Enthusiasm and luck are common ingredients in a business that is in the start-up phase, but these qualities will only keep a business afloat for so long. All too often, businesses run into trouble because the fundamental and important elements for success are not in place from the beginning.
Even larger organisations with smaller business units, often fail to correctly resource their units, or put managers in place to run these units who have never acquired the necessary business skills. Business management takes a specific set of business skills and capabilities that need to be learned and honed over time.
Business experts agree that the following seven business skills are key to success when managing a business unit or running your own business.
7 important business skills you need today
Sound financial management
Good judgement is fundamental to good business. Strong financial management skills and financial understanding give you the ability to assess risk and make good judgement calls about past, present and future decisions. There are always risks in any business However, those who understand how to manage risk will succeed where others fail.
Project planning and executing
Running a business involves managing an ongoing series of projects that overlay each other. It can be a juggling act that requires skill and discipline to do right. A foundation of time and project management skills will hold you strong and steady when all the balls need to be kept in the air.
Communication and relationship building skills
Effective communication is required in every area of business management. You need to be able to run productive meetings, confidently motivate team members to achieve targets, deftly resolve conflicts between staff, or with suppliers and skilfully appease the needs of customers or company directors. Investing in learning good communications skills will bring you joy, peace and success throughout your business career.
To be an effective leader, you must commit to walking the talk yourself. You need to understand how to manage priorities for yourself and others so that the important work gets done. A great way to become a better leader is to study and model other leaders that you admire. Do online seminars, read books, join leadership groups, and if possible, ask a business leader you respect to be a mentor.
The adage, ‘you are only as good as your weakest link’ is true for business. Strong recruitment is an area where business managers and owners commonly fall short. Recruitment can be time-consuming, however taking the time to define who you need on your team, and how to attract that person, will pay off in the long term. When you can professionally manage the recruitment process from hiring to induction, you will attract and keep the right people you need to achieve your business goals.
Everyday business operations
There is a myriad of day-to-day and month-to-month processes that every successful business needs to master. Human resources (including payroll), and administration(including document design) are the engines of the business ship that keep an organisation humming towards the horizon. If the engines aren’t kept maintained, the ship will stall, and you’ll take longer to achieve your goals.
Curiosity and learning
An attitude and culture of curiosity are essential in business. You need to be constantly assessing your market, your competitors, looking for new opportunities and keeping an open mind about new technologies and innovations. A well-crafted professional development plan is vital for yourself as an owner or manager, and for your key team members. A love of lifelong learning is a passion you need to acquire now and will be the key to your ongoing success in business and life.
These seven business skills are a starting place and will provide a strong foundation for business growth. Ongoing business development and growth requires additional skills. Consider undertaking a useful qualification like the Diploma of Business (Leadership) (BSB50120) to boost your business skills, and get you on track for a rewarding career in any direction.
What has been your experience with business management or ownership? Which of the above seven business skills has benefited you the most? Which do you need to improve?