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Starting a business can be a daunting task. However, when you take it one step at a time and learn the skills needed to start a business one skill at a time, before you know it you'll be adequately equipped to start your first business. In this article we're going to going to go over the skills needed to start a business. These are basic skills that have varying levels of efficiency, but getting the basics of all of them is a good place to start. If that sounds interesting let's dive in!
Effective Marketing Skills
Marketing is a skill and a talent. Consider marketing to be the art of getting your brand name out there for the world to see. You can have the best product, service or invention, but if no one knows it exists then it serves only you. Heck, you could have the cure for cancer, but if no one knew you had it how would it do any good?
Good marketing is not about persuading anyone of anything. Let that thought go. On the contrary good marketing is about finding the right people that truly benefit from what you have to offer. To be an effective marketer you must be in tune with your audience, and know exactly what they need. Once you know that, you know how to reach them.
Remember as a business, much like as an individual, other people are not obstacles or figures or quotas. No. Other people are just that, people. And this might be the most important skill to learn to start a business: to recognize every customer as an individual.
We live in an impeccable age where the internet, and digital technology is a thing. These are all tools that people use on the daily now. And you, as a future business coordinator must know how to use these digital tools as well. Getting an above proficient ability in using technology is an essential skill to starting a business.
Luckily, the technology we all have at our fingertips can help us get better with other technology as well. With platforms like Google, and YouTube learning has never been easier. Not to mention, getting a general understanding of many technological fields (Photography, excel, programming, videography, etc...) is easily obtainable using platforms like YouTube. Make an effort to learn these things.
A great tip to become a general jack-of-all-trades when it comes to computers and smartphones is actually to become a master of one. Choose something technologically related, say video editing or programming, and master it. Along the path to mastery you will encounter problems that require other technological disciplines to solve, and you will learn those while mastering the one field.
What comes to mind when you think of a strong leader? I would argue the best form of leadership is servant leadership. Marian Anderson once said, “Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” This is the premise of servant leadership.
When you are running a business, your leadership should benefit those you lead. And you, as an employer need to recognize the gift that it is to have employees, and recognize your position as their leader. Servant leadership is not as authoritative as your typical leadership as it involves others in the day-to-day decisions. However, it's important to realize even as a servant leader you need to not be afraid of making the tough decisions; that is the burden a leader must carry, and a skill required to start a business.
A servant leader should strive to create a sense of community. A place where people feel welcome, and a place where your employees are thankful to work. To do this you need to acquire emotional intelligence. This is an essential skill needed to start a business.
Good Time Management
In simple terms, the second law of thermodynamics, entropy, states that "Left to itself, everything in the universe moves towards disorder and decay." To counteract this law, or to make something out of nothing requires work. And a business, especially due to their complex nature require an abundance of work. The more efficient you become at managing your time, the more efficient, and the quicker your business can become a reality and grow.
Learning how to manage your time is essential when starting your business. Furthermore, time management is a skill required to start a business and to keep it going.
If charisma is a personality trait, then negotiation is the learned, tactical form of that. In reality, most things we do are considered a negotiation. We just don't label them as such. However, negotiation is a skill required to start a business and keep it going and as entrepreneurs we must be more tactful with our approach.
Like most skills, negotiation can be learned and practiced. Once you know the elements of a successful negotiation, you can learn and improve upon each one of those skills to become master negotiator.
As the creator of the business, you don't want to find yourself in the situation of just being an "overburdened employee". To be successful, becoming good at negotiating is a skill required to start your business. The first step is learning to let things go. It's hard to give control of part of something you put your blood, sweat, and tears into over to someone else. However, it is for the best.
And this starts by hiring employees. That, right there, is your first delegation. Learn to recognize the skills of your employees and assign tasks that complement each employees skillset.
To know what types of tasks to assign, and which to keep doing yourself, create a priority system of all your tasks. Separate tasks based on skill level required and effort required to complete the task. Start by delegating low skill level, high effort level tasks to others.
Make sure to provide detailed instructions and clearly communicate your expectations. Not doing this will lead to communication gaps and misunderstandings. Also, don't be afraid to teach new skills. This may seem as a setback, as it will take longer to get the task done, but see it as an investment. Having more skilled employees is a benefit to you and the employee.
Lastly, the skill required to start a business that is at the forefront of all the other skills is your ability to communicate effectively. To others, and also to yourself. This is an essential skill for entrepreneurs. It is said that only 7% of communication is verbal, 38% tone, and 55% through body language. Take time to master all three types of communication.
Perhaps most importantly, learn to be an active listener. Truly take interest in what the other person has to say. In doing this you will uncover the passions of the individual you are communicating with. And this should be your goal. Not only is it a good skill to have for starting a business, but just a good overall life skill. It's truly something amazing getting to witness someone completely light up when they talk about their passions... It's a beautiful thing, and will bring a whole new layer of depth to every conversation.
Also, don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe. In fact, if you are too passive and are just trying to please everyone, you are actually being dishonest. Not only are you not showing your true self to the other, but you are actively creating a stale relationship with every person you are afraid to tell the truth about what you believe. This is an essential skill for starting a business because your brand and business should be attached to your values. As entrepreneurs and human beings we all need to do our best to go into this world and tell what we believe to be the truth to the best of our ability.
Furthermore, to be good at communication you need to be self aware and understand how you react and digest things. This is especially true for tough conversations. Never be accusatory, and never lash out. Calmly take the situation for what it is. Don't be afraid of silence as it gives you time to process things and think more clearly.
Oftentimes, the skills needed to start a business are naturally self development skills. This is so because a business is no better than those who run it. Take time everyday to practice these skills whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Catch you on the flip,
P.S. If you are wanting to, or have ever wanted to start a business, but are lost on where to start, click here and check this out