Essential Skills to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Learn the Vital Business Skills to Develop a Successful Business Enterprise
Passion – a burning desire – is the key to success, they say. But is passion all that takes to develop a small business into a successful one. Unfortunately, the answer is no. More than 50% of the small businesses die an untimely death because the man behind the show, the entrepreneur lacks business skills. Successful businesses need more than passion and hard work. They need expertise. They need skills. They need people who are proficient at these skills.
The 9 vital business skills you will ever need to develop a small enterprise into a successful one are:
1. Team Building Skills
Business is about teams. There is a basic difference between a self-employed professional and a small business owner. The self-employed professional works for his business almost independently while the small business owner engages a team to work for his business. But just having a group of people to work for you does not constitute a team. When there is synergy in the efforts of the group they are said to be in a team. Then the group becomes cohesive. Building teams that generate productivity to their potential is an essential art to master.
2. Delegation Skills
Although you may be good at doing many tasks, but business demands you to focus on crucial aspects and tasks. In order for you to remain focused on important tasks, you need to delegate the other tasks to people around you. When you delegate you to assign the responsibility for successful completion of the task to a competent person. Although the person may not be as proficient as you are – as happens with most of the businesses – still you need to effectively delegate the routine tasks to make the business work for you.
3. Communication Skills
Business is all about communication. You need to communicate to the outside world what your business stands for, what solution it offers, and what are its unique selling points. Not only you need to inform the outside world, but you need to inform your team members too. You need to make them aware of the values the business stands for and the culture the organization imbibes. While communicating you need to take into consideration the current perceptions of the people around you. Use words and tone which fits not hinders the current perceptions. Having a non-vegetarian fast-food chain with a cow in the logo in India would prove to be a communicational suicide for the business.
4. Financial Management Skills
Finance is the key element in any business. It is the lifeline for a business. As a business head one should know how to procure money from various sources and how to evaluate the risks and rewards associated with each of them. One should know how to manage the working capital and to make budgets for various functions of the business. Further, one should document the financial performance of the business and analyze the performance to identify and rectify items that have affected the performance adversely.
5. Sales & Marketing Skills
To take your business to the next level you need to formulate sales and marketing strategies. You need to analyze the current market trends, existing competition, government policies, etc., and come out with policies that translate into long-term profits.
6. Negotiation Skills
All of us negotiate in our daily lives. Whether it be buying vegetables or precious electronic items for our home all interactions require some extent of negotiation. People who continue to negotiate become good at it with the graying – or going – of hairs. Others who are smart try to learn the art through undergoing courses and reading books. Good negotiators save the business a lot of money and consequently increase the cash flow. They know exactly what to say and how to say it in different situations. More importantly, they know when to shut up! Excellent negotiators create win-win situations which lead to long-term relations and a steady customer base.
7. Strategic Planning Skills
Strategy for any venture is primary. It is the basic direction the organization has to head to. Formulation of policies and execution plans come only afterward. A business without a sound strategy is doomed to fail. A strategy would dwell upon deciding the path the business has to follow and allocating the resources needed to follow the path like money and workforce.
8. Leadership Skills
To grow any business from scratch requires tremendous effort. If you have seen an airplane take off you probably know how much force is required to make the plane lift and rise high to fly in contrast to the little force required to keep it flying. Similarly, to grow a business just management skills won’t help. You need to persuade people and mobilize them to form teams and give their best to reach organizational goals.
9. Time Management Skills
Time is a constraint for everyone. Business helps to leverage time by involving more and more people. So if an entrepreneur works alone he just has 24 hours time while if he engages nine other people to work for him his time multiplies to 240 hours. But the team members need to be trained to avoid time wasters and to use their time to increase self-productivity. Time saved equals time earned and more time translates into more revenue.
As a business head of a small business, you need to develop these vital business skills over a period of time. You could also hire employees who possess these skills or take the assistance of a business consultant. With these skills at your disposal, your business is bound to grow to the next level.