As an entrepreneur, are you lacking in the area of business skills? This is the opportunity you need to know the business skills you need as an entrepreneur.
A lot of businesses fail because they lack basic business skills, and the ability to translate passion into a successful business. Growing a small business into a successful enterprise requires more than just passion. Unfortunately, facts have it that businesses crash as a result of poor management.
Over half of new businesses fail mainly because the entrepreneur is unable to translate their passion into practical business skills. Success demands more than hard work, patience, resilience, and expertise in your field. In order to succeed, you need to learn, understand and become conversant with fundamental business skillset.
As an entrepreneur or a small business owner, you will have to master basic business skills to enable you grow your business. However, it is important to know the skills that you have and those that you will learn or employ people to deliver. Concerning skills you don’t have, it is either you learn them or you employ people who are experts in that field to ease you the stress of running the business alone. In this case, you will not only reduce the workload on your head, but also, your business will serve as an employment platform. It takes longer time to learn these business skills, to prevent your business from crashing, you could employ someone who has the desired skill while you learn.
In this article, you will get to know what business skills are, some basic business skills, why you need them, and how you can learn them.
WHAT ARE BUSINESS SKILLS
Business skills are technical abilities required for the success and management of a business. As the business world is evolving, some major changes are taking place too. Many business skills change in respect to the requirement of the business role. The business skills of a salesperson differs from that of a Human Resource personnel but these business skills still maintain same purpose – for the growth of any business.
TYPES OF BUSINESS SKILLS
These essential business skills include:
- Delegation skills
- Communication skills
- Negotiation skills
- Planning skills
- Project management skills
- Leadership skills
- Teamwork skills
- Analytical skills
- Marketing skills
- Time management skills
- Financial management skills
- Cash flow management skills
- Networking skills
- Problem solving skills
- General management skills
Let us discuss these skills for proper understanding.
This skill enables you to properly assign responsibilities to other people for the completion of a job. As the owner of the business, the ideal position you would want to obtain is one where your staff sees to all routine activities of your business. In running a business, you must possess effective delegation skills which will help you achieve the correct balance between controls and allowing people do their job effectively. It may interest you to know that many business owners lack this business skills because they are reluctant to let go of control.
The need for effective communication in business cannot be overemphasized as it is an important part of life. Having good verbal and written communication skills will help you build great working relationships. You will have to communicate with your suppliers, investors, employees and most especially your customers. Nobody knows your business if you cannot create an impression through communication. You must learn how to communicate your goals and visions.
Negotiation is a day-to-day activity, most people have this inbuilt ability to pull up good negotiations. However, formal negotiation is a skill that can be learned through practice and experience. Most persons who negotiate frequently tend to be more skilled than people who have no experience on formal/informal negotiations. The difference is that experienced people are more likely to know what to say, when to say it, when not to say it, and how to say it. In other words, the key is to know how to develop a win-win approach in negotiations with all parties, and at the same time keeping in mind that you must grab the most favorable possible outcome for yourself and business.
Know how to strategically plan your events and important business activities. Planning helps to manage your scale of preference and place your priorities right. This skill helps you to define your business direction, and project your future performance supported by your well-defined business plan.
Project management skills
Owning a business means you will have to manage a range of projects, such as setting up your business online like owning a website; blog or any social media platform, arranging your business premises and developing a range of policies and procedures for your business.
The ability to control your employees the right way without bullying them lies in this skill. Leadership is a means of getting things done through people. This skill is one critical business skill because it gives you the ability to mobilize and motivate a group of people toward a common goal. Also, it is the ability to take charge. Helps you maintain food relationships with customers, employees, and investors, which in turn will boost productivity.
You must have the ability to work effectively with group of different persons irrespective of their tribe, size or religion. Teamwork generates better solution and more productivity than individual workers working independently. This skill will help you build teams of employees, partners, investors, and advisors that will help increase the productivity of your business.
Technology is gradually taking over today’s workplace. Major advancements are taking place in the business community. And to meet up to these changes, you need to engage in analytical thinking
Analytical thinking is the ability to properly access the objectives and present state of your business. This business skill enables you to think through the pros and cons of your business, gather, review and evaluate data for better decision-making.
Major growth in business comes from how well you promote your business – how you reach your target audience. This skill will help you establish successful marketing policies – from pricing and advertising to sales techniques. Also, this skill gives you the ability to analyze the marketplace and industry trends, which are necessary for the development of your marketing strategy. In addition, providing good customer service and marketing strategy will help you generate sales, build profitable revenue streams, and help you gain an edge over your competitors in the business world.
