There are a lot of business skills new entrepreneurs require to succeed in business. In the startup stage, entrepreneurs wear multiple hats. You need to know a little bit about a lot when starting your first business. In the beginning, you’ll either be doing everything yourself or overseeing the work of those doing the work for you. So, let’s break down what some of the business skills you’ll need to develop are.
- What Are Business Skills?
- How to Develop Business Skills
- 10 Business Skills All Entrepreneurs Need to Develop
What Are Business Skills?
Business skills are your ability to complete business tasks. For example, running Facebook Ads is one example of a skill in marketing you may need to develop to attain customers for your business.
How to Develop Business Skills
There are a few ways you can learn how to develop business skills. Here are the top three:
1. Trial And Error
The most effective way to develop business skills is through action. You’ll learn more by signing up for TikTok and creating video content than you would if you were to watch someone else do it. That’s why the number one way to develop a business skill is to practice it yourself. It can be extremely intimidating to do something for the first time. You may worry about the mistakes you’ll make or how you’ll be perceived. However, pushing through that fear and anxiety is what’ll help you learn new business skills efficiently.
2. Learn From Others
Another great way to develop business skills is to sign-up for an online course. If you’re looking to learn how to start a dropshipping business, you could consider signing up for Oberlo 101. If you want to learn from a range of successful entrepreneurs, you can subscribe to the Start Yours podcast. There you’ll learn some of the most up-to-date tactics entrepreneurs practice today.
3. Look for Patterns
A third way to develop business skills is by studying what other people do. Aim to find the patterns of success by studying how others do it. If you’re looking to learn search engine optimization (SEO), you can spend time studying the highest listed articles for various keywords. If you’re looking to create viral social media posts, you can spend time looking at the most popular posts for multiple hashtags. Or, if you simply want to develop leadership skills, you can study the leaders you admire and note what they do differently.
10 Business Skills All Entrepreneurs Need to Develop
One of the business skills you’ll need to develop is marketing. Marketing allows you to gain new customers, grow your social media followers, write compelling website descriptions, plan promotions, and more. Fortunately, there’s plenty of information available online to develop this business skill. Whether you need to learn how to optimize your business or master TikTok before your competitors do, most entrepreneurs can develop marketing skills through trial and error.
Marketing skills are one of the most valuable business skills for entrepreneurs. Many of the top-performing businesses on Oberlo have entrepreneurs with strong marketing backgrounds running them. In 2020, you’ll want to have strong skills in TikTok, Instagram, advertising, content marketing, and email, just to name a few.
Most entrepreneurs can confirm that sales skills are essential. If you sell physical products, you’ll need to know how to sell them to retailers. Or you may need to develop partnerships with companies to sell your product to their employees.
Billionaire Sara Blakely once said, “Everything about my journey to get Spanx off the ground entailed me having to be a salesperson – from going to the hosiery mills to get a prototype made to calling Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. I had to position myself to get five minutes in the door with buyers.”
Even the owner of an ecommerce business is still required to be a salesperson. If a customer is unsure about whether or not a specific product is right for them, you’ll need to be able to persuade them to buy the product.
You also need to be able to differentiate between soft and hard business skills when it comes to sales. Most customers think of a hard sell when they think of sales. For example, the car salesman who follows you around pitching that you need to buy this car right now before it’s too late. A soft sell would be giving away a free sample-sized version of the lip gloss or a guide on picking the right lip gloss for your skin tone for your beauty brand. It’s important to know when and where to use soft and hard sells for your business.
In 2020, you’ll need to have a clear unique value proposition to help differentiate yourself from other competitors. Everyone is fighting for the attention of customers, buyers, and other businesses. So in sales, a business skill you’ll need to know is how to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
3. Customer Service
As a business owner, you’re responsible for managing the business skill of customer service. You’ll be required to process refunds, respond to customer inquiries, and manage feedback. Having customer service skills will allow you to keep customers even if they’re unhappy with their first purchase. That’s because you’ll know how to resolve the issue without burning the bridge. Also, it’ll let you understand your customer’s needs because you’ll be in regular contact with them. You’ll also use your customer service skills while communicating with customers before, during, and after their purchase.
In ecommerce, business skills such as customer service are essential. Customer service allows you to build relationships with your customers. The stronger your customer relations, the easier it is to serve customers products they love. If customers are always complaining about the quality of a specific product, you could easily change the supplier and offer a product of higher quality. This keeps your customers coming back. It also lets your customers know that you’re committed to keeping them happy and listening to their needs.
In 2020, focus on mindful listening. Often, entrepreneurs listen to respond. However, listening to respond often leads to missing out on some key details. By practicing mindful listening, you’ll better understand what the customer expects of your business and its products. In customer service, one of the business skills to develop is reading between the lines.
Financial acumen is one of the most critical business skills you’ll ever need. When you’re starting your first business, you might take a while to develop this skill. However, as your business grows, you’ll need to master your ability to budget, invest, and forecast. You’ll be required to pay your government’s taxes. Also, you’ll need to know what type of things you can write off. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re still making a profit after paying off all your expenses.
