If you are planning to start a business of your own, you must keep few things in mind so that you won’t fail. The initial five years for any new business are very crucial, as all the major decisions are taken, during this time. There are some important skills needed to start a business.
Several studies have shown that the main reason for any business failure is due to the lack of investors, higher competition, wrong selection of location, wrong pricing, ineffective marketing etc. However, in order to overcome all these failures and to service in the market, you need to acquire some business skills which are:
- Leadership skills
Everyone has a tendency of following a leader and knowing how to fulfill his duty towards the leader. In order to have a better business, you must have leadership skills in yourself, to motivate your team to better performance so that they meet the set objectives on time. You will have the knowledge of taking decisions, even at crucial times so that you can lead your business in the right direction.
Some people are born with leadership abilities and they know how to run a successful business but those who are not well-versed with this skill, can opt for various training programmes and develop their leadership skills to lead strategies.
You can show leadership skills to your staff by:
- Including then while taking important decisions
- Motivating them personally
- Providing recognition and rewards for good performances
- Helping them to build confidence and encourage them to take initiatives
- Showing them their success path and inspire them achieve it.
- Having a good two-way communication
- Strategic Planning Skills
You need a plan to execute the strategy to run a business properly and it requires changes from time to time. You must know how to develop a strategic plan for your business, which you can also review, by taking strategic audits, at times. This will help you in thinking and planning for the future, apart from the daily functioning of your business so that you can achieve growth, as well as progress with time.
Applying strategic views in your business will help you in growing one step further from where you are standing now and will help you in achieving long term goals. There are several training programs or workshops, which will help you in building strategic planning skills.
Also, you must keep in consideration these things,
- Find out where your business is moving and what should be done to reach the position.
- Understand the upcoming challenges, face and address them wisely as well as grab all the opportunities for you business
- Improve the overall performance of your business
Some of the tools which you can use to determine your business strategies are:
SWOT analysis, by which you can understand several tings like,
- What are your business strengths
- what are the weakness in your business
- What are the current or future opportunities you have for your business
- Any upcoming or present threats for your business.
Analysing the data will help you to know all these things, and as per the result you can build your strengths, resolve your weakness, grab the opportunities and can avoid all the threats
Gap analysis, in which you analyse the current position of your business and look for its future scope, the place which you want to reach. Then you analyse the gap in between this two, in order to find out a way to bridge the gap. By forming your strategy
A business strategy should be realistic, putting in place measurable targets for the medium period. It should be reviewed on the regular basis.
- Marketing Skills
Success of a business also depends upon the marketing of its product and services. You must have the skill of observing what your customer needs, then putting into the product or service you are offering and then marketing it well, so that they know what they are paying for.
Running a business means undergoing times of boom as well as well as those of a recession. Businesses which remain standing during the recession period are well versed in their marketing techniques. Hence, they remain able to provide what their customers are looking for, through their products and services.
You can say that marketing is one of the key skills to know what people want to buy and then to provide them the product, which matches their need, perfectly. A good marketing plan helps the business to build a lot of revenues, as compared to the other competitors.
In order to gain some knowledge about it, you can read several available books on it or even opt for a course in marketing.
- Sales and customer relationship skills
Selling is an art, which everyone possesses. All you need is to enhance the skills, you already possess, in order to take your business, to new heights.
The basic logic behind it is to initiate the process and then to complete it by successfully selling it to the customer. There are few things which you can master in order to build sales for your business. You should always look around for new leads, contact them and present your proposal in front of them, clarify all their doubts and objections, close the deal and then provide, after sales services.
These after sales services will help you in building a good relationship with your customer and he will look forward to dealing with you again. Those who are well versed in sales will know how to crack the deal but if you don’t have that knowledge, you can see others, how they are pursuing consumers, you can read books about consumer mindsets. Several books are available in the market on sales and customer relationships, which you can read, to gain knowledge about it.
