Small businesses play a big role in the global economy. However, building a successful small business is no easy task. According to Forbes, many small businesses fail within the first to fourth year in business.
Numerous factors account for this trend, including financing inefficiencies and stiff competition. So, it’s crucial for business owners to upgrade their sense of awareness of these areas to help them scale their businesses. Here are seven skills every business owner should have.
When recruiting new employees, you oversee the entire process as a business owner. It’s crucial to adequately onboard new talents, prioritizing employee credentials and experience for effective performance.
The first checks are made at the interviewing stage, but you can feel free to double-check at the onboarding stage. For instance, if a certain graduate credential was advertised, you can check if the employees submitted just that or a degree in a related field.
You can assess the person’s thought processes and provide the new employee with enough room to feel a part of active work. Ultimately, onboarding ensures your new employee is ready for the job and is in sync with what your company has for the employee and your culture.
Efficiency at the workplace revolves around both the employees and you. Sometimes, it’s tempting to be involved in everything, but it pays to trust your employees to work without your involvement. Many small business owners have reservations about whether employees can come up to the task if they’re not involved. They end up micromanaging and stifling innovation in the process.
As the vision bearer, you need to constantly be aligned with the big picture. The entire business trusts you to direct it toward that big picture you may have sold to employees. So, don’t be anxious if you’re delegating tasks to your employees.
Delegation isn’t so much of big task, and you can improve this skill with a short course in leadership. For business owners in the educational field, delegation skills will come naturally. Furthermore, they’ll have the required knowledge to run the business effectively, which is why many choose to apply for a masters in education.
- Financial Literacy
Sole proprietors are do-it-all entrepreneurs. They shoulder every task from operations to bookkeeping. If you’re a small business owner with a few other people at the managerial level, you might outsource your financial management.
Finance is the lifeblood of every organization and no excuse can exempt you from not being on top of things when it comes to your company’s finances. You need to understand the basic principles of financial accounting. Accounting ensures your business is keeping records of your daily financial transactions.
Beyond recording money, you need to be familiar with the best practices and strategies to generate money for your business. How do you pitch investors? Will you have to sell shares? Do you have enough cash flow? These are a few of the questions you need to burden yourself with if you’re concerned about your company’s financial health.
You can take a financial management course to keep you abreast with these terms. Another way to keep up with your company’s financials is to be in tune with new financial resources.
Some of the apps and websites have made it easy for sole proprietors to keep their books with industry-standard practices they wouldn’t have understood. For e.g there are online paystub generators that help you generate authentic pay stubs to help you stay organized in terms of your payments. With technology so advanced now, doing your taxes and keeping your books balanced is only apparently a click away.
Some of the apps have made it easy for sole proprietors to keep their books with industry-standard practices they wouldn’t have understood.
- Emotional Intelligence
Dealing with employees and customers can be frustrating. The wrong facial expression around a customer can be enough reason for them to rethink doing business with you. One would ask, should business owners go around smiling at everyone? If it helps, yes but that’s not the point. You will need a high emotional intelligence level to empathize with customers and employees when interacting with them.
Empathy unlocks a new form of kindness, resulting in long-term trickle-down benefits. Emotional intelligence also means nurturing great relationships that convert to trust and loyalty from your subjects. You need these features of emotional intelligence as a leader.
- Digital Marketing
About 71 percent of small businesses have websites and more than 80 percent of today’s customers search for a product online before making the final decision. You can bet that businesses with websites will get more sales if we compare.
Let’s come to social media. The world has over seven billion people. Out of this total population, 4.48 billion are on social media. Imagine if your business doesn’t have an online presence. You’ll be missing out on the ton of traffic available via the internet.
This is why it’s crucial to up your digital marketing know-how. You can choose specific platforms that work very well with your customers. Also, ensure you can use digital resources like Search Engine optimization.
- Customer Service
Customers are an integral part of every business setting. They have endless needs. Anticipating your customers’ needs can be a great way to develop sustainable relationships with them. The more you understand them, the better you can serve them.
Using data is very crucial in delivering good customer service today. Current customer data helps understand changing customer behaviors and how best to tweak products to suit these behaviors. Developing customer service skills can also become easier if you opt for modern tools like cloud contact centers. These tools gather customer feedback and allow you to deploy chatbots to manage your customer interaction efforts.
This can be a good cost-effective case for small business owners who may not have the money or the budget to hire specific top talents to man your contact center. You can push the investment into installing a contact center and share with people who may not be on the same page about your digital customer service plan.
A huge part of your job as a business owner will be negotiating salaries with employees and contracts with suppliers. On the negotiating table, you’re acting as the business’s rep. If you give too much, the company suffers; if you give too low, the company’s reputation on the market may tank. Your negotiating skills have to strike a fair balance between performance and industry-standard numbers to identify what is good for the company. You need enough negotiation tips to keep the company in the game.
Generally, the role of the average small business owner is no joke. But these skills can afford you a more manageable journey.