Having the skills to manage your finances effectively is vital, especially if you’re a start-up company where you might not be able to afford to hire additional staff or an external company to manage your accounts. In which case, it will be down to you to keep the books in tip-top condition.
For example, being knowledgeable in areas such as business cash flow will help your business to trade effectively and not find itself in a financial crisis – which is never a fun position to be in!
A couple of social media posts and a mediocre newsletter aren’t going to bring in the big bucks. In order to attract new customers, you will need to have a clear marketing plan that is not only detailed but also flexible. You will need to adapt to current trends, both within your target audience and the marketing world, through marketing channels such as advertising, promotion and public relations.
The marketing activity might be allocated to one person or this may involve the entire team.
Sales and client accounts
As a customer, we will take the word of our friends over an online business review. Having a great customer service and client handling ethos will not only help you to retain your current customers, but also to attract new ones. A good sense of pricing and negotiation, as well as tracking competitors, are other key elements to winning over customers. After all, everyone loves a bargain!
Paperwork is never the fun part of a job – however, it is essential. From book-keeping and accounts to payroll and stored data, it is a fundamental part of running a business. Paperwork needs to be kept in line so that your business remains a smooth-running operation - it also removes stress later on when you want to locate something.
Personnel and HR
Keeping your crew happy on your ship is vital to stop it from sinking. Being able to resolve disputes, recruit the right staff, motivate the team and manage the training provision are all essential skills. Having the right person in charge of the team and internal processes are key to the success of any business.
Personal business skills
Sometimes the most obvious skills are ignored, but they are extremely important. Being able to navigate a computer or utilise basic organisational skills is incredibly useful, as are good written and communication skills for the success of a business. Communication is particularly important, as it will help to ensure your staff members are able to competently deal with tasks autonomously and without supervision - micro-management takes up valuable resources for everyone involved.
Other areas to consider:
Trying to take on the majority of tasks yourself is difficult and stressful. Where possible, consider the following:
- Establishing a management team or structure with a clear line of authority/delegation
- Delegating certain responsibilities among members of your team
- Recruiting new members of staff to divide the workload
- Outsource work to a specialist contractor
- Offer additional training to existing staff members to bridge any skills gaps