When you own a small business, you have to take on many of the day-to-day responsibilities yourself—at least in the beginning.
Having some basic knowledge across all major aspects of business operations can go a long way to making your business flourish, and ultimately turn you into a more well-rounded manager when you do eventually hire staff.
If you are starting your business from scratch and do not have the luxury of affording a marketing agency or freelancer, there are 4 Most Powerful skills that once you have, your business will grow and will not suffer.
If you follow me on Twitter, you will know that I greatly emphasize the concept of learning valuable skills. This is because I see small businesses struggling to grow, who cannot handle the costs of
professional freelancers and web development agencies.
If you are a small business owner, this post is for you. Shall we? Let’s go!
Skill #1: How to Sell
This may sound funny to you. But the truth is, many business owners do not know how to sell.
For me, Selling is an art. But unlike many other art forms, the art of sales is something anybody can learn.
You have to know how to sell yourself, sell your products or services, and listen to your customers while ensuring you get buy-in from your employees, partners or investors.
It is one of the Most Powerful skills for Business owners
Knowing how to persuade all stakeholders is one of many keys to running a successful business.
Here’s the reality –regardless of what you want to be in this world, at some point in time, you are going to have to sell.
It might be selling yourself to get a new job. Or selling something, like a used car or an old possession. Or actually selling a product, perhaps for a business you own. Whatever it is, being a salesperson is a role we all play in life.
And yet, to many non-salespeople, the idea of selling can feel weird. We think we have to act fake or to convince someone to do something they don’t want to do.
Learn How to Sell
What makes a person good at — and comfortable with — persuading others?
If you want to become good at influencing others, then you need to learn how. It’s not magic, and it’s certainly not innate. It may sometimes feel innate, but that’s because people are often able to pick up on effective strategies implicitly — without conscious awareness — through experience and observation.
Not realizing you are learning makes your abilities feel innate, even when they aren’t.
So how can you learn? Take a course on Selling today, or read a book about selling. Then, practice what you learn from time to time!
Activity is the key to sales success. In general, the more prospects you talk with, the more likely it is that you will find someone who is ready to buy what you are selling.
What’s a true sales professional’s biggest joy?
“Successfully solving a customer’s problem,” Bloomfield said.
Now, I know that might generate some eye rolls. But salespeople who adopt that mantra are ultimately the most successful, as they build lasting relationships with mutual benefit.
Because the reality is sales is something every human has to do throughout their lives. By following the lesson described above, you take the “icky-ness” out of selling and instead become a true partner to your client.
Here’s a giveaway – before you go out and start selling, you should have some fun and watch the movie Boiler Room. There are some great sales scenes in the movie that you can learn from…
Skill #2: Leadership
A leader is a person that has the gift of motivating others by setting themselves up as an example for everyone to see, be inspired by, and follow.
However, you can spot a true leader by paying attention to other character attributes.
As a small business owner, honing your leadership skills will help you to provide a vision for your business and motivate your employees to excel in whatever task they’re assigned.
There are many different leadership styles, but the fundamental skills that make a good leader are the same. The best leaders:
- have the ability to inspire others and develop a vision
- set clear goals, stay focused, and communicate well
- give and receive feedback
- know the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and their teammates
- know when to ask for outside help
- are approachable, honest, and committed
- know how to successfully execute a strategy
Having any of these skills can lead to some form of success, but you will need all of these skills to run your small business effectively. Read on to learn more about these skills and how to develop them.
Learn How to Be a Leader
Exceptional business leadership skills are hard to find. However, you can nurture them over time by knowing that you can always become better at what you do. When you strive to become more than just a business owner or a manager, you inspire employees to follow your example.
Leadership skills help provide a vision for any business project and motivate your employees to excel in whatever task they’re assigned. Leadership is one of the Most Powerful skills for Business Owners.
There are many different leadership styles, but the fundamental skills that make a good leader stay the same.
The best leadership skills for business owners are: having the ability to inspire others and develop a vision, setting clear goals and staying focused, communicating well, giving and receiving feedback, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of yourself and teammates, knowing when to ask for outside help, being approachable, honest, and committed, and knowing how to successfully execute a strategy. Any of these skills can lead to some form of success, but you will need all of these skills to run a business effectively.
Before I close this chapter, there are basic leadership traits you need to be an effective leader as a business owner.
Leadership Traits for Business Owners:
- Strategic Thinking
- Interpersonal communication skills
- Team Player
- Ability to learn
Focus on maintaining relationships and growing networks so that you are always able to help others when needed—they might return the favor when you need it. Allow your workers to be themselves and take an interest in their lives outside of work.
Skill #3: Customer Service
Excellent customer service can make or break a small business, especially in our increasingly competitive global economy.
When your consumer is one click away from doing business with anyone in the world, good customer service can really set your company apart.
Learning how to deliver superb small business customer service can help you keep your customers happy, sail through mistakes without losing accounts, and boost your small business.
Excellent customer service creates loyal customers for life who are willing to refer your business to friends, family, and colleagues. Providing this type of excellent customer service starts with a genuine desire to delight your customers, but you also have to think beyond selling your products or services.
How to Have a Better Customer Service
- Know your product or service
- Be very friendly, even to annoying customers who may ask questions repeatedly.
- Build rapport with your customers
- Pay very close attention to customer feedback
- Learn how to be a pro at solving problems.
- Train your employees
- Do not give false promises.
- Hire employees with excellent skills when needed.
- Ask for feedback from customers
- Use feedback to improve your products and services.
It’s easy to provide stellar customer service by addressing these important factors:
- Knowing what outstanding customer service looks and feels like
- Creating a culture of service within your business by training and empowering employees to solve problems
- Putting in place systems, management tools, and reporting that make it easier to communicate with and please your customers.
Skill #4: (Digital) Marketing
Marketing is very important for Business Growth. It is important to be able to promote your products or services effectively.
Analyzing your competition and the marketplace helps to develop your strategies. Learn to craft compelling marketing that speaks to your target audience by paying attention to your best teacher: your more successful competitors.
Is Digital Marketing Skill Important?
It is not enough to have a great website. Today, a basic knowledge of Digital Marketing is extremely important for a business owner. More people than ever before have access to low-cost internet and people rely on search engines to help them find information and buy products.
A business owner needs to have a firm knowledge of SEO, social media marketing, online advertising, and more to guide the business’s growth. You can hire people to manage these aspects of your business, but you still need to be informed enough to lead your team into creating the best digital marketing strategy for your business.
You also should be able to track and measure the results of different campaigns—you can only do these things by understanding digital marketing.
In the words of Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group, “marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” The traditional forms of one-way advertising no longer work, and you’ll need to engage your online customers in a two-way conversation in order to convert them. That’s where effective digital marketing campaigns come in.
Even if you think that digital marketing is not an essential part of your day-to-day tasks, you might be surprised to realize that, in actual fact, it is. Every time you tweet, post, share or comment on social media, you are marketing yourself and building your own personal brand online. If you tweak the wording of an email campaign, amend the imagery for a banner campaign or reach out to a potential online advertising partner, you are actively engaging in digital marketing.
By learning to be an effective digital marketer, you can ensure you’re delivering the message you intend to — personally and professionally — and seeing the desired results. Developing these skills will also help you better monitor the work your employees are putting out so you can understand whether the campaigns your company implements are optimized for success and identify areas of improvement.
Running a business is a demanding task. Gather useful knowledge and skills. Developing the necessary skills will help your business grow.
Do you have questions or additions? Drop a comment below!