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Andrew Frazier : Must-Have Skills for Entrepreneurs in 2024


Andrew Frazier, MBA, CFA is Founder of Small Business Pro University


Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what got you into entrepreneurship?

My entrepreneurial journey started in 4th grade with a paper route that my brother and I managed for 5 years in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering I served as a Navy Supply Corps Officer. Following that I was an operations manager for a private distribution company and went on to earn an MBA in Finance from NYU-Stern. Following a corporate career as a finance executive and COO of a Non-Profit, I went back to my entrepreneurial roots to have an opportunity to make a greater impact in the community. Over the past 15 years I coached, consulted, and trained small business owners helping them to sell more, make more, and get financing faster and easier. I have worked 1-on-1 with 1,000+ business owners and taught tens of thousands of people about business.


What are the top three skills you think are crucial for entrepreneurs today?

Leadership

Communication

Analysis


How do you think the role of technology has impacted these skills in recent years?

Technology has accelerated change driving business to focus on doing everything Faster, Cheaper, and Better. As a result, more effective leadership skills are needed to manage change effectively. Also, technology facilitates faster communication and continually introduces new modes/platforms for communication that must be mastered. In addition, technology both makes more information available and provides better tools for analyzing it for those who have the aptitude and skills.


Could you share a story with us about how you used some of these skills to overcome a challenge in your journey?

A major challenge I have faced and continue to work on is successfully launching my Small Business Pro University. This is a multi-faceted initiative that involves significant use of technology. I use my leadership skills to coordinate a virtual team, strategize, and implement programming. I also must communicate effectively with a different target market over a variety of platforms. In addition, I must measure performance and analyze results to ensure everything is on track and adjustments where needed.


In your opinion, how important is it for entrepreneurs to adapt to changing trends and what do you see as the biggest trend in 2024?

It is critical for entrepreneurs to be proactive, creative, and flexible so they can adapt and compete in a rapidly changing environment. Taking advantage of the increased productivity and capacity benefits of AI is definitely the biggest trend for entrepreneurs in 2024.


What's one common mistake you often see new entrepreneurs make, and how can they avoid it?

Failing to plan effectively. Everyone knows that "Failing To Plan is Planning To Fail" but the vast majority of entrepreneurs do not have a current business plan. This can be overcome by enlisting the support of mentors, coaches, and peers to provide feedback on your strategies and hold you accountable.


How do you keep learning and growing as an entrepreneur?

I host a livestream where I talk with expert guests on small business related topics for an hour every week. I also meet one-on-one for coaching and consulting with more than 25 business owners in different industries every month. In addition, I meet individually with a few select peer advisors with expertise in different business disciplines on a weekly basis.


Finally, what advice would you give to someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey in 2024?

Take the time and make the effort to create a solid business plan with complete, well analyzed market analysis and detailed financial projections.






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