As a small business owner, you have to wear a lot of hats. You’re not just an owner, you’re also supposed to be a marketing specialist, customer service representative, financial expert, and a supervisor to any employees you have. To be able to excel in all these roles, there are certain skills that you’ll need to develop.
- Digital Sales And Marketing Skills
- Leadership Skills And Customer Service Expertise
- Finance And Time Management
Take a look at five of the most essential skills you should learn to keep your small business up and running smoothly.
Sales & Marketing Skills
Today’s sales and marketing skills are predominantly digital. That means a solid grasp of digital marketing and sales is crucial to create more brand awareness and trust. Knowing things like basic SEO tips, digital marketing trends, online advertising strategies, and social media marketing strategies. Spending time learning these core fundamentals of digital marketing will pay off big time as your customer base grows with your brand awareness.
A huge part of digital marketing is being able to strategically plan, another skill that you should work on developing. Being able to strategically plan out your digital marketing campaigns and online advertising will give you the biggest return on your investment, while also allowing you to target the people who will most likely buy from you. In doing so, you’ll see conversions rise with your sales.
It should go without saying that leadership is a big part of owning a business. Whether you have one employee or 100 employees, you have to be able to lead them in a way that garners the most productive work and happiest environment possible. One way to do this is with thought leadership.
Thought leadership is essentially looking outside of the mainstream, offering something that’s unique and distinct, rather than simply leading followers. As a thought leader, you should look for unconventional ways to solve problems your employees are having and to guide them through their work.
Another important part of leadership is developing general management skills. Some of this comes down to your behavior. Things like self-awareness and learning from your own mistakes will help you to set a better example for your employees. As you do these basic things, you’ll find that managing your team is easier and with more accountability, you’ll find yourself with more productive workers.
Financial Management Skills
If the numbers don’t line up, you lose money. You’ve funneled so much of your hard-earned savings and life into your business that losing money can be devastating. For that reason, having solid financial management skills is a must.
To start, develop your financial literacy. You should know how much things cost, whether it’s your labor, your sales, your materials, etc. This is a great first step to maximize your cash flow and allow you to plan for the future. Focus on the numbers. They will give you the best insight into the health of your business.
Your customers are the ones bringing you money to keep your business running. To keep them happy, you have to have excellent customer service. Knowing how to find and keep clients and customers is paramount in keeping your business growing. It’s much easier to get a customer to buy from you again than it is to convince a brand new lead to make the jump.
The basics of customer service are simple. Learn how to deal with the angry customers in a respectful way and how to handle a negative review properly. You should be able to listen and respond to complaints in a timely manner. You should also get in the practice of using these complaints as feedback for things you could change about your business. As you do that, you’ll gain a loyal following.
In order to handle all the hats you have to wear, you have to learn how to manage your time efficiently. It all starts with organization. Jean Chatzky said that “Every minute you spend looking through clutter, wondering where you put this or that, being unable to focus because you’re not organized costs you.” And it’s true! Whether it costs you time, money, or productivity, it costs you. Develop an organization system that works for you.
The next step, be proactive and delegate responsibilities. Many small business owners fall into the trap of thinking they have to do it all themselves. That’s not the case. You can delegate certain things to trusted employees and have more time to focus on more important things. Along with having that extra time, you’ll stress less and help your employees develop their skills, as well.
Being a small business owner is not for the faint of heart. It takes dedicating your entire self to your business. In doing that, you’ll find you learn a variety of skills, all of which are crucial to your business growing and you developing as a business owner. As you focus on these areas, you’ll see huge returns on your investment, both in your personal development and the development of your business.