This skill is sometimes inbuilt and doesn’t necessarily require some sort of training to acquire. This skill will help you use your time in the most effective and productive way. They goal is to know how to use your time wisely, achieve more, and focus on the activities that deliver value to your business. Also, having this skill will help you manage your schedule properly without issues.
Financial management skills
The issue of finance is not one to joke with because it determines a lot in your business. The activity around finance is the application of set of techniques that businesses use to manage their money particularly between income and expenditure – profit and loss, and other monetary investments. Also, one major key of the skill is to know how to interpret your financial statements in order to know the items that adversely affect your overall profitability. Having sound financial management skills will help you run your business without major hitches.
Cash flow management
This is one premium business skill that acknowledges the most pressing concern of the small and medium-sized businesses. Simply put, cash flow is the movement of money in and out of your business. It is like the mitochondria of a business –the primary indicator of business health. How well you manage your day-to-day business activities is key. You will need to be able to forecast your cash flow and sales, as well as, monitor your profit and loss.
Maintaining good relationships through networking will help you grow your business audience and give you the support you will need. As a businessperson, attend conferences, meetings, seminars and workshops. Introduce your businesses to people, get contacts, create mutual relationships with other business persons too. It will help you broaden your niche.
Problem solving skills
However you plan and manage your business, you must encounter problems. This skill will help you manage your business issues within the confined of your business, and offer prompt solutions. Note that, if you lack this skill, you may find it difficult to make good decisions under pressure because such times will come. The key of this skill is to help you identify a problem and proffer solution without hesitation.
General management skills
Management basically encompasses the direction of human resources and financial resources. This skill enables you to control a group of people for the purpose of accompli hi a common goal. The essence of the skill is to help you know how to develop a workable management system and support overall business growth.
Having discussed these skills, here are some nuggets on how to learn and improve your business skills.
Importance of business skills
These business skills will help you:
- Sustain high-quality product(s).
- Build excellent customer relations and customer care standards.
- Increase performance, accelerate productivity and profits through efficient planning, management and implementation of business aims and goals.
- Have a sound financial base and maintain competent financial policies.
- Grow a positive and productive company culture.
- Motivate and propel employees to perform at their best.
- Establish profitable sales and marketing channels.
How to improve these skills
Improvement takes time so does learning. However, you can explore some business skills with short courses that will enable you learn, and still run your business. Some of the learnable approaches include:
- You can pursue a business management degree course online or obtain a college degree.
- Go for paid/unpaid internships
- Listen to business management podcasts or business strategy programs.
- Always expand your reading list by getting books written by successful entrepreneurs and top business owners.
- Get close to people who are experts in these business skills, if you are a fast learner, you can learn some necessary secrets for running your business.
- Be open to ideas, that way you can learn, unlearn and relearn some skills as things change.
Highlighting your skills
When applying for jobs, highlighting your business skills on your cover letter and resume can help set you apart from other candidates. Clearly listing your business skills in a straightforward manner is key to making a good first impression in a potential employer’s mind because your skillset is the major thing they look out for. Here is how you can highlight your business skills where necessary:
Business skills for resume
Your resume should contain a section that highlights your important skills relating to the position you are applying for. Your list of business skills should be written in a simple and concise manner so that the hiring manager can go through it effortlessly. List your skills in a logical structure that makes it easy to follow your progress in mastering those skills. Also, focus on including the business skills that are specifically listed in the job description, and make sure it correlates to what the employer is looking for.
Business skills for cover letter
Your cover letter is an effective way to quickly and concisely convey your most valuable business skills to a potential employer. Select the most important business skills for the position, and include them in a brief and easy-to-read paragraph. Also, make sure you include what you know about the company as well as how you will be a good fit for the position you are applying for.
Business skills for an interview
To highlight your business skills or acumen during an interview, be prepared to discuss several examples of how you have successfully used or gained these skills in the past. Use the STAR interview response technique to answer your interviewer’s questions in a way that shows that you know what skills were needed, how you have used them and what the results of your actions were.
In summary, growing a business is a demanding task. Always seek assistance if you are unsure about your skills and abilities or you are unable to acquire these business skills. Also knowing who to employ for any skill is key because the success of any business depends on the competence of its employees. In addition, developing and improving your business skills makes you an asset for any organization not just for your business alone, which will in turn guarantee you financial success.
Also Read: Acquiring Technical Skills: How And When?