What are the top 5 skills every business owner must have?
Certain skills are needed as you morph from an employee to an entrepreneur, but do not be unnecessarily intimidated. As the saying goes, you must crawl before you can walk, so you should expect a natural transition period that will include merging your innate business savvy with your willingness to adopt new technical skills to effectively assume your rightful position as commander of your professional endeavor. Every day will bring little victories (and some unexpected stumbles), but if you have planned well, you are leading with your own unshakable moxie and locked-in the right mentors for this exciting time in your career, which means the pressure is off to know everything from day one.
Still, there are certain core skills to explore, some inherent to you and many others to be learned …
Be a Leader or Learn How to Become One
You will agree that for as long as you can remember, from our caregivers, to our coaches, to our managers, to the smooth-functioning of our homes, as well as our earliest sport teams’ participation and our first jobs were all impacted (for better or for worse) by those who were in leadership positions. Some of the greatest businesses with the most motivated staff and strong potential for impressive growth are in the hands of competent leaders who have an instinct for keeping their eyes fixed on long-term growth tempered with the humility to keep learning in order to get better at setting and attaining meaningful goals.
If you are what is known as a natural-born leader, great! You have an inclination to give exactly what’s required in that department to lead with distinction. However, if you have a sharp mind for business and love what you are embarking upon as a business owner but need to improve your leadership qualities in order to head a team and lead the development of your business into something worthwhile, you will need to develop your own abilities as a leader.
You may also wish to investigate options for entrepreneurs that include training programs available if you were to buy a new or existing franchise. After all, if you are opening your business isolated from support and training, you will be running things alone and this isn’t necessary. You will need to develop stellar customer service, marketing and advertising and account management, all while formulating and sticking to some kind of plan that may or may not work out in the long run. That’s a lot of burden for any new leader who has many other skills to develop beyond a general understanding of the marketplace.
Be in command with a viable plan or seek a business opportunity that has one
Whether it has been tested and written down as doctrine or if it’s in your head as an unproven idea that you just hope pays off, each successful business depends on a sensible business plan. It is a common trap for many business owners to get caught up and too focused on the daily functions of the workday and hammering out issues with clients. The expense of this mistake is that they neglect to spend time concentrating on and making sure they are abiding by a favorable strategy for a bright future lined with a healthy customer base. Even top franchise owners, who are fortunate enough to have the wisdom of experience that comes with a tried and tested system must also possess the discipline to stick to their business plan and think strategically in order to meet and even exceed their long-term goals.
Be a great communicator and/or get some help communicating to your audience
George Bernard Shaw famously said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Great communicators know that receiving cues from others and truly listening to what they are trying to impart is the first step in effective communications. From there, no matter the setting, how you present visually (both in dress and body language), combined with what you actually say, will either encourage people to relax and open up to you – or clam up, as the saying goes. If you are networking, you are going to want to speak confidently and be certain to respond to others ensuring that they know you have something to offer through your business services that they very well might need.
Matt Peretz, Vice President for Minuteman Press International, could give a comprehensive list of skills that could help you as an owner of a business from finance savvy, marketing, time management, a sense of fearlessness, leadership skills and much more. However, Matt chooses to highlight effective communications as an essential skill that every business owner must develop as people often assume they’re on the mark when they could do better; and that can be a mistake when each contact made as an owner reflects on your business, for better or worse.
As Matt says, “Communication is key to any business owner. You need to be able to communicate internally to your staff as well as externally with customers. Being able to listen and understand what your customer may be telling you (or more importantly, not telling you). It is vital to offer the best customer service possible. You then have to take that information and be able to communicate it clearly and simply to your staff so that the project gets produced in the way that it was intended.
Matt continues, noting the need for caution when relying upon digital communications, a temptation hard to resist today, “In this day and age, with email, text and social media being so prominent in business, this makes clear communication even more important. Written forms of communication don’t have the advantage of being heard in context, or with the intended emotion the deliverer was trying to get across. A simple short text sent in haste, can end up sounding standoffish or blunt.”
Additionally, improve your “people skills” by simply getting out there and immersing yourself in the art of communication by networking in face-to-face scenarios available through Chamber of Commerce, BNI or Rotary gatherings. As you gain some comfort in these clubs, consider speaking on a topic that is relevant to your industry. Do not fear! You won’t get heckled if you know your stuff; rather, you will put yourself in a valuable place of authority in areas critical to your business and gain respect.
If you want to hone your business skills with a distinct edge, check this out:
Impressive numbers of highly successful, intelligent and self-motivated business owners decided to take their essential skills and merge them with a firmly established brand that has developed proven systems of operations, accompanied by national buying power and long-term support in the form of a franchising opportunity. For those entrepreneurs, expanding upon their skills as a business owner is made easier by engaging in a partnership (ideally with an industry leader) who will continually help them in all areas so they can maximize the results of their great efforts.
Top 5 Skills Every Business Owner Must Have
As Regional Vice President for Minuteman Press International in the Carolinas and Georgia, David Walton helps put potential business owners into business. Minuteman Press is the modern version of the printing industry as well as the world’s largest digital print, design, and marketing franchise that is number one rated in category by Entrepreneur. With all of the insights he has gained over the years as part of the Minuteman Press International franchise team, Dave Walton shares his Top 5 business skills that every business owner must have:
1. Provide top quality and service: Yes, this is common sense, but it’s often overlooked. When an owner provides top quality and service, price is no longer an issue. Those business owners that emphasize quality and service and instill the same in their employees prove to develop a great repeat customer base and tend to be the most successful.
2. Treat people the right way: This not only goes for your customers, but for your employees as well. If you walk into a business and it is staffed with long-term employees, the chances are you are standing in a very successful business. Stability with employees gives a small business owner not only consistency but also efficiency.
3. Get involved in the community: The best way to build your business is surround yourself with your customers. By being involved with the community it not only improves your name recognition, it also provides an opportunity to give back.
4. Have an authentic, positive attitude: Owning any small business requires a positive attitude that is genuine and authentic. All business owners have good days and bad but keeping a positive attitude makes all the difference. Every business is going to make a mistake now and then. Having a positive, respectful demeanor in those situations makes all the difference in finding solutions that keep your customers coming back.
5. There is no substitute for hard work: In the beginning of any business journey, the owner will need to work harder than they ever have before. The difference is that it is much easier and more rewarding working hard for your own business as opposed to doing it for someone else.
Ideally, you will be able to look inward and find your natural abilities can apply to boost your entrepreneurial efforts. The same abilities and skills that led you through a professional career can now be your springboard as you become a boss with the aim of developing a healthy, growing business and becoming a trusted resource within your community. From there, passionate adherence to your business plan and dedication to adopting industry-specific skills will help you mature and develop further as an entrepreneur. However, you must be wise enough to secure the proper allies and mentors early in your journey towards success.
Your trials and triumphs as a business owner will be strengthened by your own moxie and backed up by your own mentors – who will help you hone new core skills over time. From there, your greatest ambitions can be realized.
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is a business service franchise that is rated #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 13 years in a row and 24 times overall, including 2016. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores provide a full suite of branding and marketing solutions and produce promotional products, custom apparel, direct mail advertising, large format printing (banners and signs), and much more.