A recent Gallup Poll reports only 50 percent of all businesses survive beyond five years, and that a lack of cash is one of the main culprits of business failures. If you have cash or possess a knack for acquiring it, you will dramatically increase your odds of succeeding in your own business. Beyond funding, it's also imperative you have the following skills to make startup life easier to handle.



All business owners must know how to communicate well and with a variety of people. Communication includes not only speaking and writing, but listening. When speaking, ensure you tailor your discussions or presentations to your audience. Write in clear, concise sentences and arrange your thoughts in a logical format. If writing isn’t your strong suit, make sure you have a good editor on hand to review what you’re about to send out. Moreover, listen to your employees because they may have some great ideas. You’ll also need a good listening ear when it comes to client concerns and complaints.


You must know where you're headed if you want to get there. Start with a detailed business plan that outlines your organizational structure, company description, marketing plans, sales forecasts, and details about your products or services. When spearheading projects, divide them into a series of tasks while adhering to important deadlines. You have to know how to prioritize and when to leave things on the back-burner.


No business exists in a static environment. Consumer tastes change, competitors vie for customers, and products become outmoded. These dynamics necessitate your ability to discern specific challenges and problems and devise alternatives for overcoming them. Have a critical eye for your industry or market and know when change is necessary. It helps to have a team of people to help you keep an eye out for these things.


Decision-making is best defined as taking the right course of actionamong all possible alternatives to come up with a solution. For example, your product may be priced too high, or you may have a high rate of injuries in employees because of the nature of your business. In this case, you might decide making better training material and hiring an attorney for work accidents is the best solution. Whatever the case, decision-making skills are vital for business success. Stick to your decisions and make sure you make clear and concise measures to keep things consistent.


Business owners are sales people and with that responsibility comes the ability to negotiate. If you're approaching clients with services, learn how to come to an agreement that benefits both parties, including price and service. The same holds true for mediating employee grievances in the workplace.


Another essential skill for entrepreneurs is the ability to weather the ups and downs of your business. You can't just quit like you could on a job. Take the good with the bad and learn from your failures.

Hone the skills you possess among the aforementioned ones, and improve those you need to develop. In addition, stay focused on your customers' needs and you can't help but be successful as an entrepreneur.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.