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The skills you need for business success

So, you’ve got that brilliant business idea, you’re up and running and have made your first sales. But do you have all the skills you need to keep growing and managing your business? As you look ahead, what are the key skills you’ll need and what outside help should you bring in? Here are four key thoughts to get you started.

One of the first things you’ll need to do is to decide whether you have, or can develop, these skills yourself. If you do need outside help, it’s important you know what to look for and where to get it.

1. Keeping everything on track

Project management is often the area which determines how likely your business is to succeed. If you get this right, you should be able to get:

  • improved collaboration between people in different parts of your business;
  • better use of resources with the ability to plan ahead when it comes to allocating time and tasks;
  • and tighter control over your budget.

While there are project management tools and software that can help you, it’s probably worth bringing in someone dedicated to keeping things on track as this skill can make the biggest difference to your bottom line. If you can’t afford to hire someone new, maybe you have an existing employee with budget-setting and time management skills who you could train to do the job.

2. Making sure the numbers add up

Not everyone enjoys a good balance sheet as bedtime reading or knows their way around tax and key business legislation. So, having access to good financial advice, whether this is through an accountant or a lawyer, will make sure you keep a good handle on the all-important finances.

Part of good financial management is setting a realistic budget and then making sure you use it to monitor and manage your business on a day-to-day basis. You may not be able to avoid the nasty surprises that sometimes crop up but keeping a close eye on your budget can flag up important issues before they become major problems.

3. Finding new friends

These days you can get vast amounts of information about a whole range of business topics online. But there’s nothing like building up a solid network of people and organisations you trust that you can go to for information and support. Excellent starting points are your local business support networks including your Chamber of Commerce as well as sector-specific trade bodies and organisations.

4. Not doing it all yourself

You can’t do everything yourself so delegation is one of the most vital skills for any business owner. This can be difficult. If you’ve set up your own company it’s hard to believe anyone else can do the job as well as you can.

But if you adopt a policy of only hiring people who are better than you are, you might be surprised how much more efficient the business is and how much easier it is to manage your time and workload.

If you don’t have the resources to take on permanent staff, outsourcing some specific tasks such as design, accountancy or HR, can be efficient and cost-effective.

Read more:

What I wish I’d known when I started my business

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