Starting a business may take just a few steps, but what keeps it going is a good business leader. This is a fact that has been proven over the years. Nobody is born a Steve Jobs, a Warren Buffett, a Jack Ma or an Indra Nooyi. Even the most maverick of business persons, need to acquire skills that can help them grow the enterprise. You may be super good at selling, but sales is not the only skill that matters. A great leader has to strike good business deals, execute, manage salaries of employees and vendor payments and even arrange business loans from financial institutions like Tata Capital and act as a steward as well as a teacher to employees every single day for years.
Do want to know which are the must-have skills for a business person? Read on to know.
- Financial management – This is the most important of all skills that you can develop. Mathematics may not have been your strong point at school, but when it comes to your own business, math matters. Maths is money.
Being able to effectively manage your finances is critical. It all starts with understanding basic concepts and then as you get comfortable, you simply learn more. Once you understand sales, profit, margin and expenses, you will understand that money begets money in business. Business loans are a source of money for your business.
A business loan is a debt, which you need to repay within the deadline with interest. If you do not develop your financial management skills, you will always be dependent on somebody else when it comes to money. As the leader, you should be on top of sales targets, capital expenditure, growth capital and any plan to raise a loan for the business.
- Marketing, sales and customer service– You may have a salesperson, a marketing person and somebody who looks after customer service. However, that does not mean you can be totally clueless. If this is the business you started (and it is doing well), you are likely to know far more than somebody who studied these subjects. Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and interacting with them can give you great ideas.You may be going to sales pitches, but knowing how to develop a likeable personality can be the stepping-stone for bigger successes. Sit down with subject matter expert employees, and learn the art of selling. Marketing too is an important skill to acquire. The most successful of the products today are defined by solid marketing, which differentiates them from competitors. You will have to invest enough and the right amount of money to make sure you have a strong marketing and sales background. If funds are a reason that you are yet to invest in these aspects, then a business loan can be the key.
- Communication and negotiation– No matter how good you are, if you cannot express yourself in the written word and the spoken word, it will always be a challenge. The ability to talk about what you and then communicate effectively is an art in itself.
All great leaders are great communicators. If you are good at communication, negotiation skills will be easy to acquire. Yes, nobody is born as a skilled negotiator. You can acquire those skills, and practice them in the real world. Take, for instance, an urgent requirement for business loans. Your client may have suddenly given you a large order to fulfil and you need funds to buy raw materials. Negotiating with a loan provider is essential to get the best interest rate for business loans. You need to be agile and at the same time smart to safeguard your enterprise and also look after growth prospects.
In conclusion, let us remember that good leaders find a way, they always do. You started a business from scratch and bore all the pains to make it blossom what it is today. Developing the rights skills as a business person should be a piece of cake if you set your mind to it. Sidestepping skill development will not make you a stronger and more capable leader, and would, unfortunately, delay your personal development.
With the right skills, you as well as your business will save time and money, and morale.