Inspired by the stories of Steve Jobs, Sara Blakely, and Elon Musk, millions dream of launching their businesses – but few achieve that same level of success.
The question arises: Is being a successful entrepreneur a matter of luck or a craft you can learn?
To answer this question, let’s look at two real-life stories.
The first story is about the famous Italian fashion brand launched by Guccio Gucci. He involved all his sons in his first shop, and thanks to their business acumen, it rose to unprecedented heights within half a century.
But when his grandson Maurizio took over the Gucci house, things went downhill, resulting in the end of family ownership of the fashion house. Although Maurizio was fortunate enough to be born into the Gucci family, he did not have the skill to maintain the business’s success.
The second story is about Oprah Winfrey, who was born into a poor Mississippi family (her mother was a housecleaner, her father a barber). Despite the obstacles, Oprah received a good education – and became the first woman in history to own and produce a talk show while also becoming a successful business manager.
There are millions of Gucci and Oprah-like stories, and all of them indicate one thing: Businesspeople are made, not born.
Becoming a thriving business manager or entrepreneur requires skill, experience, a strong business idea and a plan.
This article will focus on the skills you should develop and how to develop them to successfully launch your new career as a business manager or an entrepreneur.
Master These 7 Skills to Succeed in Business
Typically, running a business requires you to become a jack of all trades, managing core company resources like people, money, time, and materials. Developing skills that can help you do so effectively is a must.
Here’s our list of the skills every business manager and entrepreneur should acquire:
Suppose your company is an engine with multiple pistons, gears, cylinders, and valves interacting with each other, moving the entire system forward. Savvy mechanics keep the machinery well-oiled to make these components run smoothly.
Just as it is vital to have quality lubrication for smooth and durable engine operation, your communication skills are essential for your company’s overall success.
Whether you are communicating in person or online, you should have the skills to listen to every person dealing with your company carefully and always know what to say, when, how, and to whom.
As an excellent communicator, you can fine-tune business and interpersonal relationships, making clients eager to buy from you, employees pleased to work for you, and your business partners seeking to invest in you.
Sales and Marketing Skills
If communication skills are the oil for your business machine, sales skills are its fuel.
Your top priority as a business owner must be selling your products and services. Otherwise, the day will come when your financial reserves dwindle, and you can only cover some of your business-associated costs, including taxes and wages, and allocate the marketing budget to attract customers.
Good sales skills are about knowing your audience and presenting the best solution to their needs. To be a successful entrepreneur and top-notch seller, you must enhance your communication skills with active listening, empathy, research, analytical thinking, product expertise, and presentation skills.
Solid sales abilities enable you to create effective marketing campaigns, attract the correct type of customers, and inspire them to spread the word about your brand.
Leadership skills, including strategic thinking, team management, and financial savvy, are essential for managing or running a business.
Imagine if you were one of the millions of business managers or owners who had to navigate through the recent pandemic. Do you have the skills needed to protect your people and your company?
Financial Planning Skills
As an entrepreneur, you must have a financial plan before purchasing your product or service.
To begin, you will need to create a business plan. Along with market research, competitor analysis, and target customer profiles, your business plan should contain estimated costs, profit, and an estimate of how long it will take to reach the break-even point.
If you plan to attract investors, you should also calculate an approximate time for their return on investment.
A business manager must also know what business metrics, including financial ones, they must track. For example, a critical indicator of a sustainable business is when the profit your customer brings to your company while using your product or service is more than the costs you’ve spent to acquire them.
When starting your own business, you must know how to budget, evaluate cash flow scenarios, analyze financial reports, and forecast future earnings and expenses. Learning accounting, tax, and payroll fundamentals will also be necessary for running your business.
Decision-making and Problem-solving Skills
Whether you are managing someone else’s business or starting your own, you need to be able to assess complex situations, identify potential solutions, weigh the risks and benefits, and make informed decisions.
This can be anything from the mundane, such as what chairs to order for the office, to more vital ones, such as the unique selling point to offer new products to your clients.
These skills can be developed through education, training, and experience and are necessary to achieve business objectives and success in a competitive marketplace.
Time Management Skills
Launching your new career in business, you may feel there you need more time because there is more to do.
Meetings with team members, attending business conferences, closing deals with key customers, pitching business ideas to investors, bargaining with suppliers for discounts on materials, interviewing top managers to join the company, finding a new office for rent — your to-do list as a can be endless.
But like everyone else, you have only 24 hours in a day to finish things.
By mastering the art of time management, you will be able to plan, prioritize, organize, and control your time spent on specific tasks, boosting your productivity and the overall performance of your company.
In the right hands, time management allows you to get more done over shorter periods — and you still have time to maintain your gym routine and attend your child’s school concert.
Lifelong Learning Skills
Your top priority as an entrepreneur is to make your business thrive. That means keeping it competitive, marketable, and relevant to industry trends. As such, one more quality you need to cultivate to be a successful business owner, or a business manager is your willingness to continue learning.
With this mindset, you’ll be able to master new skills to seamlessly adapt to business changes, produce out-of-the-box solutions to entice prospects’ attention, and introduce innovative technologies to streamline your business processes.
How to Develop Your Business Skills and Gain Experience
Now that you know what qualities to develop to become a seasoned business manager, it’s essential to understand how you can create them. Here’s our rundown of viable options:
Entry-Level Jobs and Volunteering
Apply for entry-level jobs in your field of interest to explore how a business is run and gain hands-on experience or start a side hustle to learn the basics of business management. Engaging in volunteer work provides an opportunity to gain insight into the inner workings of a business that piques your interest daily.
Networking and Mentorship
Building a solid professional network can open doors to new career opportunities and valuable advice. Attend networking events, join industry groups, and seek mentorship from experienced business leaders.
Once you have figured out what skills are valuable to businesspeople, you will quickly notice the gaps in your knowledge.
For example, you may be a brilliant communicator but do not know how to trace a company’s cash flow—without proper education in financial principles and practices, making informed decisions, monitoring cash flow, and ensuring the business’s long-term health will be challenging.
Enrolling in a career college program is often the quickest and most efficient way to get the specialized knowledge and skills needed to achieve your career goals.
Benefits of Studying Business Management
Our Commerce: Business Management Diploma program will provide you with the training and skills employers seek. Other benefits include:
- Practical training: Some career colleges provide practical and hands-on training that prepares students for the real-world challenges of the business world. This includes case studies, simulations, and practicums, providing students with real-world experience and exposure to industry-specific practices and procedures.
- Accelerated programs: Career colleges often offer accelerated programs that allow students to complete their studies and enter the workforce sooner.
- Career-focused education: Career colleges often provide education and training designed to prepare students for specific positions in the workforce. This means that if you are in a business management program, you only take courses related to that specialty and avoid unnecessary electives.
Enroll in the Commerce: Business Management Diploma program from Sundance College to develop all the skills you need to be a successful business manager or entrepreneur.