How to find out if you’re ready to become an entrepreneur

am i an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is a great dream for many Canadians. And with the recent pandemic changing the world of work, many of us have been somewhat forced into starting a side business or freelancing to help make ends meet.

The reality of entrepreneurship is hard, and many Canadians aren’t ready for it – and that’s okay! You may be ready for it later on, after life circumstances change or small business training teaches you the necessary skills you don’t have yet.

How can you find out if you’re ready to be an entrepreneur?

Download GoForth’s free Self-Assessment for Entrepreneurs to see if now is a good time to start your small business journey. We can’t predict if you’ll be a success, but taking an honest look at your situation right now will help you figure out your odds. Take your time and do as much research and training as you can before you strike out on your own – it may make all the difference to your success.

Best of luck!

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6 of the most important business skills

small business skills

At GoForth, we created our small business skills training after surveying 200 successful Canadian entrepreneurs. We asked them which business skills made the difference between success and failure.

Here are six of the top skills Canadian entrepreneurs told us are vital to know, and which ones they were surprised they didn’t know.

1) How to manage a small business

Successfully managing a small business involves a lot of factors, but learning them can make all the difference. Good business leaders are teachers, learners and visionaries. Your team will look to you for motivation and guidance both direct and modeled.  Everything you do as a leader should focus on strengthening and improving your team. According to Bond Street Newsletter, the five essential skills for effective small business are: 1) Empathy; 2) Decisiveness; 3) Collaboration; 4) Planning; and 5) Support.

Read more about small business leadership.

2) Developing a business branding strategy

It’s important to develop a strong small business brand. This includes brand experience, identity, image, pillars, equity and delivery. Brand pillars are your business’ most important values and characteristics that you want to communicate with your branding. The brand experience should be engaging, welcoming, and encourage people to take action. Make sure your client’s brand experience is consistent, positive, and consistently positive!

Read more about brand pillars and brand delivery.

3) The importance of customer experience

Customer experience (CX) measures all experiences a client has with your business, whether it’s one transaction or several. Research shows, unsurprisingly, that customers do business with companies they like! I’s important that you know what your customers want and need.

Read more about CX.

4) How to build a small business financial plan

You don’t have to be a financial expert, but as the lead entrepreneur you really should know your important numbers inside and out. If you don’t know simple facts about your business’ profit, costs, or break-even, then others will lose confidence in your ability as an entrepreneur. This process should begin before you even start your business. While your business is running, keeping an eye on your financial plan will help you tweak your business model canvas, which will raise your confidence that you’ll run a profitable company.

Read more about small business financial plans.

5) Why creativity is important in business

Creativity is the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things and to find solutions. This conceptual combination is seen often in the history of some of today’s most unique product innovations. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking creativity = artistic talent – it’s more of a way of thinking than anything else. And it’s one that can mean success in your business!

Read more about creativity in small business.

6) Government compliance for small businesses in Canada

Staying on top of the Canadian government’s compliance can greatly improve your small business’ odds of success. There are income tax requirements, GST/HST requirements, rules for working with self-employed contractors, and documents and policies required if you become an employer. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Government compliance can lead to benefits for you as an entrepreneur. For example, there are many tax deductions that self-employed entrepreneurs can make, as well as employees and commissioned sales employees.

Read more about government compliance for small businesses in Canada.

Are there small business skills you wished you knew before starting your entrepreneurship journey? To learn these, plus dozens of other vital small business skills, check out our online small business training!

 

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What’s the most important entrepreneurship skill?

small-business-planning

Our small business training was created after surveying 200 uber-successful Canadian entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs were asked what business skills they believed made the difference between success and failure for them.

Today, we’re sharing some of the most vital skills entrepreneurs need to know, and which ones GoForth entrepreneurs were surprised they didn’t know.

Branding

This is the importance of developing a small business brand, including brand experience, identity, image, pillars, equity and delivery. Brand pillars are the most important values and characteristics of your small business that you want to communicate in your branding. The brand experience is strategically developed to provoke thoughts, interact with, and persuade people to take action. Make sure your client’s brand experience is consistently positive!

Read more about brand experience.

How to build a financial plan

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time understanding the numbers in their business — but the lead entrepreneur really should know the numbers inside and out. If you’re easily stumped by simple questions about profit, costs, or break-even, then others will lose confidence in your ability as an entrepreneur. Investigating financial feasibility before you start your business and while your business is running will help you tweak your business model canvas, which will raise your confidence that you’ll run a profitable company.

Customer experience

Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a client has with your business, either during one transaction or over the lifetime of your relationship. Research shows that customers do business with companies they like, so the more positive experiences a customer has with your business, the more they’ll continue to do business with you. To define your customer experience, it’s important that you know what your customers want and need.

Read more about CX.

How to manage a small business

Successful leaders are teachers, learners and visionaries. Your employees will look up to you for motivation, guidance and also as a model for their own performance. In order to lead effectively, you should consider your business and its staff to be like a team. Everything that’s done should focus on strengthening and improving your team. According to Bond Street Newsletter, these five skills are the essential toolkit for effective leadership in a small business: 1) Empathy; 2) Decisiveness; 3) Collaboration; 4) Planning; and 5) Support.

Government compliance

Staying on top of government compliance can greatly improve a business’ odds of success. There are income tax requirements, GST/HST requirements, rules for working with self-employed contractors, and documents and policies required if you become an employer. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Government compliance can lead to benefits for you as an entrepreneur. For example, there are many tax deductions that self-employed entrepreneurs can make, as well as employees and commissioned sales employees.

The importance of creativity in business

Creativity is the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things and to find solutions. This conceptual combination is seen often in the history of some of today’s most unique product innovations. For example, in 1941 George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, returned home from a trip with his dog, and noticed burrs sticking to the dog’s fur. Like a good engineer, Mestral examined the burrs under a microscope. There, he noted their hundreds of “hooks” that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing, animal fur, or hair. And with that, the idea for Velcro was created!

What about you? Are there small business skills you wished you knew before starting your entrepreneurship journey? To learn these, plus dozens of other vital small business skills, check out our online small business training!

 

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What are the 12 key skills for small business executives?

Here is another bit of small business inspiration we’ve recently found on the internet – a blog post by Jim Estill titled, “Work Your Strengths.”

Here’s a sample:

I read an awesome, well researched book called Work your Strengths – A Scientific Process to Identify Your Skills and Match them to the best Career for You by Chuck Martin, Richard Guare and Peg Dawson. The author team has an impressive track record in research and psychology.

Through a questionnaire, they get the prospect to identify their strengths on 12 different scales that they have identified as being crucial for success.

Read Jim’s post to find out all about the 12 crucial skills for executives (and, we think, crucial skills for entrepreneurs as well). Thanks for the great post, Jim!

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