Why You Need More Than a Brilliant Idea to Succeed as an Entrepreneur

By Randall Orser | Small Business

Entrepreneurs are more than clever business people who see a need for a new product or service and fulfil it. Successful entrepreneurs not only have brilliant ideas, but also can build relationships, understand customers’ wants, and interpret the constant signals from the market. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you will need vision and the skills to see your plans come to fruition; otherwise, you are just are a dreamer.

Entrepreneurs Need Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is about having an awareness of your own emotional state of being and not allowing emotions to overrule your decision-making facilities. At the same time, a high level of emotional intelligence enables entrepreneurs to read other people very well and to know when and how to build instantaneous rapport with potential customers or business partners. Some entrepreneurs may use emotional intelligence to manipulate other people or may get another person to tell more than the individual originally intended to say.

Entrepreneurs Need to Build Relationships

Entrepreneurs are extremely good at building relationships, and will often build long term business partnerships with several different businesses. Entrepreneurs excel at marketing, but are not necessarily good salespeople.

A sales person will push to close the deal and to get the sale, while a good entrepreneur will focus on the relationship and may stop short of closing the deal to maintain the good relationship. Often entrepreneurs need to work in conjunction with a sales person who can close the deal, after the entrepreneur has set up the foundations by building a strong relationship with the potential customer or affiliate business.

Entrepreneurs Need to Have a Vision

Small business coaches will often tell individuals who are starting a small business to plan everything and to set up a five year plan. However, entrepreneurs work towards a vision and may not plan every single step along the way. Entrepreneurs will often work with a big picture idea and plan the details to fit in with the overall vision, rather than focus on the details of a plan and forget where the plan leads the business.

Entrepreneurs Need Flexibility to Change the Plan

Entrepreneurs will feel free to change the details of the plan to take advantage of new opportunities. The difference between a small business owner and the entrepreneur is often most visible when a new opportunity knocks. The entrepreneur will be willing to change the plan and to take risks if the opportunity that presents fits into the overall vision, whereas the small business owner will be more likely to ignore the opportunity if it was not in the original business plan.

Entrepreneurs Need Good Timing

An understanding of the cyclical and rhythmic nature of business allows entrepreneurs to know instinctively when the time is right to launch a new business venture, or a new product. Entrepreneurs possess good timing and will know when to hold back on a launch of a new venture until the market reaches the right step in the cycle to ensure the new venture is a success.

Entrepreneurs Need Industry Knowledge

Although entrepreneurs rarely react to what competitors are doing, entrepreneurs do study the competitors and the industry. This industry knowledge enables the well-informed entrepreneur to lead the industry rather than react to it, and to have that impeccable timing to know when to launch the new products.

A brilliant idea will only get you so far in the business world. However, blend the clever business idea with a high emotional intelligence, relationship building skills, vision, flexibility, good timing, and strong industry knowledge, and an entrepreneur has the world at his or her feet.

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