When you own a small business, you must assume many of the day-to-day responsibilities yourself, at least at first. Having a basic understanding and business knowledge of all aspects of your small business operations can help your own business thrive and eventually turn you into a more well-rounded manager and better small business owner. These 15 life skills can help you become a better small business owner.
Most first small business owners are nervous about handing over responsibilities as their company grows. No leader wants to be known as a slacker, but there comes a time in life, when growth is essential. Instead of hopping around the office proving you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves, leadership entails focusing on the big picture.
Spend one hour each month auditing how you spend your time throughout the day to train yourself to delegate every duty that does not require your authorization.
A thought leader is someone who has a different point of view than the majority. Some leaders inspire their followers but fail to innovate, whereas a thought leader has something controversial to say, and is important life skill.
It could be someone whose story, product, or ideas are not widely known, but thought leaders have a clear thesis and message to share to inspire others. Leadership is essential, but you must also be a thought leader to function effectively every day.
Operations, technology, public relations, writing, and marketing skills will all come naturally if you have the desire to innovate, motivate, and share, and is crucial in running your own business.
You may be the most intelligent or talented person in the world, but if your people fail under your leadership, your entire small business will fail.
Small Business Planning and Project Management
Business planning and project management are critical for any size organization. Business planning ensures that the company is on the right track and that all aspects of the small business are taken into account.
Project management is responsible for completing projects on time and within budget. Companies can stay organized and efficient by using both small business planning and project management tools, which leads to a more successful business.
There are numerous tools for small business planning and project management available. Microsoft Project, Basecamp, and Trello are some popular options. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, it is critical to select the tool that will best serve your company’s needs.
Microsoft Project is a popular tool for project management and small business planning. It includes several features, such as task scheduling, resource allocation, and cost tracking.
Basecamp is another popular option that has features similar to Microsoft Project.
Trello is an excellent choice for those who require a more visual approach to small business planning and project management. It organizes and tracks your projects using boards and cards.
The whole “get things done” mentality to ensure smooth day-to-day operations for your team always runs into an unexpected roadblock. That’s because we’re often reactive to this formula, in which a client, vendor, or customer becomes irate, and we take steps to ensure that the problem never occurs again.
Then we rinse and repeat, but some changes may only work in a subset of situations and may make things worse for the entire population. Focusing on what could go wrong with the fixes and practicing context on what your team requires to succeed can get you a long way ahead of the problem.
It makes you proactive rather than reactive, and it provides the tools your teams need to run more efficiently without your constant intervention.
Nothing is more important in small business than financial understanding, and financial management. A good business owner understands how much things cost, such as labor, sales, and so on. This is necessary to maximize cash flow and plan for the future. When working in a small business or a sole proprietorship, numeracy skills are critical.
Recognize your numbers! It is critical to your company’s success.
Personalities and relationships abound in small businesses. The purpose is the primary factor that keeps all types of people focused and connected.
What is it that they are all aiming for? What are the goals that everyone in the company is striving for?
Everyone in the small business needs to be reminded of their purpose every day and writing it on the wall isn’t enough. The strength of a leader can be measured by how many people rally behind them and believe in the leader’s vision.
Small business leaders must inspire their employees to achieve their goals. Considering everything that individuals in the company do, there must be a solid, larger purpose that all employees can support.
A high level of emotional intelligence is essential for any small business. You will be interacting with people all day, whether it is with clients, suppliers, or partners.
You will be able to build stronger relationships if you can perceive their emotions. You must also recognize and manage your own emotions, as running a small business is a challenging task.
Being at ease with yourself and aware of where you stand will make making decisions easier, especially under pressure.
With the advancement of technology and online life, increasingly jobs are shifting to automation and robots. This means that being approachable and possessing a high EQ is more important than ever.
All small business and regular-sized business owners must know how to sell, whether they are onboarding new clients, generating customers, hiring employees, bringing on investors, or retaining existing talent.
You must be able to sell yourself, your products, or services, and listen to your customers while also ensuring buy-in from your employees, partners, or investors.
Knowing how to persuade all stakeholders is the key to running a successful small business.
Good customer service is the key to any successful small business. You can have many customers at your business, but if you don’t provide excellent customer service, those customers will leave. Getting new customers is much more expensive than keeping old ones.
