One of the first things to start with in assessment of small owner business skills is a reminder that you do not need to do everything. When considering the small owner business skills list, think about what you are naturally good at, what you could learn to be good at and what you could hire out for.
Remember, you do not have to do everything. You just need to understand what needs to be done and hire the right people to fill in the gaps!
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Small Business Owner Skills
Vision: A company that does not know where it is going will get lost along the way. One of the first skills to develop is your vision of the future. Your decisions will depend upon a clear direction. Do you want to be location independent? Do you want to have a lot of employees? Do you want to work one on one with people? How big do you want to be? There is no right answer to these types of questions, but knowing your answer is essential. As decision points come up, you need to be able to choose based upon what is going to be best for your long term goals. And if you do not know what these are, you can get lost along the way.
Customer Acquisition: You can have the best product and service in the world, but if you do not have a sense of how to talk about your offerings in a way that helps people see the value and justify spending their hard earned money, you will be at a loss. It is important to develop an ability of understanding your customer and why they are motivated to buy. The more you can understand their pain and solve their problems, the easier time you will have getting customers.
Solving Problems: Decision fatigue is a real thing. The larger your company gets, the more problems you will have to solve. One of the most important skills to develop is in problem solving. There will likely be times where you will have to make decisions quickly. Asking the right questions is essential here. The other super pertinent thing is learning how to make decisions based upon both short term and long term impacts. Sometimes what is best for the short term actually harms the long term of your company. When you are making decisions, take the time to consider both short and long term implications.
Implementation: This is actually a key skill that many business owners lack. Most commonly business owners have a sense of being visionary. They know where they want the company to go. It is common as a business owner to have a natural skill at thinking of great ideas. What is less common is having the skill set to bring things all the way to fruition. This of course is not true in every case. It is important to be honest with yourself about your natural tendencies here. If you find yourself easily getting swept away with your next idea, consider hiring someone that is natural at bringing ideas all the way to fruition.
Analysis: If you pay attention, your business will tell you what to focus on. One of the best small business owner skills to develop is a sense of what numbers you need to watch. Pay close attention to which ads drive business, what posts get the most traction, and how people find you are all important metrics that can help guide your decisions. So frequently, people can get overwhelmed and lose track of their pleasure centers when it comes to their business. Numbers and analytics help you orient to what is most important in your business to put time into!
Systems: If you want to scale a business you are going to need to have help. In order to reproduce yourself and have help, it is essential to build out systems and standard operating procedures. If things fall through the cracks and you find out that you dropped the ball on something, ask yourself, what sort of system or strategy would help prevent this from happening again. None of us our perfect, but we can utilize mistakes to inform us about what sort of systems within our company need to be improved.
Roadblocks: Ability to see and predict potential roadblocks and financial pitfalls is essential. Typically, this job is done by a CFO of a company. In small business, often times owners are the CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and more. It is essential to be thinking about potential pitfalls, competition and market trends. Be prepared for having a bad month. They happen to all of us.
Marketing: This one is probably obvious. If people do not know you exist, you will go broke. You can spend a lot of money taking marketing courses and you will find some value in some of them for sure. That being said, we could break down marketing very simply. Track everything you do. Make that most customers that comes in, you can tie them back to a marketing strategy. (This becomes less important at high volume when marketing becomes more of branding campaigns for companies like coca-cola. But for small businesses, it is typically crucial that you know where your customers are coming from so that you can keep spending money on the things that work.) Do not be afraid to try things that seem out there. Just make sure you have metrics in place so that if you try something wild, you can get a sense of if it provided value for your company or not.
Your Team: A key small business owner skill is the ability to develop a good team. In developing a good team, first think about your values, vision and mission. It tends to work best to find people that align with values/vision and mission but have a different skill set then you do. The last thing most small businesses owners need is a second one of them. It may feel that way, but what is better is finding someone that has a skill set that is different than yours.
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