If you’re missing one or more of these seven core business skills every business owner needs (and most people are!), you’ll want to pay attention to how you can fill the gaps. It’s no secret that to grow your online business (any business really), you’ve got to stay on top of making sure you’re growing in your skill set to the extent that you want to grow your business. You can’t do one without the other.
Skill #1: Future Business Ideas
Every business starts with an idea, but the idea generation doesn’t stop there. You must always have a FLOW of ideas for your products, programs, services, and promotions. In most cases, ideas come from YOU, the business owner, and this is typically a favorite part of owning a business. It’s essential to learn how to effectively brainstorm and capture your ideas so that you can easily reference them later.
Skill #2: Strategy
Ideas aren’t enough – you must also have a strategy to implement these ideas and ensure they are the right ones to act on and turn into revenue streams. Either you or someone else in your business must think through and craft a strategy for turning your ideas into a PROFITABLE business.
Skill #3: Business Communication
There are many different types of business communication. Offline communication and company-driven communication are two types that mix both spoken and written forms. When you’re building an online business, and your goal is to promote yourself and engage on social media, the way you communicate adds context and messaging.
Communicating your message, value, and offers in writing in a way that connects with your ideal client is essential to your success. The skill that allows you to do that is copy writing. The more you write this type of “copy,” the better you get; however, most of us need to learn this skill from an expert to become proficient.
The clearer your messaging is the better all forms of communication will be.
Skill #4: Graphic Design
Another type of business communication is communicating through images. The online world is highly visual. Colors, photos, and graphics create your business or personal branding and get the attention of your ideal clients to help them recognize you online. It’s easy to produce high-quality graphics with all the technology and software available, and most graphics platforms are easy to learn. There are also many affordable options to outsource your graphic design needs. Producing and sharing professional graphics is essential to consistently maintain your brand’s message, look, and tone.
Skill #5: Video
No matter what your business offers, or who your clients or customers are, video is one of the primary ways nearly everyone communicates in business today. Meetings with clients, networking events, and even social media content require you to use video as a mainstream way of communicating, collaborating, and engaging. There are several areas to master not only in video recording, editing, and script-writing but also with your video presence. It’s essential to learn how to present yourself on camera in a way that supports and showcases both your business and your brand.
Skill #6: Management
It all must get done, somehow. As the owner and visionary of your business, it’s up to you to ensure everything gets done. The reality is that there’s always more to do than you alone can take on. The key to success in management is to ensure that the RIGHT things get done at the right time. “No (wo)man is an island,” as they say.
Without an operational plan, it’s challenging to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. That plan involves (among other things):
- keeping information organized
- creating and executing standard operating procedures
- setting goals
- maintaining up-to-date profit and cash flow reports to monitor your business’s financial health
A virtual assistant can be invaluable to help you execute your operational plan.
Skill #7: Relationships
There are very few business strategies and models that allow you to remain anonymous behind a computer screen. Connecting, collaborating, networking, and building value-driven relationships with your team, partners, referrals, customers or clients, and service providers is a crucial component that drives your business growth and success.
If you’re an introvert and the thought of connecting with others stops you in your tracks, there are ways you can minimize both the time you spend in relationship building and the apprehension you feel. You can hire or partner with others who are skilled at relationship-building. You can also learn to see relationship-building through a new lens by hiring a coach to help you change your mindset.
I’ve worked with many clients convinced they could never do “relationship marketing,” Once we went through our mindset training and removed the fear, they could not only do it, but they were surprised to learn that they enjoyed it.
By focusing on mastering these seven business skills, you can reliably grow your online business into a thriving enterprise that will bring you personal and financial freedom.
Take the time to assess your business skills and determine on a scale of 1 to 5 how strong and confident you are in each. Once you have rated yourself, focus on the areas you scored three or less and begin with the one you feel would be the most critical business skill you could master to impact your business significantly right away.