12 Business Skills You Should Develop

Image Source

Managing a business requires entrepreneurs to develop certain soft skills and tackle common issues facing a modern-day startup. Census Bureau statistics show that around 4.4 million businesses are established annually in the United States, but 90% of these startups collapse within five years. What makes a successful business different from an unsuccessful one?

Experts will tell you that developing a few major business skills can give you a competitive advantage over other entrepreneurs. Honing these skills will help you overcome 21st-century business challenges and mark your startup for success. Here is a breakdown of the business abilities business owners must possess in today’s business environment:

1.       Business management

Leadership doesn’t always come naturally; some people are born leaders while others can learn to be one. Effective leaders know how to lead people by inspiring them and making them feel valued. Harnessing your management skills can make you a respected leader who makes workers more productive. Only by learning the art of business management first can you effectively develop and use the below-mentioned abilities.

2.       Data analytics

Gone are the day when gut feelings guided important business decisions. Guesswork has been replaced by facts, and intuition by data-backed decisions. Business managers should hone their analytical abilities by pursuing a short online course to learn how to collect, process, and present data for making informed business decisions. Or look up MBA data analytics programs online for a more focused career trajectory. These programs take as little as 11 months and help you embrace the data-friendly culture prevalent among startups.

3.       Communication

Nothing makes business managers more effective than the ability to communicate business policies, future objectives, and expectations properly. Communication takes two forms, i.e., verbal and non-verbal. An effective leader should develop effective communication skills and excel in both forms. An employee’s productivity is controlled by motivation, and effective communication motivates workers to work harder. So, actively listen to your employees and communicate yourself elaborately.

4.       Adaptability

Managers should learn when and how to change their business model to survive external and internal forces influencing an organization’s operations. Consider the example of Blockbuster refusing to adapt and succumbing to the rise of Netflix. Another example is COVID which forced many startups to change how they ship products to their customers. Adaptability helps startups elude the possibility of market-induced downfall.

5.       Negotiation

Negotiating isn’t something you can learn without practice. Your experience can make you a better negotiator and enhance your ability to achieve your objectives with minimal sacrifices. Learn how to master the art of negotiation – by learning hardball tactics and the BATNA method – to hone your company’s profitability. That’s how you can get the most favorable outcomes for your startup.

6.       Determination

Diligence, dedication, and determination – these three are the hallmarks of an effective manager in modern times. A determined entrepreneur serves as the bedrock for an entire company. This ability helps you overcome competition, ignore skepticism, and tackle everyday challenges without losing faith in your business idea. Determination makes adversity tolerable and keeps your morale up. So, stay committed to your business objectives and don’t give up the idea you so fondly cherish.

7.       Emotional intelligence

Productive people – employers and employees alike – have higher emotional intelligence (EQ) levels than non-productive people. Unfortunately, many CEOs and business managers lack this business skill, or they are simply unaware of what it entails. EQ lets you regulate your emotions, recognize others’ feelings properly, and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That’s how you can look at things from another person’s perspective (e.g., a customer) and make informed decisions. So, harness your EQ.

8.       Time management

In any startup’s infancy, the business owner has a hectic schedule and less time to focus on business-related issues. Managing these important tasks without compromise is an important skill to learn. We have examples of entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk working 80 to 100 hours a week. Only then can one hope to create a self-sustaining business. So, prioritize your tasks by importance to get everything done within the limitations of a 24-hour-long day. Learn to delegate some tasks too.

9.       Delegation

A business leader’s competency relies upon delegating the right task to the right person. The trick is to recognize people’s strengths and weaknesses before determining which person’s right for the job. Ineffective managers don’t trust their subordinates enough to delegate important tasks to them and prefer to control everything. Therefore, delegation shows that you trust people with responsibilities; expressing your faith in your workers’ skills will make you an effective and productive manager.

10.   Networking

Business managers will struggle to navigate business and economic challenges unless they have valuable connections in the market and among the authorities. Networking makes other business managers lend you a helping hand since they expect you to return the favor when requested. So, make connections and find helpers in the industry. Never embark upon business ventures without trusted friends.

11.   Accounting

Studies have shown that Gen Z and millennials are less financially literate than Gen X and boomers. So, modern-day entrepreneurs should put extra effort into developing these financial skills. A financially literate business owner can easily tackle the most pressing issue facing the survival of any modern-day startup, i.e., financial problems. Learn how to budget effectively, learn marketing trends, and manage your business taxes. These simple ideas will help you run a business successfully.

12.   Cash flow management

Recent studies show that 82% of startups collapse due to cash flow problems. Hence, mastering the art of cash flow management can help you grow your business sustainably. Managing cash flow isn’t hard; it involves a few tactics, e.g., identifying issues early, making frequent projections, and boosting your online presence. These simple tricks are related to learning the rudiments of the economy. Learning these fundamentals will help you better manage your small-sized startup’s finances.


Learning the following business skills will help you hone your entrepreneurship abilities: These qualities include delegation, networking, negotiation, determination, and communication. Moreover, you should learn about business management as well as cash flow management. Accounting is one of the most vital subjects you must get familiar with; understanding the basics can help you run your startup successfully. Don’t forget about harnessing your emotional intelligence, adapting to market changes, and managing your time carefully. The internet has a plethora of educational resources that can help you hone the skills mentioned above. Take advantage.


Author Name: Sheerin Jafri

Author LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheerin-jafri-10210a1bb/