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Essential Skills You Need to Start Your Own Business

Jehan | Dec 08 2022
Essential Skills You Need to Start Your Own Business

How do you start your own business? The path to entrepreneurship is an uncertain one, full of roadblocks. One must have endless amounts of belief in what they are creating and be flexible to change to keep afloat.

The founder life isn’t for everyone but once you have these essential skills in your tool belt, the entrepreneurial journey becomes a little less daunting!

Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business!

As part of our third event for Global Entrepreneurship Week, the team at Katalyst Labs organized a crash course for university students, aspiring entrepreneurs, and young professionals.

Those with a keen interest in entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem were invited to join us for a series of workshops and exercises to build on imperative skills.

Focus on Effective Communication

The key to starting your own business is effective communication. Syngenta’s Head of HR, Humaira Ahmad, shed light on the dos and don’ts of professional communication.

Effective communication boils down to clarity and listening with purpose and intentionality. The digital era and the variety of mediums now available have made connecting with individuals superfluous. Thereby making effective communication difficult. As Humaira put it:

“Tech has made communicating easy but connecting difficult, it is this connection that we should aim for.”

Humaira recommends that the most basic way to truly communicate on platforms like Zoom is through human interactions. This can be as simple as keeping your video on for the duration of a meeting, being attentive, and making the person on the other end feel truly heard.

To Start Your Own Business You Must Be Authentic

Authenticity is integral when it comes to any individual, be it in one’s personal or professional life. According to Humaira, authenticity is two-fold:

  1. To be sincere in your own vision
  2. To be sincere to the vision of your organization

In order to be sincere, you must be authentic to yourself. This requires active effort, to take time out to sit with oneself and figure out one’s own values and principles. You can only be truly authentic if you know and understand yourself.

Furthermore, vision alignment with your organization is necessary to be truly authentic to the work you are doing. If your purpose and the mission of your company are misaligned, authentic communication cannot exist.

Therefore, regardless of whether you are working for a company or building your own startup, it is important for you to know yourself and what your business stands for.

Team Building is Essential

Team building is key from day 1 because you need people who align with your greater vision to execute your ideas. Wondertech’s CEO & Founder, Syed Bilal Rizvi gave the audience of budding entrepreneurs some tips on creating company culture and finding people that align with those values.

According to Bilal, actual implementers that go on to become successful entrepreneurs keep an open mind. Another aspect to keep in mind when building your own business is to keep one’s ego in check and have the flexibility to pivot when needed.

Moreover, it can be difficult to collect people around a mission and assembling your dream team is hard work but essential to building your own business.


Culture is the most important thing in any workplace. The likelihood of individuals leaving a workplace depends on the kind of company culture and the fostering of a healthy environment.

Based on a Forbes article on the trends of workplace culture, connection is essential. Connection with peers and with the mission statement of the organization can drive workplace culture.

According to insights from Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 report:

  • Employee engagement within the South Asia region is 27%
  • 21% of employees globally are engaged at work
  • A manager’s effect on the workplace impacts team engagement by a predicted 70%

Learnings from Young Entrepreneurs

Moreover, the event was full of immense learning, both for the audience and the founders present alike!

The Katalyst Labs team also conducted an ideation exercise for the young entrepreneurs, to give them a flavor of the business world. The audience was divided into groups and given a case study. The groups were instructed to prepare a short pitch to increase the commercial viability of a local product.

Subsequently, these are some of the insights we gained from the aspiring Gen-Z entrepreneurs through the exercise:

  • Gen-Z is looking to connect with global markets by targeting the diaspora community
  • Social media is already a tool they have great prowess over, providing out-of-the-box solutions for marketing and re-purposing old products
  • Eco-friendly is the way to go! The young entrepreneurs presented environmentally conscious solutions

Without a doubt, the new frame of mind that aspiring founders and budding entrepreneurs are approaching old problems with is truly innovative!