Today’s small business owners wear a lot of hats. Yet many feel ill-prepared for the business of doing business. Whether it’s a lack of leadership skills or an inability to balance the books, business owners need some basic training if they want to succeed.
“Business owners often get into business because they are passionate about something,” says small business and personal finance expert David Koch. “But just because they are passionate doesn’t necessarily mean they are great at doing business. I’ve met a lot of passionate business owners who had great ideas that were let down by a lack of practical skills. So, it’s important if you’re a small business owner to identify your strengths and weaknesses and get training or seek help for the things you aren’t good at.”
It’s great advice, but just what are the essential skills you need as a business owner? KBB gives you the lowdown.
Having a good grasp of finance is critical when it comes to the health of your small business. Understanding cash flow, how to project sales and forecast revenue are finance skills every business owner needs to know. Financial compliance is also a must for small business owners. If you are armed with financial management skills you will be able to run your small business more effectively.
So, you have an incredible product or service – but do people know about it? Having the know-how to promote your business effectively is a business essential. In days gone by it may have been simple enough to list your business in the Yellow Pages, put an ad in the paper or do a flyer drop to let customers know about you. Today’s consumers operate in a vastly different environment. How you communicate with them is far more dependent on digital media than traditional media. As a business owner, this means you MUST be au fait with social media and online advertising to have cut through.
Customer service skills
Today’s consumers expect a great customer experience from your brand from initial to final contact. Whether your customers are chatting with a bot on messenger, to a staff member in-store or navigating your eCommerce platform, ensuring they receive the same fantastic experience no matter the channel or platform is paramount. Your customers should experience a first-class service no matter where, when or how they reach you.
Project management skills
Whether you’re starting your business, scaling up or simply launching a new product or service, project management skills are vital to ensuring everything goes to plan. Project management skills allow you to effectively manage your resources, whether that is time, money or staff. Project management skills assist you to plan for the future and set achievable goals and milestones for your business. Project management can be the difference between the success and failure of a venture.
If you employ staff then leadership skills should be at the head of your list. A good leader can motivate staff, share the vision and purpose of the brand and ensure morale and productivity is high. While some people may have natural leadership tendencies, good leaders aren’t just born this way. Leadership skills can also be cultivated.
As Koch says, every business owner has their strengths and weaknesses, so identifying what you’re good at and what you need help with should be your first port of call. Then seek out education and training to fill the gaps and add to your arsenal of success.
Sharpen up your business skills with a range of courses from TAFE Enterprise. Learn more at TAFE Enterprise or call 1300 045 737 to discuss your training needs.