Starting A Business? Here Are The Skills and Courses You’ll Need to Succeed
Are you thinking about starting your own business? Taking your career into your own hands as an entrepreneur and becoming your own boss can be an exciting prospect, but are you fully prepared to take the next step?
If you want to make sure you’ve got the knowledge and skills needed to successfully start your business, read on and get started today.
What are the best soft skills for business owners to learn?
Whether it’s a large or a small business, being your own boss can throw up many different challenges. Having a wide range of soft skills to call upon in a crisis can make or break a business. As the owner, you’ll need to be adaptable and flexible, and soft skills give you the ability to pivot when necessary to get the best result.
Good communication is a crucial soft skill for any great business owner. Not only do you have to communicate well with potential investors, clients and customers, but you also have to be able to do the same with your team. You may be working with a small group that’s punching above its weight, so ensuring that you can work in a streamlined way with minimal confusion will help your business to flourish.
Effective communication in all areas is vital, whether discussing the day’s task with your employees, getting feedback in 1-1s or setting long-term goals. Ensuring that your employees are aware of the company’s vision and direction is an excellent way to boost morale and keep the rate of teamwork high during challenging periods.
Business owners have to be good leaders to take their company in the right direction. As a business owner, you are your own boss, and for that reason, people will be looking to you to make the final decision on big projects and lead them effectively.
You might think that some people are naturally good at being leaders, but leadership is a skill that anyone can learn and use effectively in a business setting. Online courses such as online MBAs that focus on innovation and leadership can equip you with the skills needed to become an outstanding CEO, manager and business owner.
Leadership can be a difficult soft skill to perfect, so having some dedicated training in this area before taking the leap to start your own business can pay off handsomely in the long run.
Project management skills
Running big projects is part and parcel of any business owner’s responsibilities. If you’re running a small business or an agile startup, you may find yourself in charge of an end-to-end strategy that falls on you to manage and deliver smoothly.
Building your knowledge in this area through a course that covers PRINCE2 and Agile project management methodologies can give you a massive advantage over your competitors when setting up business plans and realising business ideas. Being certified in PRINCE2 and Agile will provide you with the management skills needed to confidently construct and work through ambitious projects.
Learning as you go can be tricky, as you might not have considered every aspect of your project or be aware of extra uncertainties that can arise when managing projects as a new business owner. So be prepared before you go in and get some amazing projects under your belt straight away.
When you’re starting a business, it can feel like the spotlights shining on you 24/7. Don’t forget, though, that you’re still relying on lots of people around you to make your business work. Copywriters, accountants, suppliers and a whole host of other people are putting in hard work to help you achieve your dream of running a successful business.
With that in mind, it’s important to remember to be empathetic to others whilst you’re getting things off the ground. You may be up to your eyeballs with work, but that doesn’t mean that others may not be just as stressed. Likewise, use empathy and emotional intelligence to build a time management strategy that includes flexibility so that your staff don’t become burnt out by trying to reach goals that aren’t achievable.
A good business owner wants to build a company that works for all team members. So keeping this soft skill at the front of your mind at all times will always ensure that those around you will be keen to work hard for you, as they know that you’ve got their best interests at heart and are willing to create a working environment that’s empathetic to their lives outside of work.
What are the best hard skills for business owners to learn?
Soft skills are essential for any business owner when they’re starting out, but a handful of hard skills will also come into play. Unlike soft skills, hard skills are focused on specific disciplines, knowledge sets and abilities that you’ll have to work hard to perfect.
It can sound like an obvious thing to say, but having a good understanding of solid business-related skills is essential. Skills within economics, problem-solving, marketing strategy and financial management all come in handy for anyone involved in setting up a business.
Although you may be able to outsource to those with specialist skills, having a solid understanding of hard skills within this area will give you a deeper insight into all aspects of your business.
Undertaking a business and finance degree can give you an overview of some of the hard skills you will need to learn in order to succeed in business.
Bookkeeping is a hard skill that is relatively straightforward to learn and can be extremely helpful to know when setting up a business. Business owners can be keen to learn how to become a bookkeeper as this can allow them to work on or assist with tasks such as payroll, expenses and invoicing and help them to understand cash flow.
Entry-level qualifications, such as the AAT Level 1 Access Award in Bookkeeping, can provide entrepreneurs with a solid foundation of knowledge in this area that can be applied as their business grows.
Digital skills are helpful for all types of business. Having hard skills in this area, whether that’s understanding software such as Java, or gaining skills in Python to broader skills like breaking down big data, SEO and digital marketing, can be essential.
Again, you may be able to hire specialists in this area as you scale, but being across the basics in digital skills can give you a solid head start when entering the world of business. In addition, being able to become directly involved in every element of the company from a digital standpoint can be a great way to spot any issues before they post any serious issues.
Overall, there are many ways you can prepare before starting a business. You can choose to give yourself the best start to your new career with a fortified skill set. Find out how we can help you take the proper steps and gain the right education to make your dream a reality today as a successful entrepreneur.