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9 Skills to Master Before Starting a Business
- July 4, 2020
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Start business
Entrepreneurs are born not made, college or high school dropouts are most likely to build a successful business, the younger you are the better you can work, are just stereotyped as hurdles in your way. Let’s clear out the biggest one: entrepreneurs are not born with some entrepreneurial chromosome. Period. No matter where you come from or who you are, you can acquire, polish, and master skills for starting a business.
Related: 10 steps to start a business
Starting a business is difficult and there are factors that you cannot always control. Thus, if the efforts and work required to master the only aspect on which you have an upper hand, your skills, are not met, success will be harder than usual to come by.
The Four Cs of 21st Century Skills
Many of you must be aware of the term: 21st Century Skills. For those who aren’t, 21st Century Skills is exactly what the term suggests: skills to thrive in the 21st century. It comprises 4 Cs which are crucial for starting a business and becoming a business leader.
1. Critical Thinking
This is one of the most essential skills for starting a business as it is used every time you come face-to-face with a problem. It is not one of the skills which come handy in a specific situation at a specific time. Critical thinking is required in all the phases and at all the stages in business.
Be it coming up with a business idea and finding sources to get funding or resolving employee associated chaos and lack of satisfaction, critical thinking will be your rescue boat filled with practical reasoning to solve problems while your steady ship suffers turbulence.
Read more: Develop critical thinking skills at work
It is one of the lesser-known and obvious skills required to set foot in before you start a business. No business has ever climbed on the shoulders of one person and won the race. A business requires a packed team of employees to work to obtain organizational goals, investors, consultants, and even competitors to collaborate with. Collaboration skills work as an umbrella skill. Under which, many others like interpersonal, open-mindedness, debate, and adaptability skills co-exist to achieve the ultimate objectives.
To rule out the confusion, no, communication skills and collaboration skills are not the same. In fact, communication is a skill that works like a ladder to master all the other skills. No transaction of ideas, opinions, products, or services is possible without learning effective communication.
Fortunately, gone are the days when door-to-door and “good looking” salesmen had to repeat the lines given to them to sell products. Customers now look for a personal connection before engaging, and this soft skill is a must to achieve that.
The last one of the four Cs, creativity, is simply required when you create something. Creating a business from scratch surely asks for creativity. However, it does not stop there. While running a business, you will be using creativity for making a brochure or virtual banners. Above that, there will be times when creativity will run without realizing it is, like while writing a business plan or while providing customer support in ways that vary customer to customer.
Important Skills for Starting a Business
Besides the above mentioned 4 Cs, starting a business requires many more skills, some of them are:
Read more: Entrepreneurial skills you must have
5. Search Engine Optimization
In this technologically advanced era, sooner or later, your virtual business presence will be required.
Initially, you may not have a lot of capital to invest in online advertisements or for hiring an SEO expert. However, to not let such reasons become a hurdle, you might want to learn basic SEO as it will be required a lot to have and maintain an online ranking of your business.
6. Digital Marketing
Along with SEO, digital marketing is one of the most important skills for starting a business and running it online. With around 40% of the world population having an active internet connection, any entrepreneur cannot afford to ignore that demographic. Digital marketing, if used effectively and efficiently, can work wonders in attracting customers for your business.
Networking is not as difficult as some people may think it is. With people being more and more considerate and helpful with the time, it is now easier than ever to build a network that will help you and your business grow. Also, everyone can be helpful in one or the other scenario, so it is a win-win for everyone. Networking doesn’t necessarily have to be about interacting with just your fellow entrepreneurs and business associated people. Your friends from college or coworkers from a previous job are also part of the trusted and long-standing alliances you’ve built.
8. Financial Management
A business owner must know how to earn money, but more importantly, what to do with the money earned. According to SCORE, 82% of businesses fail due to poor cash flow management skills. Basic knowledge of accounting, taxing, saving, and investing can help you in the long run. To save your business from an expected and huge loss/debt, you must understand where your money is being spent and how. If you are not sure about your expertise in the aspect, platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Unacademy provide various courses to master these skills in a short period of time.
Read more: Ideas to improve money management skills
9. Sales and Marketing
Before you grow your business enough to hire employees and make a team, you are a one-person army. You need to obtain basic knowledge about promoting, marketing, packaging, and selling. No matter how good your business idea or your products or services, they will bring no good without proper and strategic sales and marketing techniques.
Other Skills for Starting a Business
Excel: It is one of the basic skills to increase productivity and ensure organized and structured information and data to save time.
Copywriting: To sell any product or service, you must be able to give people a brief yet a complete understanding of what the product/service is about.
Storytelling: Customers are looking for authenticity and transparency in the products/services they use. Above that, they prefer to know where it actually comes from. Your story of starting a business, your clients’ stories, or your idea/product/service story is waiting to be heard by people and to motivate them.
Confidence: It is required to pitch your idea, give a public speech about your business and story, and to reach potential customers.No task or goal can be achieved without mastering the most important skill, confidence.