Business success guides are filled with advice for creating business plans and forecasts, researching the market, and designing an effective organization. While these skills are critical to a successful small business, the entrepreneur should not take for granted these other fundamental business skills that can make or break your business’s success.
Even if you work alone at your computer and never have face to face contact with your customers, effective communication skills are important. If your emails or telephone manner are confusing, you will have a difficult time connecting with the people important to you and your business.
Luckily, communication skills can be learned and making an effort to improve them will go a long way towards achieving your goals.
Your ability to network effectively is also in the top list of skills you should not take for granted. Networking is the art of connecting with other people in a way that is mutually beneficial to both parties.
If you are a talented networker, you don’t necessarily even have to be great at what you do. It’s all about who you know, and networking is the means by which you meet people. The key to focus on in networking situations is how you can help the person you are working with. If you are a sincere listener and honestly interested in helping those you connect with to be successful, your success will inevitably follow.
If you hone your communication and networking skills effectively, sales are the natural result. And consistent sales are a necessity for a business to stay strong. It seems ironic, then that so many business people take sales for granted and don’t work toward gaining advanced skills that will help increase sales. Advanced skills such as how to create a good sales presentation, handle objectives and solve the customer’s problem are all areas that deserve additional attention until you excel, in order to maximize your sales.
Running a small business is no walk in the park. Just when things seem to be going great, you will inevitably encounter a setback. You lose a customer you relied on to meet cash flow, or have a proposal for a big deal turned down. There are several ways you can respond to these setbacks, but a successful businessman will handle it with perseverance, positivity, and confidence that things will work out for the best. Learn from Dale Carnegie’s wise words: “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
Hunger to Learn
The world is always changing and to stay ahead of the game you need to as well. You cannot be satisfied with what you have learned in the past. Instead, commit to a lifetime of learning and growth. You can certainly learn from your past successes and failures, but strive to do more and look for opportunities to gain new knowledge and insight every day.
Accept that Money Matters
A business can’t be successful for long if its owners don’t commit to developing the financial skills needed to be good agents of their profits. While you don’t need an MBA in finance, you do need to have at least a base understanding of accounting, cash flows, profits and funding options.
You just can’t take for granted that the money will be there when you need it, you need to be able to understand and plan for your company’s financial ebbs and flows. It is a good idea to build a network of funding advisors such as those at Advance Funding Network to help you project your cash needs for solid operations.
Starting and running a prosperous business takes a lot more than hanging up a sign and waiting for people to show up. There are fundamental business skills that no business owner should take for granted. The great news is you can commit to cultivating those skills to achieve success in the future.