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6 Crucial Business Skills Your Startup Will Need

By Business Desk

Saturday, April 15, 2023.

Over the years, the US and the UK have seen a surge in black-owned businesses. The US, for example, noticed a 14% increase from 2017 to 2020, with many Black or African American business owners taking their well-deserved places in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that running a business is no easy feat, especially in a constantly changing landscape. That’s why you need crucial business skills to thrive in this space. If you own a startup, your venture will need crucial business skills, including those below.

  1. Financial management

The first requirement as an entrepreneur is to know how to manage money. Financial literacy is a crucial part of running a business. Without substantial knowledge, your business may be at risk of failing. Learning to create a budget, keeping track of inflows and outflows, paying workers, slowing down your cash burn rate, and so much more are necessary functions you must establish. Indeed, a strong financial foundation can set you apart from other entrepreneurs who do not have this skill. Enrolling in a business financial management course before your startup begins operations is advisable. Thankfully, other courses are also purposely created for startups, and you can conveniently take advantage of them. 

  1. Effective marketing skills

Many online resources will tell you that marketing is the lifeblood of business sustenance. Knowing how to reach your target market is crucial to your business because it's the only way to get consumers to hear about your product. A successful marketing campaign often translates into great sales, creating the opportunity for product diversification when necessary. The truth is that when people get hooked on your product or service, it will be difficult for competitors to sway your market. Global brands have effectively used this marketing secret for years. These brands have employed tailored marketing and fine-tuning strategies to meet the changing landscape. 

More importantly, many brands have focused more on diversity and have incorporated vital elements into their marketing activities. You can do the same for your startup, although it may not yet be on a wide scale. In the meantime, however, you must strengthen your marketing skills to help penetrate your desired markets. Building your digital marketing skills to align with current consumer demands will help yield significant results for your business. Identifying the appropriate social media platforms to help you engage with your target audience is also best. For instance, if your startup is in the food or fashion industry, platforms like Instagram will be ideal, as they can help you tell a visual story of your brand that your clients can relate to and that will sustain their interest in your business.

  1. Presentation skills

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Presenting business ideas to potential investors at some point in your operations will become crucial. A potential partnership can only happen if investors are impressed with your presentation and can find cohesion in your communicated ideas, so keep this in mind. If you have basic digital presentation skills, that will do. Sometimes, however, you’ll need to go the extra mile and consult an expert PowerPoint design company to help with show-stopping presentations.

Doing this will help you get noticed and remain on the minds of potential investors looking for a startup that stands out. Test your presentation skills regularly to get comfortable with the nuances that come with it. An effective presentation is an acquired skill; you can become an expert when you commit to it. Indeed, no two presentation styles are the same, and that's because inherent personalities show through. So, the next time you have a business presentation for your startup, remember to infuse your character traits to enhance originality.

  1. Leadership skills

Research reveals that many startups that failed to make it past the third year of operations had poor leadership. A 2019 Pew Research report stated that many startups began without understanding the essence of effective leadership's role in a business. According to the report, many owners behind now-defunct businesses admitted they could have taken better steps when they started. For instance, instead of focusing so much on profits, many believed that inspiring the team and helping workers get on board a shared vision could have produced better outcomes. Thankfully, it’s not too late to apply this to your business. Learning how to set realistic business goals, communicate effectively, accept feedback, and create an inclusive company culture is necessary. These are crucial elements of leadership that can help transform your startup into a multinational business.

It would be best to learn to make tough decisions and take calculated risks that protect the business and, to a large extent, your core team. Leadership skills are diverse, so adopting the ones that suit your type of business is crucial. Besides, sometimes leadership is not all about what you've read in books and online resources. It also goes beyond showing who has the power to hire or fire. Once you understand that, you can become a better business leader for your startup and make a lasting impact.

  1. Networking

Every startup owner needs a robust network to flourish and gain deeper insight into opportunities and market challenges. Your startup will do better when it's connected to others in the same or different business. That is where networking comes in. The more relationships you build with industry peers, the better insight you will have into the market, potential leads, partnerships, and investors. Taking this step can help strategically position your business for success. Although you wouldn't be handed bank checks at these business networking programs, there is a high chance of meeting people who can connect you to the right investors. 

A significant concern many business owners have when networking is the fear of confidential information being leaked or ideas being stolen. If that is your fear, you don't have much to worry about, especially because everything will depend on how much you give away at these meetings. It’s best to strike a healthy balance between being open in your communication and knowing what information to keep. This way, you’ll avoid exposing your business unnecessarily. Moreover, your communication style at these network meetings will determine the success of your business relationships. As a startup, there is no denying that you need all the help you can get in those early years. 

  1. Time management

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You may already know that time is a precious resource that can never be retrieved when wasted. For a startup, it is everything you need to put all your plans into action. Poor time management for your business can mean revenue loss and damage your reputation. Remember that in those early years of your startup, you're still defining your target, and customers are evaluating you as well. Therefore, the slightest hint of poor time management can cause a setback in your plans. 

For example, time management will be a critical operation resource if you run a delivery business. When you continually fail to deliver orders on time, your customers will look elsewhere for another startup that handles time better. The last thing you want to happen is to have to start all over again to win lost customers. It is harder to win back customers you lost, so getting it right from the onset is better. Fortunately, you can manage time better by prioritising essential tasks, delegating responsibilities, and streamlining your operations. Another vital step in time management is learning to implement a work-life balance. The more you do this, the better it will be to maintain a healthy lifestyle and not lose crucial work days.

6 Crucial Business Skills Your Startup Will Need

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