Like in any other sector, Covid-19 has induced sweeping changes in the domain of entrepreneurship as well. While some businesses gave in to the disruption, others leveraged the situation to unlock newer opportunities. However, the uncertainties continue with the second and third waves. The buzzword-turned-lifestyle of ‘new normal’ is set to continue for an indefinite time, with intermittent permutation and combination to match the situational needs of the hour. To fare through these circumstances firmly, aspiring entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and wantapreneurs should take learnings from the businesses that have managed to stay afloat amidst the ongoing turbulences.
These learnings further translate into five top skills that future-ready entrepreneurs should master, for a steadfast journey towards successful entrepreneurship.
1. Continuous Innovation
Innovation has always been at the front-seat when it comes to reaching the eyes of the audience competitively. With the changing times, a more segmented need for consistent innovation has emerged. No matter how innovative a product or a service is at the time of its inception, what will distinguish an entrepreneur and his/her business today and going forward, is how he/she innovates at every required juncture, to cater to the ever-changing customer requirements, effectively.
2, Proactive Tech-savviness
Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of digital practices, both at an individual as well as enterprise level. With better connectivity and digital inclusion, customers are increasingly preferring the online medium for multiple activities like education, shopping, making transactions etc. Entrepreneurs should look at investing in emerging technologies like AI, AR/VR, ML, IoT, Cloud etc., to create a more seamless and immersive digital experience for the customers and thereby stay relevant to them. World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report says that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025, as adoption of technology increases. And it adds to the profitability of the business as well. A Google-KPMG study showed that digitally-empowered SMEs have about twice the revenue growth projections in comparison to offline SMEs.
3. Emotional Quotient
Emotional intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ) has long been part of the list of skillsets essential in choosing a good resource; yet, it is only with the pandemic, that its essence has truly started standing out. Studies ratify that people with higher EI/EQ possess better mental health, deliver better job performance, undertake effective leadership skills owing to good empathy, and overall exhibit better adaptability and resilience. And in any kind of crisis, predicted or unforeseen, these are the attributes that steer an entrepreneur towards sound decision-making for business sustainability.
4. People management skills
An entrepreneur is often regarded as a job creator. But the job creator’s job doesn’t end at offering employability. The core asset of any business are its people. Hence, the skill of being a people-centric employer takes an entrepreneur a long way. Today, we are all living in ambiguity on what the next dawn will bring, so panic among employees is inevitable. It is a good entrepreneur’s responsibility to ensure that the panic is dealt with, sufficiently. Owing to the virtual mode of interactions, this might be a difficult task, but we have to remember that this mode might be regularized in the future. Hence, entrepreneurs that start deploying clear, transparent and empathic people-management practices early on, will continue to enjoy greater productivity and thereby profitability. And how an entrepreneur manages his/her people are also a reflection of his/her soft skills, which makes consistent soft-skill nurturing a critical aspect too.
5. Adaptability and Resilience
The last yet the most important skill is the flexibility of adapting to any change in circumstances, especially when the same comes without any prior intimation. With the pandemic, for example, entrepreneurs and businesses that survived the initial mayhems of the pandemic, have only done so because they were quick in identifying the changes that they needed to make within their organizations, and went on to implement them. From digitizing business-critical functions to keep operations running, to reviving employee policies in line with the Govt.’s safety protocols, companies did not have a past reference to take guidance from; yet multiple entities were quick to re-strategize and adapt and hence their road to recovery was faster too.
Today, there are a lot of Ed-tech companies that offer affordable entrepreneurship training courses which are a great way to acquire or hone the above skills and more, tailor-made to the candidate’s requirements. A lot of these courses can be accessed in easy-to-use and easy-to-understand app platforms. Making use of such resourceful platforms, can be a great way to embark on one’s way to a successful entrepreneurship.