accounting system, understand & plan tax payment.

c). Sales Skills - According to the National Association for Sales Professionals, one of the key aspects of being an entrepreneur and operating a business is the ability to conduct Business Development. Creating revenue through sales is the ultimate catalyst for any entrepreneurial endeavour. The existence of sales is an important aspect in many ways for an organisation.

Sales equates to revenue and revenue covers expenses. The ability of a business to cover its expenses, creates stable operations and the opportunity for growth. Without sales, the organisation will often struggle and have a difficult time attracting talent and actually growing the business.

Here are some strategies to improve sales for an entrepreneur:

  • Understand when a client refuses and stop wasting time and other resources
  • Focus on their problem, not your solution, when dealing with clients
  • Personalise your communications, don’t ever let a customer assume an email is just an automated direct marketing outreach if it isn’t
  • Perfect your sales pitch (make it exciting)
  • Use storytelling
  • Negotiate for a win-win
  • Ask for referrals
  • Since metrics matter, calculate your CAC - Customer Acquisition Cost and ACV - Annual Contract Value

Sales is about discipline and detail. For more information, here is a video about How to Improve Your Sales Process and Increase Business

Positive and Negative Part of the Solution

Positive

Acquiring these crucial skills is vital for an entrepreneur and it can help strengthen and develop any enterprise.

Time required to implement a solution and when possible associated cost

This action requires at least some hours of study and practice. For best results, for each sub-action, at least one day would be necessary.

Estimated Exploitation

Understanding the benefits can motivate the company members to be successful with their solution implementation.

Informative Text (Sources)

  1. Project Management Institute
    https://www.pmi.org/about/learn-about-pmi/what-is-project-management
  2. Paymo Academy, (2018 March 13). What is Project Management? retrieved from https://www.paymoapp.com/academy/what-is-project-management/
  3. Steenberg, Riaan (2018, February 13). Project Managing the Start-Up: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Project Managers retrieved from https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles/438230/Project-Managing-the-Start-Up--What-Entrepreneurs-Can-Learn-From-Project-Managers
  4. Wellington, Gary (2017 June 26). 5 Best Practices That Can Manage Your Start up Finance retrieved from
    https://magazine.startus.cc/5-best-practices-that-can-manage-your-startup-finance/
  5. Melfi, Michael S. The Importance of Sales for an Entrepreneurial Organization retrieved from https://www.nasp.com/article/E7E6606D-4E51/the-importance-of-sales-for-an-entrepreneurial-organization.html
  6. Jakobsson, Hampus (2015, April 23). 5 Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Improve Sales retrieved from
    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245405

Additional Resources

  1. Skills every entrepreneur needs to master
  2. Sales strategies
  3. 5 sales strategies for introverted entrepreneurs

Cross Border remark

The knowledge has general value, but language versions should be considered when choosing specific software solutions.