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Starting a new business isn’t easy.  In order to succeed, you need to have and build multiple skills.  This is especially true if you’re starting your business alone. There are some skills that are essential to growing your business, ones that will help you succeed faster than if you didn’t have them.

Here are seven of the top skills that empower you to grow your business, from our experience in empowering small businesses to thrive. 

1. Communication

No matter what type of business you are trying to grow, communication is vital.  Whether it’s communicating mistakes in inventory orders, or communicating to customers the products that you carry, communication can make or break your success.

Strong communication skills enable you to express yourself in ways that your listeners can understand, while also being clear and direct. Communication can influence every aspect of your business. 

How Do I Improve Communication?

You can start by practicing with your family and friends, and get their input into how you word things.  You can also take workshops or public speaking classes to develop your speaking skills. There are many books that talk about the relationship between listening and speaking which are both fundamental components of communication. 

2. Time Management

Growing a business means you’ll be wearing multiple hats and working on establishing several areas of your business at the same time.  In order to succeed, you’ll need to have time management skills.  Without these, you can lose track of important information and lose sight of yourself.

Time management skills allow you to get everything done for your business that you need to get done, and still have personal and family time. 

How Do I Improve Time Management Skills?

Keeping track of your day can be a highly useful way to improve your time management skills.  Make a daily list of what you need to do, and start timing yourself to see how long it takes to do them.  

If you notice any areas that seem to be taking longer than it should, brainstorm ways to make the process quicker.  See if you can streamline some processes so you are able to decrease the amount of time it takes to accomplish repetitive tasks. Processes and systems are a big way to empower you to save time. 

Don’t be afraid to try time blocking, where you focus on specific aspects for a designated amount of time each week. 

3. Marketing

Marketing is generating leads for your business.  If no one knows you’re out there, they won’t know to buy from you. In order to market well, you need to understand your target demographic and how to reach them.  

How do I Improve my Marketing Skills?

Learn how to utilize your available resources, such as social media, to your advantage.  Take free marketing courses online, and learn how to conduct market research.  Once you understand how marketing works, you’ll be able to use that information to increase awareness and leads for your business.

Make sure that if you are focused on serving a local audience that you create local business listings online such as a google business listing, a facebook page, a yelp account etc. Simply having these accounts set up with accurate information can increase your findability online. 

4. Sales

Sales and marketing go hand in hand.  While marketing is the process of finding and attracting your ideal customers, sales is the process of sharing what you offer to them, and you can address concerns and help them to make a decision. This is one of the most crucial skills to have because if you can’t sell your products, you can’t stay in business.

How Do I Improve my Sales Skills?

Improving sales skills is all about practice.  Become knowledgeable about what you’re selling and why your target customers are interested in your product, and learn how to word it in a way that solves their problems and they can clearly see that what you offer solves their problem and provides solutions. 

5. Customer Service

Customer service is an important part of running a business.  While sales are part of growing your business, your customers may not stick around long with lousy customer service.

Good customer service is listening to your customers wants and needs, and offering assistance and advice when needed, while keeping a friendly and helpful attitude.  It’s knowing the difference between customers who want your assistance, while respecting those who just want to browse.

How Can I Improve my Customer Service skills?

Customer service is all about being friendly and approachable, and knowing how to interact with each customer in a way that they will leave feeling positive about the interaction.  It takes practice, but being knowledgeable about your products and presenting that knowledge with a smile is a good place to start.  

You can also implement a place where they can provide feedback and suggestions which can help you grow. Many companies use surveys or google forms that allow for a place to gather this feedback. 

5. Leadership

Every new business requires some form of vision.  A good leader is responsible for acquiring that vision and helping bring it to life.

A good leader will create more leaders. Leaders who train their team and empower them to execute your vision with their vision, provides a safe and secure environment for them to succeed. 

How Do I Work On My Leadership Skills?

A good leader comes from a place of empowerment. Leaders can also delegate and instruct with clarity and precision.  A good leader also leads by example.  If you expect your employees to not be on their phone, then don’t be on your phone. Leadership can look different for everyone so lean into your talents and skills, and take the time to get to know your team, their needs, and why they care about being successful. Use their strengths, and empower them when there are weaknesses.  

6. Networking

Networking is when you connect with others and share information or ideas.  In business, building your network is important to grow and expand. 

Everyone is always saying it’s who you know that counts, and when it comes to networking, that is correct. Your network can bring support, mentors, collaborators, and potential business partners. Never underestimate the importance of relationships and the people around you. 

How Do I Grow My Network? 

At Biz to Biz, we believe that you have the power to develop the skills you need to shine in your business.  And we believe that you shouldn’t have to do it on your own.

We have networking groups that are specifically designed to help you grow your circle of influence. Our groups also can help you increase your business skills, refine your sales skills, and build relationships of trust. 

If you are looking to join a networking group, attend one of our chapters in your areas as a guest to see what it is all about. You can also learn more about what makes Biz to Biz unique and why we care about small businesses being successful. 

If you have any questions of want to learn more about our groups or starting a chapter please contact us here