The Skills You Need to Start a Successful Small Business

The Skills You Need to Start a Successful Small Business

Do you have a dream of one day running your own successful small business? Do you see others doing it and wonder how you can follow in their footsteps? At a certain point, owning a business is about taking a risk; after all, there is never a guarantee. But the level of risk you take can be drastically minimised if you have the right kind of skills for operating a business. Here’s a list of some of the most important skills you need to start a successful small business.

Learn to Be a Great Marketer

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When contemplating a start-up business, one of the most important things to think about is your customer. How will you attract customers? How will you inform them of your business and spark their interest? This is the category of marketing that is so important it can make or break a new business. Great marketing techniques can’t wait until after you open your business; they need to start before you even open the doors to your venture. Creating buzz can help to make your launch much more impactful.

Here are some of the most effective marketing tips you can use when launching a small business:

  1. Embrace social media and set up business accounts on all the big networks, e.g., Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  2. Engage with people on social media – it’s not enough to merely set up an account. You need to post regularly and respond to comments.
  3. Ensure you have a professional-looking website that is free of bugs and issues. All social networks should link back to the business’s website.
  4. Attend industry events to get the word out. Make sure you take the time to network at these events.
  5. Attend local events that will put you in front of potential customers – this can include trade shows, local fairs, networking events and so forth.
  6. Start a blog that is filled with useful and relevant information. It shouldn’t come across as salesy; instead, it should be informative so that you start to build a loyal following. This can set you up as an expert in the field, which will help to grow your customer base. You can even bring in guest bloggers in the industry.

Marketing is something you don’t want to downplay and even once the business starts doing well and making a name for itself, that shouldn’t signal the end of your marketing efforts.

Learn to Be an Excellent Communicator

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This particular skill spills over into several areas, including the abovementioned marketing aspect. Learning how to be an excellent communicator means you’ll be able to get your message out loud and clear. You need to communicate with clients/customers, partners and investors, vendors, suppliers and staff. Communication skills include listening, reading and writing and they all need to be balanced.

For those who are shy or not naturally confident, now is the time to work on those issues so you can be a better communicator. People will be looking to you as the voice and the direction of the company, so your instructions need to be clear.

Learn to Be a Positive Thinker

Source: shutterstock(Learn to Be a Positive Thinker)

This one can be a difficult skill to learn but it truly pays off. Learning to be a positive person doesn’t mean you are ignoring issues and warning signs. Instead, it is the fact that you are always looking for the lesson and the bright side. You can take even a negative situation and learn something from it.  Your positive thinking will also help to inspire those working for you. It will help to create the kind of work environment that people want to be in, which increases productivity.

Learn to Have Effective Time Management Skills 

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Then we have time management skills which will be even more important in the beginning weeks and months of your business. When starting your own business, there’s a good chance you will be the only employee. If you can afford to hire on anyone else, likely it will just be skeleton staff. That means you need to be very effective in your time management skills as you will be juggling all different tasks and responsibilities at once.

Another thing to remember is that since you own the business, you won’t have someone watching over you and micro-managing you. You don’t have a boss to answer to. That can be a great thing, but for those who need a little extra motivation and direction, it can also be a bad thing. It may be helpful to use a daily schedule that keeps you on task and ensures nothing is overlooked or forgotten. There are even apps that you can use.

When working on your time management skills, don’t forget to also embrace the art of prioritising. Because there often isn’t enough time to get everything done in one day, you must learn to prioritise tackling the urgent projects first.

Acquire Proper Business and Management Skills through Schooling

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So, what’s the best way to learn and sharpen your business and management skills? Schooling is the perfect solution as it will teach the foundations as well as today’s best practices, techniques and principles you need to succeed. Business management courses through institutions like Aston University will arm you with all the key essentials. Once you have taken a few business courses, it starts to change the way you view and approach typical issues, challenges and decisions in the business world. It means you won’t get flustered and you’ll know the right path to take. These types of courses can also help you to be a more effective leader and communicator when it comes to working with and directing your staff.

Besides schooling, good old experience will serve you well. The more experience you get under your belt, the more skills you will have and the better honed they will be.

To become a successful small business owner, it’s important for you to have a well-rounded portfolio of skills that you have worked hard on and will continue to hone. 

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