All small business owners must understand how to provide excellent customer service. This includes learning how to properly deal with irate customers and negative reviews, as well as listening and responding promptly.
Knowing how to accept and apply feedback will enable you to go above and beyond for your devoted customers.
Digital marketing is critical for any small business. More people than ever before have low-cost internet access, and they rely on search engines to help them find information and purchase products.
To guide the growth of a small business, the owner must be well-versed in SEO, social media marketing, online advertising, and other related topics.
You can hire people to manage these aspects of your small business, but you must be knowledgeable enough to guide your team in developing the best digital marketing strategy for your company.
You should also be able to track and measure the results of various campaigns, which you can only do if you understand digital marketing.
With today’s technology and the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, we could easily be led to believe that there is a set of apps, a suite of software, or a regiment of practices that any entrepreneur can implement and see results.
The truly great skill is self-awareness and the ability to recognize when you require assistance. We want to pile on the technology, putting our problems on a dashboard and removing our concerns with a widget.
The unforeseen issues compound with each Frankenstein fixes to our workflow with technology or a new strategic plan.
The ability to recognize your blind spots is the best basic skill to sharpen and refine. Then, seek assistance from experts you can trust and pay attention to their advice.
Critical thinking allows individuals to think more deeply about a topic and to come to their conclusions. It can be used in both personal and professional settings, and it is a skill that can be developed over time.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when trying to improve one’s critical thinking skills.
It is important to be able to identify the main idea or claim of an argument.
Once this has been done, it is then possible to evaluate the evidence that is being presented. It is also important to be able to think about different perspectives on an issue.
This allows for a more well-rounded view of the situation and can help to identify any potential biases.
It is also important to practice active listening. This means paying attention to what someone else is saying and trying to understand their point of view.
Doing this, it is possible to get a better sense of where they are coming from and to identify any potential areas of disagreement. Critical thinking is a valuable skill that can be used in many different situations.
Time management is crucial to success for small business owners. Without effective time management skills, it can be difficult to get anything done. There are many different techniques for time management, and what works for one might not work for another.
The best way to find a system that works is to experiment with different techniques and find what works.
One popular time management technique is the Pomodoro technique. This involves working for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break.
Another technique is to batch similar tasks together. This means that you work on all of your email tasks at once, or all of your writing tasks at once. This can help you to be more efficient as you are not switching between different types of tasks.
One final tip is to make sure that you schedule time for breaks and leisure activities. It is important to have some downtime to recharge and avoid burnout.
Critical thinking and Problem Solving
Two of the most important skills a small business and mid-sized business owner can have are critical thinking and problem-solving. The need to break down problems into smaller parts and figure out the best way to solve them is to think critically.
This is especially important in a fast-paced workplace where there may not have time to sit and think about a problem for hours. Problem-solving skills are also important; being able to devise and carry out a plan of action allows you to solve problems on the fly.
These abilities are necessary for any field, and small business owners should sharpen these skills.
Technology is constantly evolving, and new problems emerge regularly.
Small business owners must be able to think critically and solve problems quickly to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.
To succeed, small business owners must be excellent communicators. They must not only communicate effectively with their customers and clients, but they must also communicate effectively with their employees.
A successful small business relies on effective communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected of them.
When it comes to communication, small business owners should remember a few key points:
Be concise and clear: It is critical to be clear and concise when communicating with employees or customers. This will help to ensure that your message is understood and there are no misunderstandings.
Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not understand. Use your interpersonal skills and decision-making skills to gain the confidence of the employees you lead. People struggle and you must communicate the benefit of their job at your small business.
Be patient: It may take some time for people to understand what you’re saying. Be patient and take the time to clearly explain things.
Do not become frustrated if someone does not understand what you are saying right away.
It is critical to be open to both employee and customer feedback. This feedback can assist you in improving your communication skills and ensuring that your message is conveyed effectively. With this life skill, you can gain confidence in your own decisions, and fewer employees will focus on new solutions, and help the development of your small business.
Small business owners must be skilled in a variety of areas. Small business owners require critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, to name a few life skills.
Time management skills are essential for juggling the numerous responsibilities of running a small business. Business owners who are successful must be able to think on their feet and problem-solve quickly.
They must also be excellent communicators to ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page.
In the end, small business owners can set themselves up for business success by honing these skills.