A business owner has to wear many hats. There are some skills and roles you will need to fulfill until you can delegate them as you expand. However, there are some skills that you will need regardless of how big your company becomes. Here are the SMART skills that ever successful business owners needs.
Any business leader, from a new entrepreneur to seasoned CEO needs to learn how to properly manage their time. You can always get more people and get more money, but you can’t get more time. The key is to manage time so you focus on doing the high priority tasks that have the most impact.
Effective time management also means “doing the right things right.” You need to work as efficiently as possible with the time you have on the most effective tasks. Time management apps can help, but you need to work on the skills of prioritizing different tasks, managing your day, and ensuring you stick to deadlines and appointments. No-one wants to do business with someone who cannot prioritize properly or manage their time efficiently.
One of the most important roles a business leader has is how to best allocate its capital. This involves having the financial skills needed to analyze different investment returns and opportunity costs. While having a BBA in accounting can help you better understand balance sheets and profit and loss statements, anyone can learn the basics.
A business owner must be able to manage their cash flow well. Cash flow problems are one of the top reasons businesses fail. Managing your budget and cash flow properly can mean the difference between success and failure. Even if you’re not handling the finances directly, it’s essential that you have a general idea of how it all works. Otherwise, it’s way too easy to lose track and control of your business’ finances.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Opportunities are tied to people, so if you are looking for an opportunity, you are actually looking for a person. The ability to attend networking events, to find shared interests with others, and to build connections is essential. It can help you find new partners, clients, vendors, investors, and a whole host of people who can take your business to the next level.
When networking, make sure you aren’t only focusing on what you will get out of a relationship. When joining any organization or networking event, first find out how you can add value without expecting anything in return. By genuinely focusing on helping others, people will eventually want to help you.
These skills are different in application, but they all revolve around one thing: excellent communication. The ability to sell your business is key. But listening is just as important. You must be able to listen to your customer’s pain points and needs. Without listening to them, it’s all too easy to end up trying to sell them something they don’t want.
You have to learn how to communicate in both directions when running a business. This will help you expand your brand, help market and increase sales for your business.
Naturally, depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need to pick up a few other skills than the ones mentioned above. However, as far as the core skills of any business leader are concerned, you need to strive to master and develop these four critical skills.