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Essential Skills To Start A Business

– Contributed content –

Business newspaper

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14 Jan. 2020. A successful business demands more than just hard work, and expertise. There are too many businesses that fail because, let’s face it, translating your passion into a working business model is a difficult task. It’s going to take more than a passion to develop a small business, unfortunately, over half of the new businesses fail in their first year because the owners lack the essential business skills that are needed to make it successful.

If you want success, you are going to need to put in hard work, have resilience, expertise in your industry and the fundamental business skills. Often small business owners are required to run all aspects of a business, therefore, it’s important that you learn the skills or find others to complete the work. You can learn skills as you go, or as you come across them or you can opt to complete a relevant course somewhere such as the University of Alabama Birmingham. Whichever route you choose, it’s important to learn the essential skills that you need in order to boost your chance of being successful.

Let’s have a look at some of the essential skills you might need to start your business:


This is where you assign tasks and responsibilities to other people in order to get work completed. You want to be in a position where your staff is able to carry out the essential tasks needed to keep your business running on a daily basis. If you’re working alone, to begin with delegation will come in to play if you use outsourcing to help you complete certain tasks. You want to achieve the correct balance between effective controls and enabling your staff to complete their job quickly yet effectively. You need to understand how you can make your business work, rather than having your business run you.


Communication is one of the key parts of running any business successfully. It’s not only essential to everyday life it plays a massive role in the everyday running of any business too. Everything you do in life required communication so it shouldn’t be surprising that this heavily applies to business. To have an effective business you need to use communication effectively. Communication skills will allow you to secure sales, negociate for stock prices, deal with your customers professionally and also help with hiring the right person for the job. You need to remember to always be clear with any communication. Often face to face or over Skype is the better option.


Negotiation can be a large factor in any business. It’s something that you often have to learn through practice and experience. You tend to get better at it the more you do it and the more you understand what you want from it. It’s important to understand exactly what you want but also what you’re willing to compromise on. If you negotiate on a regular basis you are normally more skilled at than others who haven’t done it before. It can be heavily related to sales. The more you complete this skill the more you learn what to say, what works well and understand the difference between formal and informal negotiations. You want to learn how to achieve a win-win situation and ultimately get what you want from any negotiation.

Marketing and sales 

Sales and marketing are the real bread and butter for a business. They’re ultimately the way that a business succeeds. You need to have a successful marketing campaign that includes the right price, targeting the right customers, using the correct marketing techniques and securing sales. They are the key to business growth, therefore, it’s important you are familiar or learn quickly when it comes to marketing and sales


It should go without saying that planning is a skill that is classed as extremely important. From planning your marketing, your sales, your team building through to writing a business plan, you will create and follow plans on a daily basis. You need to be able to understand how you can project your companies future performance and then support it with a detailed business plan, creating mini-plans as you go.


As business becomes more and more technologically advanced and often complex. There is a rapid increase in technology and the way you need to be able to think analytically. You need to have the ability to objectively assess the current state of your business, know where you’re heading in the future and what you need to do in order to achieve it. This means you are going to need to be able to think analytically about your business. You should learn how to gather, review, and evaluate data produced by your business and be able to express the findings.

Cash flow management

If you can’t manage money, you aren’t likely to succeed in business. Your cash flow should be one of your main priorities when running a business. It’s the main indicator of how well a business is performing, and a shortage of cash flow or bad cash flow management can be detrimental to a business. You need to know how to monitor, protect and allocate the business’s money correctly and well. It’s imperative that you know how to control the cash flow, if you don’t it could be time to look at using an account service through outsourcing.

Time management 

You need to be able to manage your own time and the time of your staff when running a business, and this is on a daily basis. It’s usually down to common sense, however, you can improve your time management skills through practice. If you’re someone who struggles to manage their time it can take a lot of work to start getting it right. Try creating a rota and sticking to it. Create a diary that contains all the daily ins and outs for your business. You should include things such as staff training, marketing allocation and dealing with the accounts. You need to be able to recognize which areas of your business need attention and when.

This is just a short guide with some of the essential skills that need in order to start a business. You can certainly think of at least a few more.

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