You usually need two things to start a business. What are those? An idea and a business. If you ask around, that is the answer you are mostly going to get. However, while it may be an answer, it is not a very good or complete one. Ideation and the injection of funds will not necessarily determine your success as a business owner. If this were true, then there would not have been a failure statistic. Think of all the small businesses that launch, yet they never get to see much light. Here are some examples: a local beauty salon, an online business, a writer providing services – they all come and go. However, some of the competitors thrive for years on end. What did they do differently?
When it comes to being a successful business owner, there are a number of contributing factors. The local economy, for instance, plays an important role. However, in comparing businesses selling or manufacturing the same services or products, the owner’s approach is the sole factor that keeps the business afloat. Namely, apart from soft skills, you need a set of hard skills to be a successful business owner.
Let’s delve into some of these skills.
- Financial Literacy
To put this simply, financial literacy involves budgeting. Knowing how much money flows in and out daily is only part of the package. To jump-start your financial literacy, you could opt for the Wiley CFA review course. Learning how to balance your money, managing your income, and investing money wisely accounts for financial literacy.
As a business owner, you will have to up the ante. Even the slightest lack of discipline or restraint can impact your business. Lack of financial controls is why most businesses fail a short time after the launch. To get a grip on your finances, the first thing you can do is learn how to manage your personal finances. Be aware of every cent you earn and every cent you spend. Create a budgeting plan so that you stay ahead all the time. Having a healthy business cycle is also key to nailing your finances. Too much investment and not creating means to earn a profit on those investments can lead to negative numbers. Financial literacy has a bit of a learning curve. However, you do not need to wait around – hire an expert!
- Your Marketing Game
Sure, you can hire experts later down the road when you expand, but in the beginning, you’ll be strapped for cash. There is a lot of groundwork that needs to be done, and you will be at its center. No one wants to outsource their marketing from the start. You need time to understand your brand and give it structure and form.
Even when you do end up hiring marketing experts, know that this will not in any way spell that you are free. You will be involved in your company’s marketing one way or the other – it is your company! There is personal branding that you will need to look into. As your company’s leader, you will have to present yourself as one. Your people will want to see what brand you yourself are before they want to work with you. Marketing is an important hard skill.
- The Techie Inside You
Contrary to popular opinion, you will need to learn more than just email writing if you want to run a full-fledged business. Team management tools keep any team’s work organized, and it would complement you and your profile as a leader and a businessman. Tasks organization is one thing. Team accountability comes into play, too, and you will need to create KPIs of your own to measure team progress.
Revive the techie, or develop one, in you so. Running, managing, and maintaining your own website, for instance, will save you a ton of money than hiring an expert.
- Hiring Management and Employees
Success entails making important decisions. Building your team is one of the many important decisions you will make. The people you hire will carry the potential of either making or breaking your establishment. Relying solely on talent pool companies will not do the trick – you will have to learn to write the right kind of ad jobs.
If you think writing an ad and waiting for people to apply will enable people to apply, you are wrong. You will have to move around and recruit your talent. Start by visiting the best universities and hiring the best graduates these universities have to offer. You might come across passive candidates who may apply for your job but will still need some convincing. Writing a copy that makes candidates look twice is only part of the hiring process. Some candidates might choose another employer over you if you fail to impress them. Creating a great and attractive business will enable people to readily apply for a job at your company.
- Developing Business Plans and Proposals
Not everybody has the finances to fund their projects in the initial phases. You will need to reach out to donors for grant money. This is where writing skills come in handy. However, this is not just any writing. We are talking about developing business plans and proposals. To get a monetary injection for your venture, you will need people to help you raise capital.
The thing with investors is that you need to impress them within a limited amount of time. To put it simply, you have a minute to win it. If your first minute is not impressive, the investor is not likely to help you. While this does not apply to business proposals, people will need to read them at their convenience to understand your business. The minute-to-win-it rule applies more to pitches and presentations. Regardless, both your presentation and your written business proposal will need to be at the top of their game if you want money.
These were only the basics. When we talk about entrepreneurship, there is no end to the number of hard and soft skills that you need. While these skills will create a successful business, a great leader’s personality is a mixture of many other talents. But mostly, a successful business requires dedication and commitment more than most other things.