Thanks to the explosion of tech, there are many new skills a small business owner must learn in order to be successful in the modern world. However, there are also a whole host of necessary basic skills that stand the test of time.
Every small business owner who wants to succeed in managing their organization’s day-to-day operations needs to have a proper grasp of these skills. But which ones are the most vital ones to focus on? Here, nine leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council examine the skills they consider the most important for proper small business management and why they’re essential to keep a company running efficiently.
1. Delegation Skills
All small business owners must be able to delegate in order for their business to be successful. Too often owners will want to control and oversee all the details, but in order to scale it’s impossible to do this. It’s important for a good business owner to build a team and establish processes for their team to successfully meet expectations. –Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
2. The Ability To Follow Through
Yes, you 100% have to have great ideas and the intelligence to bring them to fruition. I have found that the game-changer is those who can follow through versus those who just come up with ideas. In order to follow through, you need to believe in yourself and have a great team behind you. –Sheila Nazarian, Nazarian Plastic Surgery
3. Communication Skills
Every small business owner should be well-versed in the technology platforms, accounting systems and basic legal framework of their business; however, communication skills are the key to managing all of the moving parts. The ability to succinctly and accurately communicate what processes and procedures need to be executed to various professionals associated with your organization is the keystone of a successful business. It is the role of the founder or owner to have the strongest communication skills in order to manage those helping them. This is classic management and will never go out of style. There is no need, for example, to know every detail about technical SEO, but the owner must be able to communicate which markets the team needs to approach. – Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP / White River Consulting, LLC
I think that creativity is the most underappreciated skill for entrepreneurs and business owners. As an entrepreneur, you can never rely on standard operating procedures and rigid rules. The world doesn’t work that way. You need to constantly think on your feet and come up with the best solution given the unique set of circumstances you’re given. This requires creativity and fast thinking. Say an employee walks out on the job a day before they’re supposed to deliver a marketing deck for an important client? You need to evaluate every factor to come up with the solution that creates the best outcome for both the client and your business in the long term. – Amine Rahal, IronMonk Solutions
5. Social Media Skills
Social media is one basic skill all small business owners should have in order to manage the day-to-day operations of a successful business. This is the way the world operates now. It’s an easy skill to learn and it is important that all entrepreneurs know about social media, how to connect with others, posting and engagement. These are all things that can be learned through practice and mini courses. There are tons of quick courses available about social media. Even if you have a social media team, I highly advise all business owners to learn how to operate social media, how to access their business page and to monitor it daily. This is how you reach more people. This is how you validate your business. – Lisa Collum, Top Score Writing
6. Analytical Thinking
Small business owners should be able to think with an analytical mind in order to successfully manage their day-to-day operations. A small business owner’s ability to synthesize information coming from customers and vendors will be crucial to the development of the company. Operational issues happen for a reason, and it is incumbent upon the leader of the company to determine what that reason is and to address the root cause. Business owners should view their operations as a way to create value instead of as a cost center; therefore, correctly analyzing (and subsequently improving) the day-to-day operations will increase the value of your business. – Charles Bogoian, Kenai Sports
7. Time Management Skills
Time management is the most important skill to master for any business leader. Time is the one resource that we can never get back. Being able to effectively manage your own time is a must for any leader. As a business owner and manager, your job is to coordinate your team to ensure goals are accomplished and deadlines are met. To be effective at this aspect of time management means you need to have an excellent handle on project estimation, as well as understand the various personality types of your team members—both of which will affect your ability to ensure that time is spent as efficiently as possible. It goes without saying, but time is money! – Arian Radmand, IgnitePost – Robotically handwritten notes
8. The Ability To Prioritize
One key skill necessary to overcome the daily grind is the ability to filter through all the demands of the day and pare them down to two or three of the most important, impactful or value-oriented tasks, decisions or meetings, and then prioritize your energy, focus and schedule around these. Whether the rest of the day goes by eventfully or not, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment and effectiveness. –Andrew Gi, MAG Capital Partners
9. Financial Literacy
One skill that a business leader cannot afford to neglect is financial literacy. Every leader needs to be able to study their cash flow and track expenses as well as make important decisions for the financial health of their company based on data. You should hire an accountant or tax consultant for highly technical work, but you should be able to understand what they’re doing and how to work with them. In the end, major decisions are left to you and financial knowledge is important if you want to help your business thrive. –Blair Williams, MemberPress