Entrepreneurs in Korea Need These 5 Skills to Survive

For entrepreneurs in Korea, it’s vital that you’re prepared to stand out in this competitive sphere. A lot of young business owners worry whether they have what it takes to make it. Truth be told, though, if you have a great product and a toolbox filled with essential skills, you’re already on your way to success. These are 5 skills entrepreneurs in Korea need to survive!

Financial Know-how

As an entrepreneur in Korea, you must have the financial know-how to keep your business afloat. This could involve knowing how to raise capital, planning your yearly budget and deciding how to invest your capital. Remember that the financial landscape in Korea could be very different from in your own country, so be sure to do your research.

Most startups in Korea fail because they simply run out of money.  While it is easy to get seed funding in Korea for around $100,000, that money goes fast.  It is vital that as an entrepreneur you know where every cent of your funding is going.  Therefore, one of the first steps should be setting up a budget or having an organized partner that can handle the finances.  In addition, there are many accounting software and apps that can help startups stay organized without having to hire a full-time employee.  Doing taxes in Korea can be very difficult and as your company grows it becomes very complicated.  Make sure your accountant speaks some level of English to explain the tax process in Korea to you in a clear manner.

Networking Skills

entrepreneurs in KoreaWe all hear inspirational stories of businesses being set up by entrepreneurs in garages. Even though there’s a lot we can learn from these stories of independent go-getters, we should take them with a pinch of salt.

There’s so much that can be achieved through networking and collaborations; from getting your name out, to having a support network and even gaining potential business partners. Plus, there are so many networking events for startups and entrepreneurs in Korea that you’d be mad to miss out on.  In order to improve your networking skills, try to set a goal of speaking to 3 entrepreneurs at your next meetup.  Then increase it by 1 or even 2.  By your 5th meetup, you will be aiming to speak to 10-13 entrepreneurs.  From there, you can start to focus on finding meaningful connections that can help your business.  It helps to do your research to see who will be at the event.  Make them one of your goals.  Most entrepreneurs in Korea are on LinkedIn so try to study up on them so you will be prepared when speaking with them at the meetup.

One last tip on networking would be to make sure the person you are speaking to does not feel pressured into committing something right then and there.  Most of the time the person you meet at the meetup will not be able to help you directly but they might know someone who can.  That is the key.  Just let them know what you do and the rest will take care of itself.

Management Skills

Whatever area of business you decide to operate in, it’s unquestionable that managing people will be a huge part of your work. Recruiting staff, scouting talent and motivating your employees to work to the best of their ability will, for the most part, be in your hands as a CEO. At the end of the day, your staff is putting the money in your tills, so you must be able to manage them well.

Make sure your team understands the companies ultimate goal.  This keeps everyone on the same page with the same mission.  In addition, this will help you stay organized and focused.  Once your goal is defined and explained look for ways each member can help achieve that goal.  This will require talking to each member of your team to find out their strengths and weaknesses.  It can also be your opportunity to ask feedback from them on your role as a leader.  Therefore it is important to be able to be a good listener in order to provide the right feedback to your employees.  A final tip could be to set up a feedback quarterly review where employees can make suggestions regarding the company.

Self Awareness

Being self-aware is a vital skill to have when starting a startup.  A good CEO must understand that they can not do it alone.  A great team leads to a successful startup.  Therefore look for your weaknesses and surround yourself with people that excel where you are weak.  For example, if you are bad with figures and projections, then get a team member who has those skills.  If you can not speak Korean well, that is fine, surround yourself with strong Korean entrepreneurs.  There are many Korean CEOs who think they are perfect and their word is gold.  However, that only alienates your employees.  Remember you are building a team for YOUR company.  Everyone should be there to support and help each other.  Know your weaknesses and fill those holes with the right team member.

Trend Awareness

Business moves fast and trends are always evolving. To keep up to date and be able to give your customers exactly what they want, when they want it, you need strong trend awareness skills. Make a point to stay aware of a new startup business and new technological advancements in your industry so you don’t get left behind.  A good way to stay up to date at the latest trends is to update your news feed.  Stay on top of your social media every single day.  Customize your feed to find the most relevant news and trending topics.  Start a Kakao chat room with your team members where they can quickly share interesting articles and videos.  A great tip to find the latest news and trends is to use Reddit or read replied tweets and comments on Twitter.  Or try using Google Trends to see what users are searching for on Google.  Finally, always remember to look into your competitors.  By seeing what the competition is doing, you will be able to keep up with the competition.

What Other Skills Should a Good Entrepreneur in Korea have?

So, there you have it, these are the top 5 skills that we believe entrepreneurs in Korea should have! But, now it’s over to you! What’s the most prized possession in your entrepreneurial skills box?

Leave us a comment and let us know!