Must-have skills for entrepreneurs in 2017 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 23, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:54 PM, December 24, 2016

Must-have skills for entrepreneurs in 2017

Globalisation and technological advances are making job descriptions obsolete. They also mean that employees must continually learn new skills to keep up with job demands. These coupled with the plethora of new startups indicate that entrepreneurs must also be equipped with various talents to stand out in the startup scene. Entrepreneurs already need plenty of skills and qualities which make becoming an entrepreneur seem super-humanly. In addition entrepreneurs will need new skills to cope with the competition and technological advances. This is the list of must have skills for entrepreneurs for the coming year.

Website building

Almost all businesses will need an online presence and the number keeps mounting. Websites act as the first communication tool between businesses and clients for many firms. Although websites cost as low as BDT 5000 for a year's hosting, they'll hardly be according to your needs. Better sites with payment integration, social media plug-ins, store options etc. usually cost a lot of money which can be better spent elsewhere during the initial stages. At this point it is helpful to be able to build a working website yourself. Building a website is easier than ever thanks to sites like Wordpress, Blogspot, and Weebly. However if you're looking for something more advanced, you could try learning code using HTML.

Cross-media literacy

With the high digital penetration and diverse platforms used by consumers, it is vital to know how each media tool works and the most effective ones to reach your customers. Videos, blogs, and podcasts are just some of the media tools that dominate our digital lives and many more will be added within the next 10 years. Be it workers, entrepreneurs or CEOs, everyone will be expected to be formalised and competent using the various medias.


Although you don't need to be a CPA or CFA to be an entrepreneur, but you'll need a good understanding of profit margins, cash flows, and funding. Different ways of selling and making profits will require knowledge beyond the traditional profit/loss concepts. The better you are able to handle numbers, the more confident you can be in decision making.


Ability to analyse data will be key whether you run an internet based business or a traditional one. Because of the very nature of businesses, you'll be exposed to a vast amount of data from various sources. Success lies in realising the sources of data, how it is produced, and which ones are relevant to you. Again you can use various tools to mine data, some being as simple as excel, others being complex statistical tools such as Stata and SPSS. The main idea is to b comfortable around data rather than being stumped.

Branding and marketing

Consumers look for meaningful brand content and engagement in addition to products and hence it is of paramount importance to brand your products right and market them properly. It's a good thing that many firms help you with that, but most are beyond the budget of new startups. However simple branding such as creating logos, banners, taglines and other social media content can be created using only a couple of software. Attending online courses can also help to learn proper promotion techniques.


Startups require a lot of work and there is just so much the entrepreneur can do by himself/herself. It is always helpful to get people on board to aid you. However you'll need to effectively get your ideas across to people in a convincing way. In addition you'll need to communicate with customers using various tools- e-mails, telephones, social media, and f2f. Lastly you might need to convince investors and other partners. Sometimes a bad pitch can put a great idea at an advantage. Again there are classes and courses that can help build eloquence of speech and writing.

Are you an entrepreneur or an aspiring entrepreneur? Tell us what other skills are a must. If you want to learn where you can brush up these skills, visit the online article for links.


The writer is a sophomore at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka

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