We all know the names of successful entrepreneurs, people like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg to name but a few. But the question is what are some of the skills and attributes needed to become a successful entrepreneur?

Below I provide a list of the 7 Secrets needed for entrepreneur success.

Know their purpose, and can clearly articulate it

When Bill Gates founded Microsoft, he famously said he had a dream to put “a computer on every desk and in every home”. He was very clear on what his vision was, he knew the purpose of it and its possible impact, not only that he could clearly articulate it. This is a great example to anyone starting out in business with aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur to be clear on the purpose of what they are doing, there reasons why, and then to be able to clearly communicate this to any audience when asked.

Have a well-defined niche

We’ve all heard the saying jack of all trades and master of none. Well this is the same if you’re in business and try to market your product to everybody, you inevitably attract nobody. The reason for this is very simple, you need to know who your product or service is targeted to, where they can be found, what are their ages, backgrounds etc. In essence you need to get a PhD in who your prospective customers are, so that you can target them accordingly, better known as your ‘niche’ market.

Can personally educate your prospects as to the causes of their problem

In setting out on the road to become an entrepreneur, one thing that should be paramount in your mind is that prospective customers don’t wake up in the morning thinking they need or even want the product or service you are offering.

This means when you have the opportunity to present your product or service, it will be down to you to clearly demonstrate that you both understand and can educate them in the nature of their problems, what the possible solutions are, and then most importantly what are the benefits they will derive from it.

Must have excellent interpersonal skills

We all know someone who likes the sound of their own voice, and once they get started no one can get a word in edgeways. As a prospective entrepreneur this kind of trait could be seen as the kiss of death to a prospect. The term ‘shark salesmen’ comes to mind, or the sometimes less than pleasant experience of when buying a car.

For any prospective entrepreneur, it is essential that you can demonstrate the following attributes; communication skills, active listening, leadership & motivation, an ability to negotiate and last but not least have integrity.

A structured method to clients from where they are to where they want to be

A prospective client not only needs to feel assured and confident that you understand their problem and can solve it, but also that you have a demonstrable process that you can take them through.

You see the first part of the client engagement is in demonstrating your competency, once that hurdle has been successfully navigated, you then earn the right to then demonstrate your process in how you will go about solving their problem. Ideally this should not involve too few steps that makes the prospect feel they could do it themselves, but also not too many to render it too complex to understand.

Ensure their core business delivers remarkable value to their market niche

The best way of getting new business is by way of referrals and testimonials. They are by far the fastest and most cost effective way to get in front of potential new prospects, with the best part being it hasn’t cost you anything.

However, to get to this holy grail you need to have a business that delivers remarkable value each and every time for your customers. In this digital age in which we now live, where a bad comment/s can have detrimental impact to future orders, it is vital to remember that within your niche your potential prospects will talk, and if word gets round that you don’t deliver what you say you will, then your chances of becoming an entrepreneur will be short lived.

Ability to self-reflect and not to become complacent

Not a day now goes by without news about another well-known high street brand experiencing trading difficulties. The question has to be asked what are the management teams within these companies doing, to not be aware that they are losing share price, customers, or what the latest tools or technologies are in the market?

One word keeps coming up time and time again, that of complacency. Companies like HMV, Maplin, Woolworths and Comet to name but a few, became all too complacent in themselves and their business models, and failed to see or react to the new competition and the change in buying habits of their customers, as a result of the Internet.

That is why it is crucial for anyone with aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, to ensure their business is constantly being reviewed, so that they don’t become complacent and as a result fail to stay in business.