When you’re in business for yourself, there are going to be a million things to do.
Some of them will come easily to you: you may have past experience or acquired the necessary business skills; you feel confident; maybe you enjoy them and lose track of time.
Others will require business skills that you haven’t mastered yet… so you tell yourself you’re no good at it. Or maybe they bore the s**t out of you, so you can’t motivate yourself to get them done.
But those tasks are just as important for your business success…
you can’t afford to ignore them.
I believe that as entrepreneurs, there are certain qualities which help us succeed. These qualities are are often innate to our character, part of our DNA.
They are qualities that may not be learned in a classroom or acquired through experience.
But these qualities alone are not enough.
essential business skills
You’ll need to have some basic but essential business skills to really make your business work.
These are skills that can be easily learned and honed through practice. But you may need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone a bit. And you may even need to stop telling yourself that you’re “no good” at it.
You can definitely become “good enough” at them for now, and someday hire someone else to do them for you!
Here are five business skills needed from the start.
1. relationship management
As a business owner, you will responsible for so many relationships.
From the beginning, you will be responsible for the relationship with yourself. Are you taking the right steps towards building the business of your dreams? Does your business provide you with what you want out of life? Are you staying true to yourself along the way?
You’ll then have relationships with many others along the way – potential clients / customers, actual clients / customers, networks, suppliers, partners, service providers, staff.
Managing these relationships effectively is important. You need to get the best out of all of these people and give your best to them. You have to be professional, but also confident in your position. And you’ll make some hard decisions along the way.
When I first started my business, marketing was my biggest foe. I told myself that I had “no idea what I was doing” and it’s the area I’ve invested the most into learning about over the years.
What I’ve learned is that marketing is nothing more than learning how to talk about your business in a way that your clients or customers would care about. And it’s actually super easy to learn what message they need to hear by talking to them and listening to what they have to say.
Once you understand this message, the “how to” of where and how to market become very simple.
3. the ability to sell
Let’s get real. Without sales, your business will fail.
Your sales process should never be sleazy! It instead should build and nurture a relationship with your ideal customer.
You’ll show them that you actually understand who they are, what they need, how you can help them and that you actually care.
I talk more about how to attract the right customers in a past blog. Once you follow that process, selling becomes much easier.
You’ll then need to understand your pricing strategy so that you can make money.
And you should have a bit of a sales process in place, so that you’re not reinventing the wheel with each new customer.
4. financial management
I’ve been working with entrepreneurs for almost a decade, and in that time, financial management is by far the weakest business skill that I see time and time again around the world.
A LOT of you are telling yourself that you’re no good in this area, for so many reasons!
I’m super passionate about helping people with money matters because it really does not have to be complicated.
At a bare minimum, you need to know what money is coming in and out of your personal and business accounts.
From this, you can work out how to price your products and services. You’ll know how much money you need to earn for your business to survive and for you to survive (whatever lifestyle you choose).
Once you understand these numbers, you will have clarity, you will stayed focused, and you’ll make progress.
5. strategic thinking
At every stage of your business journey, you will need to be able to think strategically and make decisions that affect you and your business.
How do you build a business that aligns with your vision?
What do you do next?
How do you manage all of the moving pieces?
Where do you find the time to do it all?
How do I know if it’s not working?
Sometimes the answers will come easily. The path will be clear.
And at others time, you simply don’t know what to do. Yet you still have to figure it out.
You’ll need to have the right people around you to support you in these moments. Identify who those people are for you.
are you missing some business skills?
Being really honest with yourself and understanding which knowledge and business skills you are missing might feel a bit intimidating. No one likes to admit their shortcomings (me included!).
But when we allow ourselves to be honest, we can then also take steps to address those areas. These business skills are easy to learn and implement. You may just need a little help to get you there.
Book a free consultation here to learn how to get focused, get confident and get customers!