Necessary skills needed for entrepreneurs to thrive

  • SMEBiz
  • Monday, 06 Jan 2020

IT IS said that most entrepreneurs fail in their venture at some point in time. And while there are many factors that contribute to this failure, Global Entrepreneur Xchange (GEX) chairman Karthik Siva says one of the main causes is that most entrepreneurs lack the right skill sets.

He adds that there is also little proper guidance or mentorship available to entrepreneurs.

In his observation over the past five years, Karthik notes that among the main skills that local entrepreneurs need to develop are strategy planning and networking and leadership.

“Malaysia’s economic growth and success is directly dependent on the success of entrepreneurs. It is also important and urgent that we create a vibrant environment, proactive policies and an effective delivery system and ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs and enables their success.

“An equally important priority is to address the skill, knowledge and leadership gaps faced by entrepreneurs in Malaysia, ” he says.

A significant percentage of entrepreneurs drive their businesses based on gut feel. While it has served some business owners well in certain circumstances, Karthik cautions that gut feeling does not always work.

“This approach comes with a big price - needless experimentation, loss of money and waste of time. It can seriously mislead and result in costly mistakes especially when one is stressed out, busy or distracted, ” he adds.

Given that most entrepreneurs wear many hats, they tend stay away from any time-consuming

strategy process, market testing or customer development. But all these are important for a business’ success, he says.

“Action without direction is dangerous and is often a recipe for failure. It is hardly any wonder that the business failure rate anywhere in the world is absurdly high. Most of these failures are avoidable and needless.

“Entrepreneurs tend to be irrationally optimistic about their business venture or idea. This is why some of them succeed and are able to keep going no matter what the odds. This is also the main reason why many of them fail, ” he says.

Karthik advises entrepreneurs to create a business based on tested ideas and to develop a product with the customers. Entrepreneurs should also have a clear business model and be able to differentiate themselves from the market.

Given that market trends are also changing more rapidly in this day and age, entrepreneurs also need to learn and adapt quickly, grow bigger while getting better and build a strong team to ensure that their business is sustainable.

“Most businesses fail due to poor strategy, leadership or execution. According to a study by Bloomberg, eight out of 10 businesses fail within 18 months.

“Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Malaysian Economy as they contribute nearly 70% of employment, 40% of GDP and 37% of exports – and this is only SMEs we are talking about.

“It is important to keep in mind that when our entrepreneurs struggle, our economy will also struggle. And when our ntrepreneurs grow and prosper, Malaysia will grow and prosper too, ” he says.

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