12th July, 2022

5 key skills entrepreneurs need post COVID

As the world moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the perfect time to consider whether your entrepreneurial skillset is up to task, writes Alan Manly.

There’s little doubt the world has seen some dramatic changes over the past two years and the only certainty is that we don’t know what the future might hold.

For an entrepreneur, it’s critical that you and your business are able to change with whatever the market (or the world) throws at you.

Now that life is slowly returning to some form of normality, it’s vital to take a close look at your skills and make sure you are developing the right ones that will allow you to take advantage of and thrive in a post-COVID world.

Here are five skills you’re going to need to succeed:

1. Adaptability

A ‘once in a one hundred years’ pandemic is a life-changing and business-changing event. Being able to adapt will determine if your business survives.

Forbes Council Member Wayne Elsey has previously stated that success ultimately comes from adaptability. An entrepreneur is adaptable by being flexible and willing to adapt.

While you also need to have the versatility to adapt, which comes down to your aptitude. Have a mindset that allows for adaptability and learn how to be flexible.

2. Business planning

Businesses are on the road again in a post-COVD world with the new norm offering or even denying opportunities. Therefore it’s back to basics.

Does anyone really want your product or service? Landlords of office space are an easy example of radical change in demand due to workers becoming home-based.

Shopping centres are also hurting due to the increase in online shopping facilities that developed during COVID. So how does an entrepreneur assess their situation?

Do a business plan to get a clear idea of where your investment in your business is likely to go.

Read this next: How to write a business plan in 12 steps (2023 edition)

3. Meet the market

Customer’s buying habits have changed and more sales are now done online, with the share of online sales up from 16 percent in 2019 to 19 percent in 2020.

ACRS research shows just how popular and commonplace eCommerce has become with the majority of Australians (84 percent) purchasing online in the last three months and over a third (37 percent) of these shoppers making weekly online purchases.

Converting your service or product to being online is vital. However if the service cannot be performed online, such as cutting hair, bricklaying, brain surgery or plumbing, your service can still be required to meet the “post COVID” market by modernising your communications and booking confirmations such as using a website for service booking and text messaging for confirmations.

Be warned: impatience is a virtue. This just might be the mantra for today’s connected consumer. They live in an on-demand economy where, with a few taps and swipes of their mobile device, they can have what they want, when they want it.

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4. Get savvy with online payments

Cash flow, cash flow and cash flow. That’s all that a business really needs. Pre and post-COVID cash was always king. Collecting it was the battleground in the past.

Now in the post-COVID world, the community expects instant everything including paying. An entrepreneur’s dream come true. By using technology you can collect your payments instantly via EFTPOS or the like.

Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said they had steered away from using cash and as a result are seeing an increase in card and technology payments. Expect this trend to continue and find ways to incorporate online payments into your business.

READ: Get paid up to three times faster with digital payments tech

5. Accept reality, take risks

Anyone who sets out to start a business in any form understands that you are taking a calculated risk. Most entrepreneurs don’t shy away from risk.

If you are in business at this post-pandemic time you will be at risk and will have to take risks to survive.

Take heart from one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook/Meta fame when he is quoted as saying “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”