What skills do business owners really need to make their businesses a success? There are plenty of soft skills and personal qualities that people will tell you are essential, but it’s also vital to have the right hard skills to help you set up and grow your business.
A lot of the guides to essential business skills will make it seem like you need to be a certain kind of person to make it in business. There’s some truth to that, but the reality is that pretty much anyone can make it work if they’re willing to put in the time and effort to improve their skills and knowledge.
You also don’t need to spend months or years developing various skills before you can enter the world of entrepreneurship. It’s perfectly acceptable (and normal) to learn as you go along. Of course, it’s definitely helpful if you start with some core foundational skills that will allow you to get off to a running start.
So what skills do you need to achieve business success as an entrepreneur, and what exactly do you need them for?
Skills To Establish Your Business
Before you can do anything else, you need the right skills to get your business set up. The first thing that’s going to require is the ability to determine whether you’ve got a good idea for your business.
You need great research skills to enable you to check out the market you’re entering and your competitors. This isn’t just a skill that comes in handy when you’re setting up your business because you’re going to need it later on too. Any time you want to launch a new product, set up a marketing campaign, or just publish a new blog post, you need to know what your audience wants and what your competitors are doing.
Establishing Your Online Presence
Some of the skills for entrepreneurs you’re going to need to start building when you set up your business include things like keyword research. If you’re relying on digital marketing and building a strong online presence for your business’s success, you have to be able to establish your position in the market.
SEO skills and keyword research will give you the information that you need to build a solid plan for your business and start getting set up online. Free keyword tools make it possible for anyone to find what they need and identify which keywords they should be targeting. You’ll need to know the keywords you want to target before you can set up your website.
Speaking of websites, building some web design and management skills is another thing you should be doing from the beginning. To get established online, you need a high-performing website. You could pay a web developer/designer to do it for you, but why would you when you can do it yourself?
Once you pay a web developer to create your site for you, you then rely on them to help you keep your site up to date. But this costs about £50 per hour minimum. But make the website yourself and you have complete control. You don’t need to be a web design genius to create your own site, either. It’s easy to get started once you learn how to use templates and basic tools.
Skills To Promote Your Business
Getting your business set up is only the first step. It’s not going to go anywhere if you don’t promote it, and you can’t rely on your friends and family to tell people about it forever. You need a range of marketing skills for effective business promotion.
There are plenty of marketing skills for entrepreneurs that can help you to find success, but for digital marketing, you’ll want these core skills.
Search engine optimisation is something you need to think about from the very beginning. You need SEO skills to help you research your business idea, get your website set up, and make sure your brand won’t be completely invisible.
The world of SEO can seem completely overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, there’s a lot to learn, but everyone has to start somewhere. And you’ll find it’s surprisingly easy to start with things like keyword research and the differences between on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
Almost half of marketers say that SEO has the best ROI of any marketing channel, so it needs to be one of the first things you learn.
Pay Per Click Skills
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is like the cousin of SEO. It can help you to get found in search results but it won’t do it for free.
In some ways, the skills that entrepreneurs need for PPC are similar to SEO. You need keywords, you need to know your audience, and need to be able to track performance. But you’re also spending your hard-earned money on it, and you don’t want to just throw cash down the drain. It’s vital to know how optimise a PPC campaign to avoid wasting your money.
Content Marketing Skills
Content is arguably at the heart of everything in digital marketing. You need good content to get your website to rank in search engines. You need content to share on social media, to email to your mailing list, and to promote with PPC ads.
But what even is content? Content encapsulates a range of different materials, from blog posts and infographics to videos and ebooks.
All of that content is really a bunch of different skills, and on top of that, you need general content marketing skills to help you build great strategies. However, building the foundational skills you need to make great content doesn’t have to take you forever. With the right courses, you can start learning what you need quickly.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to promote a business. It delivers the highest ROI of any marketing channel according to some statistics.