Understanding accounting and finance will allow you to take your business to new heights. You’ll be better equipped to determine how much money you should spend on marketing, employees, and more. Also, you’ll know how to save your business some money when sales are generally lower. You’ll even know how to grow your profits through reinvestment.
In 2020, costs are rising more than ever. Thus, the business skill you’ll need to focus on developing is a better understanding of what your business’ tax write-offs are so you can save more money.
Now let’s go into some soft business skills you’ll need to develop. Most entrepreneurs need to be adaptable. Even if you choose to start a dropshipping business, you’ll make use of this skill. For example, recently, Coronavirus and Chinese New Year caused many dropshipping companies to pause sales. Packages were not being shipped out to customers due to a temporary block by China itself. This can add a lot of stress to a business. By being adaptable, you may temporarily switch to another supplier based in the United States during that time.
Being adaptable is a business skill you need because it keeps your business alive during tough times. When technology changes, some businesses choose not to change their business model. However, this can eventually kill the business. For example, BlockBuster, a video rental company, decided not to change its business model to include online video streaming. They had an opportunity to buy Netflix but decided against it. In the end, BlockBuster closed its doors, and Netflix’s model survived.
6. Time Management
Business skills centered around time management are a must. Many entrepreneurs start their businesses part-time while still holding full-time jobs. Balancing the workload of a small business in the few hours after work can be difficult. After a long workday, it’s normal to feel exhausted. However, you still need to work on your business to make it a success.
In ecommerce, you’ll use time management skills to ensure that orders are processed the same day your customers order. Since products are being shipped from China to countries as far as Canada and the United States, you mustn’t delay order processing.
One of the great things about mastering your time management business skill is that you learn to maximize your time with the same number of hours. Billionaires and other successful entrepreneurs are allotted the same 24 hours each day. However, how they manage those hours is what sets them up for long-term success.
One of the business skills you need is determination. Og Mandino once said, “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” Determination will help you overcome adversity. It’s what keeps entrepreneurs motivated even if they have several failed business ventures under their belt. It’s what helps them ignore the words of their haters and skeptics. If you have a big goal that you’re trying to accomplish, you can develop your determination as it helps drive you.
The best thing about being a determined entrepreneur is that it makes adversity bearable. Most determined business people don’t even realize they’re experiencing challenges because they’re so committed to achieving their goal. No negative thought or obstacle can stand in the way of their success. They’re ready to work around every obstacle and do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true.
Business skills like resourcefulness are game-changers. Resourceful entrepreneurs always find a way of figuring things out. They know who to contact if they’re having a problem they can’t solve. They know how to use search engines to learn how to do something. They know when to ask for help and when to solve a problem on their own.
Being resourceful means you know how, where, and when to get the information you need. By being resourceful, you become an independent entrepreneur. It allows you to find information on your own without continually needing to rely on others for help. Whatever you need to figure out, you’ll always find a way.
Sometimes, the answers you need can’t be searched for online. In those cases, a resourceful person would take the lead and run an experiment to find out the answer on his or her own.
Creativity is one of the many business skills you need to start a business. You’ll be utilizing creativity when writing copy for your website, coming up with ideas to make your website stand out, and marketing your business. Problem-solving also requires some creativity. Sometimes to solve complicated problems, you have to think outside the box for a solution.
Creativity is a great business skill to have because it allows you to differentiate your brand from competitors. It also allows you to find other paths to your goals when obstacles present themselves. Also, it will enable you to come up with solutions to complicated problems.
In 2020, creativity can be found all over social media. Spend some time watching videos on TikTok or Instagram to see how entrepreneurs channel their creativity to promote their businesses – and themselves.
As a business owner, you’ll also be utilizing your strategy skills. Creating a strategy for long-term growth will keep your business alive for more than just a few months. Those who are able to strategize can see a future for their business and have a plan of attack for it. They don’t merely create a company to make money right now. Instead, they create a business to make money for life.
One of the key benefits of being able to strategize is that you can consider the long-term consequences of short-term decisions. You’ll be able to foresee potential problems and come up with a plan to minimize risk. You’ll also know which risks are worth taking and which can be disastrous. In addition, you’ll know where you plan on being in five, ten or even twenty years. And it’s that kind of long-term plan that sets you up for future success.
The business skills you develop can help you succeed as an entrepreneur. You’ll need to establish a balance of hard business skills like marketing and soft business skills like creativity. Taking the time to become a master of these skills and more can allow you to build a successful brand. You’ll also be able to provide adequate training to employees and virtual assistants. Which of these business skills have you already mastered? Leave a comment below to let us know.
Which business skills have you already mastered? Are there any other business skills you think should be on this list? Leave a comment below to let us know.
Want to learn more?
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Is there anything else you’d like to know more about and wish was included in this article? Let us know in the comments below!