Many people get stuck on the “Skills” part of their resume. You have probably written down bullet points, such as:
- Proficient in Public Speaking
- Leadership Skills
- Problem Solving
- Interpersonal Skills
- Teamwork Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Process Mapping
Now that you are starting your own business, would you hire yourself with these skills? Probably not, since they don’t boost your bottom line. Still, they do look good on paper.
You need to assess your skills when taking the big step from being a 9-to-5 employee to a CEO. Learning from a professional, such as an HR coach, will mean the difference between completing your first project successfully and working hard because you couldn’t express your idea fully.
No matter what type of business you plan to run, you will have to perform different roles. This will ensure that you can grow as an individual and ride the challenging roller coaster of making decisions, not giving in to your emotions and avoiding those panic moments that make you doubt yourself. Not many people have room in their budget in the first few months to hire an employee. So, you will be on your own!
This is where your skills come in. The right ones will not only absorb the bumps in your road but make sure that you have a smooth journey. Let’s take a look at the basic skills required to start a business:
- Communication Skills
This is an obvious one; however, a consistent gap seen in leaders is that they don’t have adequate communication skills. As the head of the business, you will lead by example, and that means implementing honest, proactive, and open communication. Communicating openly and proactively will allow you to talk with your clients confidently and get helpful feedback. It will also prevent the employees from harbouring any negative sentiments, boost morale and make them feel appreciated. Being able to communicate freely is not a natural skill. It can be learned, which gives you room to grow. This brings us to our second skill:
People who started their business from scratch, managed everything by themself and did all the grunt work often find it difficult to turn over duties to employees when the business grows. You don’t want to be perceived as lazy, and that’s a great concern but running yourself ragged doing all on your own when there are competent people around to share your burden is cutting your own throat.
Leadership is all about focusing on the bigger picture. So, roll down your sleeves and distribute those roles that you believe don’t need much of your attention. Think of it this way ― by delegating the menial tasks, you will have more time on your hands to reel in new clients and creating new opportunities for your employees.
- Financial Literacy
You don’t need to be a financial planner to start a business. You need to have a basic understanding of how to manage your finances. As you expand your business, you will think about renting or buying office space, buying office supplies, hiring employees, etc.
You will have to budget accordingly so that there are no delays in completing any project or paying the bills. Not many people have this skill; however, they can learn from an HR coach. This will allow you to also find out what’s affecting your revenue.
- Effective Marketing Skills
How you market your business tells you how creative and innovative you are. In the beginning, you will be solely responsible for getting the word out there about your business. This skill is essential to gain clients, customers, and qualified employees. It’s how you convince people they can trust you.
- Time Management
Last but not least is time management, which is often considered a soft skill. The lure of working late hours when the business has just started is quite tempting; however, it’s not sustainable. Here, an old school trick works best: Focus on high priority tasks first; then, unplug. Give yourself the necessary rest, and start the next day with a fresh mind.
Make no mistake: when you are running a business, you learn many new things every day. Nobody learns all the skills right away. Over time, you acquire them as you face one challenge after another.
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