7 Skills You’ll Need To Start Any Business

Most people have heard the story that many startups will fail in the first five years, as much as 80%. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more. The probability of survival increases with a firm’s age. What’s more, survival rates have changed little over time, reports the BLS.

[Related: Top Surprises You Will Encounter Your First Year of Business]

There are no guarantees in life as a business owner, but there things that you can do to improve your chances or probability for success. Here are at least seven entrepreneurial skills that you will need to jumpstart and grow your business:

1. Leadership

Leadership is not about being nice and making people’s lives as easy as possible. While it is important to kind and compassionate, leading means challenging people, and encouraging them to do something that’s outside of their comfort zone.

2. Adaptability

One of the things that can slow you down in the early days of your business is your attachment to your original vision and expectations. Don’t learn from moments of resistance along the way and try force your assumptions into reality. Instead, try to remain open to surprises and change course accordingly.

3. Focus

Avoid spreading yourself too thin and focus on one thing instead.You can easily make early on by trying to create a solution for every customer use-case. Operating this way won’t sustainable long term. It’s okay to say no and to focus on your core vision.

4. Reverse Thinking

Be mindful in terms of thinking about the “next step” without giving as much attention to . the impact those decisions would have on my business down the road. Your decision making process should involve reverse thinking. This works by taking the desired end result and building the required steps leading up to it.

5. Risk Assessment

The ability to accurately assess risk is a skill I have learned over time yet wish I had learned earlier. I can certainly point to opportunities that I did not pursue because I overestimated the risk. You can take a few more chances when you are young and I wish I had approached those opportunities from the “why not” perspective that I do now.

6. Sustained Networking

Don’t think of networking as a discreet task that could be started and finished. Understand that networking never ends and is simply an extension of relationship (and friendship) building.

7. Delegation

Money is always tight in the startup phase. Don’t let that lure you into trying to do everything yourself. Focus on your strengths, utilize them and delegate other mission critical roles. You might have to hire a professional, but when compared to the fact that you might not launch at all because of your DIY approach? It’s just not worth it. Value your time and delegate.