- Communication Skills
Communication is a very effective tool, which every business owner possesses. They know how to communicate with their staff, management, customers and investors. It’s far different from writing, as writing can be misinterpreted, whereas face to face communication or oral communication influences people greatly.
In order to become a successful businessman, you must know how to use right words at the right place, in order to gain a positive response. That is the reason every leader likes to have an open seminar or gives speeches to showcase and present their ideas. All of them have the skills of public speaking, hence, are able to impress others.
Written communication is used where you have to market your business by writing about it. Choose the right words to boost its visibility amongst the audience as well as to boost up the response rate. There are several courses, which you can opt and master your communication skills, through them. It will also increase your confidence level
- Human Resource Skills or People Management Skills
Since you are working with other people too or you are going to hire them for your business, you need to set proper goals for them. You must know how to motivate them to perform well and as per the set standards. You must know all the rules and regulations and labor laws, before hiring anyone for your business setup.
In order to grow their faith in you, you need to showcase your leadership skills along with the people management skills. This will impress them a lot and they will be able to support you in your dream of running the business successfully.
How to manage your work force
- Build your management team first
- Delegate their responsibilities
- Hire people to fill all sorts of gap and provide them training for skill gaps
- You can outsource your work to other specialist firms on contract basis.
- Proper training and development should be provided from time to time for your employees to fill the gaps.
If you want your team to work properly, then you should ensure all these things
- Make sure everyone knows their role and understand it
- Set goals for them and communicate it with them
- Always have clear communications with them, no space for confusion
- Tell them all about their responsibilities
- Involve all team members in decision-making as much as possible
- Introduce ways to manage and resolve differences between them
- Conduct effective meetings, to know about their progress, issues etc.
- Encourage them for personal development and trainings
- Perform regular review meetings
- Always be a listener to them
- Encourage and promote diversity
- Provide time to time motivations to your team members
- Give them rewards for their work
- Accounting Skills
In order to run a business, you must know how to maintain the cash flow. A body can’t work without blood. Similarly, a business cannot work without money. You have to maintain it so that your business won’t run out of cash at any point of time. You need it to pay for the materials, utilities and also need it pay salaries to your employees. Nothing will work, if there is no cash.
You need to develop a business plan along with the financial forecast before starting any business, so that you can easily manage your cash flow. You should keep a tab on the sales invoices and material costs, keep them updated with any price change or quantity changes to forecast the cash flow for future.
You can also learn how to do accounting from accounting books or while opting for a course in finance or accounting.
- Computer Skills
- In today’s time, most of the business work is done with the aid of technology whether it’s about writing email, paying bills or running any complex business module for the business. Thus, in order to keep yourself up-to-date with the latest technology, you must be an expert of business tools specially Microsoft office suite, which includes Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Access.
- Negotiating Skills
- To avail good deals for your business from suppliers, vendors etc. you must have good negotiation skills. It will also help in attracting your customers by giving them several offers or while motivating your employees to meet their deadlines.
- Problem resolution skills
It is a part of your leadership skills and people management skills but it is still considered to be an important skill. Since you are going to run a business, you will face a lot of issues which need to be resolved immediately. In order to build a successful business, you need to address them on time and with efficient decisions.
You must develop decision making skills so that you can take decisions confidently and impress your investors, employees and customers and build a strong relationship with them.
Acquiring all these skills will help you in starting your business as well as will lead you to run a successful business. In order to maintain it, you need to be consistent about what you are doing. People must know you from your work why you remain consistent about your core values and
keep up with the goals. Provide best customer services to them. You should always give quality products or services, use social media to spread awareness about your business and its achievements and always remain in contact with people.
You should always work with the same passion which you had in the initial stages of your business. People love your enthusiasm and draw strength from it and that’s why you are now able to survive the market. Be creative and come up with new ideas, work on them.
Once you able to build your name as a brand amongst the people, you will be out of the competition but will maintain the creativity. Otherwise, people will find it old and boring. You should always look for the better chances and always be ready to take risks by launching new ideas or by introducing new technologies.