When you look at successful entrepreneurs, you will find that there are certain qualities they all have in common. Some are just born with these traits, while others learn as they go along. In some areas, it is even possible to partner with or hire someone who specifically has the skills you are lacking. Here are the top six skills which are needed for small business success:
- Business Skills: It should be obvious that business knowledge would be right at the top of the list, but there are many people who start a business with no business skills whatsoever. Learn the laws about running a business in your area, find out what you need to know about insurance and taxes, get a good grip on your accounting skills, and have a business plan you can follow. If you don’t know how, take classes at your community college or contact the Small Business Administration office near you.
- People Skills: Some entrepreneurs might think owning a business is a solitary enterprise, but you would be surprised at the number of people you need to deal with to achieve success. This is most obvious in retail businesses, but applies to every business that needs to work with vendors, sell something to customers, or provide a service. Even online entrepreneurs need to build solid relationships with their target audience.
- Marketing and Sales Skills: In most cases, your business won’t sell itself, so you will have to be the one to do it. If you think you’re not a salesperson, it’s going to be pretty hard to convince others to use your product or service. The same is true for anyone who is not comfortable using the internet, maintaining a website, or creating a social media presence.
- Attention Skills: This one is a bit more intangible, but it refers to the internal qualities you need to run your own business. It includes having the determination to take a risk, the persistence to keep going even if times get tough, and the willingness to spend the time necessary to help your company grow.
- Communication Skills: You must be able to effectively present yourself and your business to others. If you have problems speaking, writing or spelling, or are uncomfortable talking about your business to others, you might need to find a freelancer, assistant, or marketer who can help.
- Analytical Skills: An entrepreneur needs to be able to see an opportunity, objectively research and study alternatives, and make an informed decision. This can sometimes involves making hard choices about how your company will move forward.
Whether you want to start your own small business or already own one, take an honest personal assessment of the skills you possess. If there are some critical areas which are a bit weak, find ways to fill the gaps. It might make a difference in how much your business grows.