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5 Ways To Be More Enterprising

Enterprising People
From www.enterprisequest.com
We've always been wary of the range of misleading and sometimes unhelpful advice in general circulation about what skills business people labelled as 'entrepreneurs' possess which make them successful or special. Things like having vision, confidence, resilience, determination, stamina and that sort of impractical BS. But that doesn't mean we are a group of disbelievers in the so-called 'soft' skills you need to be successful or effective in business. However, over many years of eyewitness observation in the small business field, we've seen plenty of people with these types of soft characteristics who have fallen flat on their faces within a few weeks of starting up their new venture.
So what are the softer skills and personal effectiveness habits that we have noticed in those more enterprising people who go on to do well in business, or avoid failure at least? Here's a quick guide to some of the softer personal skills and attributes which the most successful small business owners tend to have in abundance, and that they have the ability to use to such productive effect.
  1. Listening: The most effective business owners are the most effective listeners. They can read between the lines and pick up on signals and body language that other people fail to understand. This is because they listen effectively and take notice of what is being said or is happening. You should listen to your prospects, customers, competitors, suppliers, staff and business partners all of the time. They will more than likely notice when you do, and they will definitely notice when you don't.
  2. Imagination: This is also one of the most vital enterprising traits you can have. It's possible to develop this as a skill even though you might think you've got no imagination at all. This is all about having your mind permanently open to the possibilities in any situation, which will enable you to quickly, creatively, effectively and often diplomatically find a solution to a business problem. The most imaginative people tend be great readers of fiction, not just non-fiction such as books on business. They tend to be better at explaining themselves and their ideas, and using business language in an imaginative and appealing way.
  3. Calculation: There's a well-known saying: "If you aren't making mistakes, then you aren't working hard enough", but we prefer to put it like this: "If you're making lots of mistakes and you're still in business, then you must be doing something right." To be enterprising in your business, you're inevitably going to be taking risks, but risks that you've decided you're prepared to take and where you have calculated and can afford the price of failure if the risk doesn't pay off.
  4. Making it personal: When you go into business, don't just decide what you want your business to become, but focus on what sort of person you want to become as well. Focusing on your ideas of what you want to become and how your business will get you there will enable you to communicate your ideas more effectively to the people you employ and work with. After all, your staff and your key suppliers will take the view that they work for you or with you, the business owner, rather than the business itself, and that sort of loyalty can be a major advantage. So if you can clearly express your expectations to them right from the start, and remind them as often as is necessary, they will be more likely to understand you, your vision for your business, and where you are trying to lead them.
  5. Awareness: The ability to improve your all-round general and current business awareness is more often than not a significant influence on those business owners who always seem to be able to steer clear of trouble. Related to the ability to listen and to read actively, those business owners with heightened business awareness have the invaluable ability to detect, see and act upon commercial risks and opportunities much earlier than anyone else. Reading frequently and widely, talking to and listening to your customers, staff and suppliers regularly, and finding time to network with other small business owners and advisers, will help you to improve your all-round business awareness.
However, don't let all of this take up too much of your time, because you have of course got a business to run as well.

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