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4 Essential Skills Every Business Owner Should Have

4 Essential Skills Every Business Owner Should Have

Growing a business into a successful venture is not easy. You must, for one, be very passionate and hardworking, but the sad truth, however, is that 50% of businesses fail after five years. The majority of these failures can be attributed to a lack of the right business skills. No amount of passion can replace the solid skills required to run a successful enterprise, so in this article, we will discuss the four most fundamental business skills you should have to successfully run your own business.

Communication Skills

Communication is an important part of everyday life, but communication skills are especially important in business, as seemingly insignificant lapses in communication can lead to loss of business. To be a good communicator, you need to understand the two main types of communication.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication involves using words to share information with other people—this term is mainly used to describe spoken communication. To improve your verbal communication skills, you need to better understand how to choose your words depending on the situation.

In addition to that, you should also understand that communication is a two-way process. This means that you need to learn how to listen. To be an effective listener, you need to keep an open mind, avoid stereotyping the person you’re listening to, and most importantly, concentrate on the speaker, not on your reply.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, body language (kinesics), pitch, and tone of voice. These signals give clues about your interest and emotional state and are estimated to make up 70- 80% of communication. Giving subtle non-verbal feedback, such as smiling or nodding, can make all the difference in your communication skills.

Leadership Skills

Leadership is an essential management skill that allows you to assemble, take charge of, and motivate a group of people to accomplish a common goal. As your business grows, the number of employees will almost certainly grow. Leadership skills allow you to keep your team of employees running at their best, which in turn translates to a more efficient business.

Financial Management Skills

It goes without saying that you cannot efficiently manage a business without having a solid grasp on basic financial concepts such as income, expenditure, and budgeting. In today’s business environment, however, you need to know a lot more than these basics.

While accounting software can make things easy, you must possess some skills, such as being able to read financial reports. Without such an ability, you cannot have an accurate grasp of your business’ performance. This means you won’t be able to tell when your business is heading for the rocks, and therefore won’t know when to take corrective measures. Taking an accounting course can equip you with the skills necessary to run a business.

Sales and Marketing Skills

One of the best ways to succeed in business is to establish effective sales and marketing strategies.

Marketing is a but like storytelling; you have to find out your customer’s pain point, tailor your product towards solving that problem, and most importantly, present your product as the solution to the customer’s problem. If you’re not sure how to go about it, you can start by analyzing your competition.

Taking a look at what your competitors are doing can help you find market niches they aren’t serving, so you can then target these niches in your marketing campaigns. Additionally, this analysis can hint to industry trends that could potentially influence the development of your next marketing strategy.

What More Skills Do You Need?

Having the right business skills not only helps you steer your business away from premature death, but also helps you know how to make the most of your business resources. In addition to those mentioned above, there are more skills that can help further your business, such as good time management, negotiation, and team building.


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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.