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10 essential business skills for success

May 25, 2023

Use these essential top 10 skills for business, and your small business will be well on its way to success

1.  Making your business stand out from the crowd

If you have a passion for what you do in your business, something that involves doing what you’re best at, and what has proven over time to make money, you’re halfway there.

But you need more than that for your small business to succeed. You also need to be able to rise above all the other similar small businesses in your category – and that involves plenty of skill. 

One thing that you need to focus on when you start a business and want to succeed is look at what you hope to achieve. Being single-minded in your pursuit of excellence will set your business management skills apart from the rest.

Strive to do more than any other business is currently doing, to offer more, to personalise your services so that your customers know you’re looking after them. Be the best you can be - and always aspire to achieve the most.


2.  Managing your finances effectively

Financial management skills are essential to run your small business. And remember – managing your finances doesn’t only involve making sure you have enough money coming in to pay your suppliers, your staff and yourself. It involves ensuring you are making a profit. And that you have enough cash flow to cover unexpected costs.


Here are some tips on how to manage your accounting effectively:

  • Create a long term financial plan that you stick to. This will involve working out a budget and making a forecast of your commitments and sales. You need to work out how to reduce costs and how to make more money, too.

This could involve renting rather than buying an office, factory or other workplace, or allowing certain staff members to work remotely.

  • Build up a cash reserve in case of emergencies so that you can stay afloat when the going gets tough. Do you need a bank overdraft to cover expenses if customers pay late?
  • Find the most cost-effective methods of running your business. Perhaps it’s cheaper to outsource work than to hire full-time employees? 
  • Consider how you can incentivise staff to do their best for your business.
  • Take out insurance to cover fire, theft and other incidents. You also need good quality medical insurance for yourself and your staff.


3. Marketing and sales skills

You can’t sell your products effectively if you don’t market and promote them, which is why a sales and marketing strategy is so important, especially for small businesses.

If you don’t have the marketing and advertising soft skills to do this, and you need assistance with communicating about your business on social media, consider hiring an expert to assist on a contract basis. 


4.  The ability to communicate and negotiate effectively

Small businesses need to be able to communicate and negotiate with their suppliers in the most effective way possible.

Make sure that your written and verbal skills are up to scratch and that you have the emotional intelligence to build up excellent working relationships with all your suppliers so that you’re all on the  same page. Create an image for your company and reflect this whenever you speak to possible suppliers. 

This also applies to communicating with possible investors, employers and customers, too. You need effective communication skills to speak to each group and get the best possible results for your company. You want to come across as a professional business that is reliable, resourceful and knowledgeable.

Communicating with your customers (ie customer service) is a vital skill to learn. It involves knowing who your customer is and communicating with that person in a way that makes them feel special and listened to.

Customers love personalised service, the feeling that the business they are buying from understands their needs and requirements, and is happy to chat to them one-on-one to make sure those needs are met.


5.   Putting proper systems and processes in place

Having proper systems and processes in place in your business will enable you to meet deadlines, manufacture and deliver products on time and efficiently run every single part of the business and manufacturing process. It doesn’t matter how small your business is – every business needs this type of structure to be able to succeed.

Proper structure in all policies and procedures will make your staff happier and more secure, with a clear focus of exactly what you want from them and how to give it to you.

You’ll also keep your customers satisfied, because they have confidence that your business is reliable and professional.


6.  Great leadership skills 

Good leaders all have the following important skills, no matter how large or small their business may be:

  • They do what they do well and never take chances.
  • They have chosen an expert team who assist them with their business.
  • They understand the need to be patient – that growing their business is a process and doesn’t happen overnight.
  • They have humility, despite being ambitious for growth in the business.
  • They are courageous, empathetic, respectful, self-aware and influential.
  • They are strategic thinkers and think things through before acting.


7.  The ability to delegate and empower 

Another sign of a good leader is the ability to delegate and empower staff. People who are confident in their abilities and in the success of their business are more likely to be able to do this. Those who are unsure, or just starting out, often feel the need to do everything themselves, to keep control, and don’t delegate tasks to others.

But the secret is: the more you empower others to do what they’re good at, the you’re your business is likely to succeed.

So leave it to those who have been trained in those spheres to do the job for you.


8.  Good time management skills

Everything we’re discussing about how to develop valuable business skills here goes hand in hand. If you empower others to do their jobs and give them the authority to do so, which we mention above, you can then manage your own time more effectively. 

Instead of trying to do everyone else’s project, you’ll have the time to successfully lead the team and run your business professionally. If you have proper systems in place, you’ll also be able to manage your time more efficiently.


9.  Problem solving

Good business owners are able to solve problems and make decisions quickly and systematically.

And the only thing to do when you come across something that requires a solution, is to do this as quickly as possible. 

Having the confidence to do this takes time, and the longer you run your business, the better you will get at doing this.


10. The ability to network

You need to keep abreast of trends, and find out what your competitors are doing. 

You need to build relationships with people in the industry so that you can rely on them to help your business grow. Networking also enables your business to become known, so that people can use your products and services.

Networking involves joining committees and clubs that relate to your business in some way. It involves following the news to make sure you know exactly what is happening in your industry at all times.

And having contacts in every realm of your industry to assist and support your business in whatever way they can.


We can help maake your business grow

We want to help you discover your business strength. One of our key focuses is to show other small businesses how to improve their sales and marketing strategies. To do this, you need to be able to identify and benchmark your business’ current performance. 

We have devised a questionnaire to help you improve your performance in Sales and Marketing while optimising your operations.

Take our 3-minute questionnaire and discover how to take your business to the next level.

Watch out for more innovative methods and an online course to make your small business grow! 



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