“Skills make you rich, not theories.” It takes more than vision, planning and branding to become a successful entrepreneur. The skillset palette of the successful business owner is one that is wide and varied, with a number of abilities that take time and commitment to cultivate. You can’t just want your company to be great, you have to make it great, but that takes a bit of internal work first, and it takes developing the skills you need to thrive in a fast-paced world. Success demands more than hard work, resilience, and expertise in your field. In order to succeed, you need to understand and become proficient in a set of fundamental business skills.
Delegation involves assigning responsibility to other people for the completion of work. The ideal position that you want to obtain is one where your staff carry out all the routine activities of your business. Effective delegation involves achieving the correct balance between effective controls and allowing people to complete their jobs effectively. The key element is knowing how to make your business work, with as little input from you as possible.
Communication is an important part of life, though it is often taken for granted. When you think about it, almost everything you do requires improved communications. To be effective in business, you have to communicate well. When you hire a new employee, good communication skills help you select the right person. When you communicate with your various stakeholders, you need to be clear about your expectations and sensitive when dealing with problems. The key is to know how to effectively communicate your vision with passion and conviction.
Almost everyone negotiates informally on a daily basis, without even being aware of it. Formal negotiation is a skill that can be learned through experience and practice. People who negotiate frequently tend to be more skilled at it than people who have not participated in many formal/informal negotiations. Experienced people are more likely to know what to say, when or when not to say it, or make concessions. The key is to know how to develop a win-win approach in negotiations with all parties, while at the same time keeping in mind that you also want to obtain the most favourable outcome possible for yourself.
Strategic planning is a very important business activity. It is a process of defining your company’s strategy or direction and making decisions on allocations of resources of capital and people. The key is knowing how to project your company’s future performance, within a three-to-five-year framework or more, supported by your well-defined business plan.
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Leadership is a process of getting things done via people. Leadership, a critical management skill, is the ability to motivate a group of people toward a common goal. It is also the ability to take charge, assemble, mobilize, and motivate teams. The key is to know how to forge long-term relationships with prospects, customers, suppliers, employees, and investors.
Team building and teamwork skills are essential for an entrepreneur in today’s workplace. People working at their potentials in teams generate better solutions and more productivity than individual members working independently. The key is to know how to build teams of employees, partners, advisors, and investors that will help you take your business to the next level.
Today’s workplace is becoming more technologically advanced and complex. With this rapid increase of technology, the need for analytical thinking also increases. Analytical thinking is the ability to objectively assess the present state of your business, to determine where you want to be in the future, and what to do in order to close the gap between the present and the future growth of your business. The key is to know how to gather, review, and evaluate data that is necessary to formulate and express compelling arguments.
Sales and marketing skills
Establishing successful sales and marketing methods and policies – from pricing and advertising to sales techniques – are essential in growing your business. The ability to analyze your competition, the marketplace and industry trends are critical to the development of your marketing strategy. The key is to know how to craft and communicate a compelling message to the right target audience that generates new business, and in turn, builds profitable revenue streams.
Cash flow management skills
Cash flow is generally acknowledged as the single most pressing concern of the small and medium-sized businesses. In its simplest form, cash flow is the movement of money in and out of your business. Cash flow is the life-blood of all growing businesses and is the primary indicator of business health. The effect of cash flow is real, immediate and, if mismanaged, totally unforgiving. The key is to know how to monitor, protect, control, and put cash to work.
Financial management skills
The activity of finance is the application of a set of techniques that individuals and businesses use to manage their money, particularly the differences between income and expenditure and the risks of their investments. The need for timely budgeting and reporting of financial performance is of the utmost importance. The key is to know how to interpret and analyze your financial statements, in such a way, as to identify the items that are adversely affecting your profitability.
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Time management skills
Time management is a set of related common-sense skills that help you use your time in the most effective and productive way. Time Management is a very important skill to master. Learning this skill will empower you to achieve more and to use your time wisely. The key is to know how to manage your time efficiently and to focus on the activities most likely to deliver value to your business.