Email marketing skills involve not just creating engaging emails that drive sales but also building a great email list. Entrepreneurs need skills to help them continually grow their email list, such as building effective landing pages, plus the knowledge of how to craft an effective email and email marketing campaign.
Skills To Market Your Personal Brand
For a lot of entrepreneurs, their personal brand is just as important as their business brand. In fact, for some people, they are one and the same. The right skills to help you promote your personal brand and make yourself a voice of authority can make all the difference in the business world.
The skills you need to market your personal brand will also double up as useful skills for your business in general. Being able to create a webinar course or develop and sell an ebook are both excellent for promoting your personal brand. They will also enable you to make great marketing materials for your business as a whole. Check out our free courses to master these crucial skills for your personal and business growth. Become a member for free here
Skills To Grow Your Business
The marketing skills you use to help promote your business in the beginning and going to come in handy as you grow your business too. Of course, you want to keep developing those skills to continue growing your business at the right pace.
As well as your marketing skills, you’re going to need strong sales skills to help you achieve your goals. You need to know the basics of things like sales funnels and writing good ad copy, but you ultimately need to work out the right formula for completing the sales journey and increasing your conversions.
You need to know what motivates your customers, what they really want, and how to tell them that you’ve got it.
Sales skills don’t always just involve selling to your customers either. When you build your sales skills, it can also allow you to do everything from approaching investors to networking with others in your industry.
Making smart business decisions is all about choosing the most financially sound option. For that, you need to have certain financial skills. Even if you don’t really have a good head for numbers, you can still make sure you have the skills to manage your business’s money.
It’s not the most exciting of skills for entrepreneurs, but it’s definitely something you can’t go without. You need to be able to manage your cash flow, keep track of your invoices and payments, and create financial summaries and projections. One study found that only 40% of small business owners consider themselves to be financially literate, so you can get ahead by improving your skills and knowledge.
An accountant or bookkeeper can help you with a lot of the financial side of your business. But you still need to know where your business is heading financially if you want to grow it. You can also make use of software to make this job a lot easier. Discover your business’s financial prospects in this free mini-course.
Product and Service Development Skills
Growing your business might also mean adding new products or services to expand your audience, grow your sales, or enter new markets.
You need the skills to develop a new offering for your audience (or for a new audience). You have to be able to take a new product or service from just an idea to a full product that’s ready to be sold to your customers. This means having the skills to research, create, test, and launch your offering.
Skills To Engage Your Audience
Keeping your audience engaged is vital for success in business. If they’re not interested and curious, you won’t keep their attention. You need to provide them with value at all times, whether you’re putting out a PPC ad, sending them an email, or posting on social media.
Engaging your audience links back to content creation but involves other skills too.
Good copy is vital for keeping your audience engaged. You need to be able to write good copy for all kinds of content and for every marketing channel.
Developing the right tone of voice for your brand is one of the first things that you’ll want to do to nail good copy for your business. After that, it will be a lot easier to produce effective copy for all channels. Your tone of voice needs to be crafted to engage your audience and make your brand stand out.
Copywriting skills are an important element for success across a range of marketing channels and promotional materials. Learn how to write copy and you’re on your way to success.
Social Media Skills
One of the channels where you will need to employ your copywriting skills is social media. It’s an effective channel for engaging your audience but can seem tricky to grasp when you’re using it for business.
You might use social media to connect with friends and family, but using it to connect with customers is something different. You need to know what content to share and how to use social media not just as a marketing channel but also as a communication platform.One of the types of content to focus on for social media is video. Learning video content creation skills is more important than ever, especially with people watching more videos than ever before.
Customer Experience and Customer Service
Once you have customers on board, the customer journey doesn’t end there. Among the skills that entrepreneurs need are skills to provide an excellent customer experience and good customer service too.
You might have a great product or service but if you don’t treat your customers right up to and beyond making a sale, you won’t get far. Providing your customers with a great experience is how you turn good reviews into excellent reviews.
You should know how to use social media to provide a great service to your customers, how to solve problems that arise, and how to respond to feedback.