15 Essential Skills for the Small Business Owner


If you’re looking to launch your own company, it’s important that you have the right skill set in place first. With more entrepreneurial opportunities available right now than there have ever been, all you need to possess is the right business traits and skills to turn your dream into a successful venture. Here are 15 essential skills that can get your idea off the ground and running.


If you are planning to launch an online business, having an understanding of copywriting is one of the most valuable skills that you can possess. Whether it’s on a landing page or a billboard spread, copywriting can be seen wherever you look. In fact, all advertising tends to be based around copywriting. If you can get to grips with how to write captivating copy to sell and market your products and services, you won’t have to pay someone else to do the task for you, helping to save you money, especially as the costs involved with outsourcing can be expensive.

Goal Setting

To help you stay on the right track in business, it’s important that you set out achievable goals that you can work towards. Noting down your goals, assets, and potential problems will mean that you are fully prepared to run a business. Being organized and keeping everything together is key, so it’s important that you create a solid business plan that outlines every aspect of your operation.

Setting goals as a business is not just about creating short-term and long-term goals. You need to be able to break it down even further. Learn to create actionable milestones, that not only celebrate growth but fight to achieve it. These are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and you should have a couple for every department. A goal contract manager can help you keep track and tweak your KPIs until you figure out what to prioritise. Remember, the only way to stay in business is to adapt and grow.

Relationship Building

When it comes to marketing and promoting, relationships are the most important factor. In the business world, you will meet all sorts of people from all kinds of backgrounds. Whether it’s customers, suppliers, or mentors, it’s important that you seek out and nurture these three kinds of business relationships. Having a strong connection with anyone who comes into contact with your business can only be a good thing, helping to strengthen your reputation and increase the chance of repeat custom.

Content Creation

While it may sound cliché, content really is king in business. Without the right content, there’s no material for consumers to digest. As a brand, you will want as many customers to seek out and be interested in your business as possible, therefore, learning how to create excellent content is what will set you apart from rival companies. As long as you provide good content, you can show the world that you mean business, and help to keep customers, clients, and suppliers interested in what you do. Make sure that your business website, blog, and any social media accounts you have are kept regularly updated and filled to the brim with relevant information about your business.


Gaining as much traffic as you can to your business website is what will keep your company on the straight and narrow. The more traffic you gain, the more chance you have of people buying into your products and services. To do this effectively, you will need to use SEO (search engine optimization) which is an important marketing technique that’s used to boost the rankings of a website. When consumers head to search engine results, you will want your business to be on the first page (if not at the top) of search results, as they will be more likely to click on your page first. While SEO does take a considerable amount of effort and time, you will see a huge increase in traffic if you do it right.

Paid Traffic

While SEO can drive major business to your website over time, if you’re wanting to cut corners and go down a shorter route towards success, you may want to consider using paid traffic instead. There are various things that you can do, such as running social media ads. Understandably, you’re going to need some cash upfront to get things running in the right direction, so if you have the funds available, you can use paid traffic to help boost your business and get more customers without doing all the leg work.

Customer Service

As the saying goes, the customer is always right, so if you aren’t delivering a great service to your audience, this can tarnish your reputation and lose you custom. With so many other businesses on the market fighting for the same custom, it’s up to you to deliver great customer service and offer something that’s unique. Treating your customers with respect and developing your communication skills will help you stand out for all the right reasons.

Financial Management

If you want to run a successful company, you’re going to need to have a solid understanding of how to finance your business. Every dollar needs to be accounted for, so if you want to learn more about what financial tools and methodologies you should use, you may want to consider studying for an MBA in finance. You can click here for more information on the course which can help deepen your understanding of corporate finance, investment banking, and international finance.


Motivating a team can be difficult if you haven’t got leadership skills behind you. As your company begins to grow, you may need to employ more and more people in your business, so with many eyes on you, it’s important that you possess good leadership skills to help run a team of people. You will want employees, contractors, and clients to trust your judgment and respect your decisions, so inspiring your team to work hard will help boost productivity in the workplace, helping to ensure your company stays on top.


When it comes to hiring others in your business, there are lots of inexperienced business owners who will simply hire the first candidate they see. Even if they have the right qualifications for the job, that’s not to say they will be excellent at their role. Obviously, a good portfolio of work is important, but you need to hire people in your company who are driven, friendly, approachable, and business-minded.


In many instances, the initial price tends not to be the best one. Because of this, you will need to learn how to negotiate properly. When dealing with contractors and clients, there are all sorts of deals that will be laid out on the table, so if you aren’t happy with an initial offer, it’s important that you speak up and let your voice be heard. Many inexperienced business owners will take the first offer they’re given; however, you could end up losing money in the long run.


Once your business starts getting busy, you won’t be able to do everything by yourself. No matter how many others you employ in your company, it’s important that each member of the team feels happy and satisfied in their roles, therefore, learning about delegation and assigning tasks and roles accordingly will mean that any project or task is completed successfully. Each employee will have different strengths, so you will need to work out who is best at what, so you can be confident that you’re delivering an excellent service to whoever uses your business.

Risk Management

No matter how big or small your company is, there is always an element of risk that’s attached. As the head of a business, you will be in charge of making serious decisions which can have a huge impact on the future of your business. Sure, in some cases you may miss the mark and get things wrong, but try and see it as a learning curve, rather than a failure. When dealing with a problem, you need to learn how to work well under pressure.


There are many business owners who get into the bad habit of dropping everything as soon as a new project or opportunity arises. This could mean texting during meetings or answering emails in the middle of the night. Not only will this look unprofessional to clients, it can also lead to a bad work-life balance. When launching a business, it’s only natural that you will put your blood, sweat, and tears into trying to make it a success, however, you need to learn when you should and shouldn’t work, as well as schedule times in your working day to answer emails, call or text people.

Time Management

Like scheduling, you will need to learn how to manage your time more effectively, especially when dealing with a deadline. It’s important that you get a grasp on time management and learn the skills needed to ensure that projects and tasks are completed within the timeframe set. The last thing you want is for clients to be waiting around, as this could damage your reputation. Time management skills can also be used in your personal life too, helping you to schedule time for your loved ones, relaxation, and exercise.

While you may have a sound business idea, without the right skills behind you, it will be hard for you to stay on track with your operation and make it the success you envisaged, therefore, brushing up on your skills and using all the tips listed will help take you far and keep you in control.

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