Apr 03, 2020
Whilst we are in a lockdown, why not take the opportunity to acquire new business skills? Businesses are all about solving problems, and since creativity and insight drive solutions, these new skills will likely come in handy. It is only after the skills are established, will your company begin to enjoy early success; before growth and expansion can be targeted.
However, with many unforeseen events taking place (for example, the current coronavirus pandemic), your business can be thrown into an unfortunate situation, where the strategies and processes originally put in place begin to collapse. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Just as the skills you need to start a business can be acquired, so are the skills you need to grow your business. Here are seven tips to acquire some of the essential skills you need to grow a business.
When you start a business, it's either you are working alone or with a small group of people. Some of them might be your friends or your business partners. But, as your business expands, hiring more hands becomes a necessity, and partnering with manufacturers or other services becomes a crucial element of your business model.
Strong communication ability is the bedrock of motivating your expanding group of workers and maintaining a great relationship with your business associates. One way to achieve this is by consistently putting yourself out there. You can further do this using various means such as blogs, newsletters, social media, and offline social groups.
By learning how to speak to others, inside and outside of work, through practice, you gain one of the skills that have helped plenty of entrepreneurs build empires.
An undeniable effect of a growing business is increased revenue, and experience has shown that this can both be a blessing and a curse. Some enterprises have crumbled under the pressure of their rising numbers. In contrast, others have leveraged on it to grow from small businesses into international conglomerates. The difference between both is often financial management.
Increased revenue often means a propensity to take more significant investment risks or engage in financial indiscipline, such as making extravagant purchases. Learning financial management is necessary for keeping your head on the ground and spending responsibly in pursuit of growth.
Business coaches can guide you in such instances as well taking financial management courses to acquire this skill. Others include online courses from Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, and others.
Growth takes time and exactly how long it takes depends on a variety of factors. But the fact is that there are no overnight successes in the business world. If you have a great business idea, it might work immediately on a small scale. But, factors such as marketing, consumer trust, and the timing could make growth a distant achievement.
This does not mean that your business cannot work. Several major companies today, like Airbnb, Evernote, Reddit, FedEx, and the trillion-dollar company, Apple, all went through a period of delayed growth and fear of bankruptcy. But they persevered, and eventually became the behemoths we know today.
As you seek growth and expansion, perseverance is a must-have skill. There is no academic program for acquiring this skill. But, you can learn it by engaging in activities such as solving thousand-piece puzzles, exercise, and setting long term book reading goals.
Growth means having more consumers, more salaries to pay, more meetings. More of everything, which means more responsibilities. Business owners trying to do it all by themselves often fail under the weight of their growing task. So, an important skill you must acquire is time management.
As your business grows, establish a firm priority system. Focus on the tasks within your expertise and ones that require your personal touch. Beyond that, always delegate when the need arises. Hire competent hands, especially those with expertise in your areas of weakness, and delegate responsibility to them.
Although it will feel like trusting a stranger with your baby, you must learn to trust your workers and avoid micromanagement. A growing company depends on happy workers, and workers do not love a micromanager.
Whatever industry your business is in, as it grows, your role transitions from a founder or technical expert to that of a leader. The ability to set the agenda of your company and lead from the front becomes an important cornerstone of success or failure.
Leadership skills cover a wide range of responsibilities, including motivating workers, making sacrifices, and mentoring. For some, leadership is a natural skill. For others, it needs to be learned, and you can acquire this skill through leadership seminars, offline and online leadership courses (Coursera, eDx, etc.) and reading relevant books. You can also learn from the story of other successful entrepreneurs and business coaches.
Ultimately, you have to put what you learn into practice. The more you apply the knowledge you have gained, the higher your ability to grow your company.
No business is an island. Whatever business you are in, you will have to work with other companies to push your product or service. Because of this dynamic, the growth of your business is dependent on finding the right business partners and deals.
Since businesses hardly publicise their weaknesses, networking online is an essential quality in identifying and screening the right partners for you. Joining key Online Social Platforms like LinkedIn and other active platforms. Also online business associations, online business coaching groups, virtual meet ups, virtual seminars, all of the above can give you access to inside information necessary in growing your company.
Cultivating relationships and working with other business owners also comes with the added benefit of gaining creative ideas to grow your business. For example, the founder of Wendy’s, Dave Thomas, got the inspiration for the food chain from working with KFC’s Col. Sanders.
Lastly, the key to growing a company is finding new business angles for the company to explore, and you can only achieve that by expanding your knowledge base. If you intend to grow your business, one skill you cannot do without is consistent learning. Learning about your industry, similar industries, and any other relevant businesses is just one of the many streams of knowledge to digest as a business owner.
Seeking knowledge can lead to insight into various factors that drive growth, like innovation, cost-cutting, and customer relations. By studying, we can advance exponentially; Elon Musk learned about cheaper alternatives, founded SpaceX, and grew his business empire and, consequently, his net worth.
There is no one place to acquire knowledge, but you can start by taking courses from platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, eDx. Also, as mentioned, talking to business coaches who study your industry and its various aspects is also a crucial way of taking advantage of knowledge for business growth.
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