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7 Essential Skills for a Successful Business

Updated on April 27, 2013
Do you have everything you need to start your business?
Do you have everything you need to start your business? | Source

Starting a business and working for yourself may be something that you are dreaming about. There are many benefits to owning your own business, such as financial freedom and being paid for all the work you do. This could be the perfect time to look at starting your own business. The economy is on the rise so people are more willing to spend their money.

However, even with a stabilizing economy, your business isn’t guaranteed to be successful. You will need certain skills and qualities if you want the chance to succeed. Most businesses fail within six months of starting – don’t be one of those.

A Valuable Product or Service

Before looking into the skills you require, it is important that you have a product or service. This needs to be something that is popular with consumers and has some competition – however, you want to keep that competition to a minimum. Why competition? This will help entice people to come to you and you will know that there is a market for your business.

You don’t need to offer your own product to make this work. There are plenty of affiliate marketers out there making money from other people’s products or selling PLR material. The trick is to finding something that you can offer and works for you. As long as the product or service is valuable and you are allowed to sell it legally (and morally!) then it’s the easiest thing to come by!

Books to Help Start Up Your Business

The Motivation to Succeed

Starting a new business may seem like something exciting but, after some time, that initial excitement will die. You will need to make plans to help the business grow and deal with problems that occur. This means that you need to have motivation to keep going, even when times become tough.

Everyone lacks motivation now and then, even successful business owners. However, these business owners have managed to find the motivation – often looking back on the reasons they started their business in the first place. Make a list of the reasons why you want to do this and see how much of those are long term goals; these will help you keep the motivation to succeed.

The Discipline to Work

No matter what you offer, whether you are selling a product from a shop or working from home offering a service, you will need the discipline to work. Many people struggle when they don’t have a boss breathing down their neck. Plenty of people will happily make 40 calls a week because their boss tells them to but struggles to make one when they’re their own boss.

You will need to set hours to work and then stick to them. You can’t let little distractions get the better of you. Don’t let your family convince you to take an impromptu day off – you wouldn’t be able to if you worked for someone else! The good news is that you can choose the times and days that you work. If you want to work at 2am and have more free time during the day, do it!

Having the discipline to work is often much harder for those who work from home. It is very easy to think that you can stay in your PJs and watch the TV all day. This will not help you make money and will actually lead to you losing business instead of becoming successful.

The Ability to be Organised

There is a lot of paperwork that you will need to do, both when you start your business and as it grows. You will need to be organised to make sure that all this paperwork is completed on time and to help your company run smoothly. You’ll need to keep hold of receipts and track your finances to show the profitability of your company and fill out tax returns in time.

This skill will also help to make sure you complete every project on time or your customers receive the right products. If you can’t do these simple things, you will instantly start to lose business. Clients will walk away because you’re not reliable and customers will tell their friends to avoid you like the plague because of the mix up. Yes, mistakes do happy but organisation helps to avoid all of that.

You will also need to run the different areas of your business and check them on a regular basis. This includes marketing, sales and employing the right people. The system that you set up is completely up to you; find something that works for you whether it is in paper form or on the computer.

Great Communication Skills

You will need to talk to people to be able to succeed, whether this is face to face, over the telephone or via email. Good communication skills are essential to be able to find clients or customers, advertisers and suppliers. If you do not have the confidence to speak in public, you will find it difficult to start your own business.

This is one of the easiest skills to gain while starting your business. There are many courses available to help boost confidence so you can speak to others. You may also benefit from hiring a coach or taking acting classes just to help ease the nerves. The hardest part is often making that first phone call and as you make more, your confidence will grow and you will start to get better at it.

Are you ready to go out there and communicate with others?
Are you ready to go out there and communicate with others? | Source

The Ability to Solve Problems

The sixth skill is the ability to be a good problem solver. There are many different problems that may occur and you need to know how to keep calm and get over them to move forward. Some of the more common problems include not having the budget, difficult clients or customers or not finding the suppliers for your business.

It is worth making a business plan to start with and outlining any potential problems that could happen. This gives you the chance to make a list of the steps that you can take to overcome these hurdles. You will also need to be happy with making decisions and be able to show to others that you are confidence in your skills in decision making.

You can't control when problems arise but most of the time you can prevent them before they get too bad. This is linked to your organisation. If you have a plan of action and know where everything is, you will be able to reach for the necessities to solve the situation at hand. If a customer as a problem, you will be able to check their files to work out who cause the problem and how to fix it. If you have an audit, you will be able to pull out all your financial information to get ready for the tax man coming to visit.

The Willingness to Market Yourself

How are people going to find out about you? No business is an overnight success. It takes time for this to happen and a lot of marketing. If you’re not willing to market yourself then start looking for another line of work. It doesn’t matter how great your product is or how valuable your service is for others; if they don’t know about it, how will they know to buy it?

Marketing will also help you build trust, your brand and online reputation. The majority of people who view your products will not buy from you straight away. Why should they? They want to know that they can trust you and the you’ll offer something that is worth their hard-earned money. Think about it as a customer. The trick is to earn their trust and you do that through various methods of marketing.

If you don’t have any of the skills above then running a business just isn’t for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your dream – find someone who does have those skills to run the business side of things and you can run the other sides. Maybe you’re great at the finances or will be able to create new products quickly and easily. Maybe you just need someone telling you what needs doing to actually do it and a business partner may be willing to take that role. This is your chance to determine whether you have everything success needs or if you can work around it another way.

Time for a Poll

What do you think is more important to run a business?

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