More than ever, businesses are operating in markets that are changing rapidly and sometimes unpredictably. Customer preferences, e.g. for product features or self-service channels, can shift almost overnight, and start-up competitors can be up and running faster than ever. To understand those markets and stay ahead of the competition, it’s key that businesses stay on top of some often underrated skills.
Communication is key and you’ll need good communication skills in any aspects of your business. You’ll need to be able to communicate with suppliers, potential investors, customers and employees. It is essential to have effective communication in both written and verbal forms. By using this skill you’ll be able to build a good working relationship with everyone that you come in contact with. Every communication should be a reflection of what your business is trying to project to the world.
2. Complex problem solving
Problem-solving is something that we all possess. We see a problem and we try to solve it, it’s human nature. However, there are numerous aspects of problem-solving and within a business, you’ll likely come across more complex problems which need a solution. There are five steps of complex problem-solving.
- Analyse the causes of the problem and unwanted situation.
- Generate a set of alternative interventions to achieve the end goal.
- Evaluate the best solution.
- Put a plan in place.
- Look at how effective the solution was.
Complex problem solving allows for trial and error. Don’t expect to get it right on the first try and be expected for failures. The ability to be able to fail and learn from your mistakes will help you solve the problem.
3. Digital marketing
If you work in a front-facing business, sales and marketing should be one of the top skills that you shouldn’t even have to think about. However, what you know about aspects of Sales and Marketing might actually be doing more harm to your business than good as you could be stuck in a rut by just conducting standard, outdated marketing.
No matter your business you should be looking at having a digital presence. This will help those who are new to your business find out more about what you have to offer. Even a basic website with information about your location and opening times can introduce new customers to what you have to offer.
Some of the most popular forms of creating an online presence is blogging. By using keywords and SEO tactics within your writing, this can impact your ranking on Google and help potential customers find your business faster and easier. Another method of marketing is short video advertising or even turning your blog into a video blog. There are now numerous ways that sales and marketing have changed and it’s important that you’re aware of how to implement the new changes into your business.
4. Continuous learning
As business keeps changing it is important that you continue to learn and grow. If you and your business want to succeed in the ever-changing world then you need to be resilient but also adaptable. Learning from what works and what doesn’t and the type of products that your customers are after all helps your business to grow. Learning new skills will help you adapt to a change in environment.
As mentioned, businesses now work in a highly competitive world so creativity should actually be a crucial factor in any business plan. Whether it’s having a well-designed logo, eye-catching imagery or a visually and informative video, there are many forms of creativity that should be implemented within a business.
Creativity is connected to innovation, so to make your business move forward and stand out in the crowd, you should embrace creativity.
Having excellent time management should be a natural skill however, 29% of employees tend to be late to work at least once a month. Time management should be a skill that we should all adopt into our everyday lives. Make a point to try and be on time and reinforce this with your team. Making sure that your team arrives on time and sticks to their set hours will improve not only their self-esteem but also build your business.
Arrive at meetings early to allow prep time and familiarisation with the office and technology. Keeping track of tasks and appointments will also help you achieve more and keep track of what has been done. Having good time management is key to success.
7. Negotiation skills
It’s important to know what you want from the negotiation. It might seem like an obvious aspect of entering a discussion but many do not know what their desired end goal is. Enter a negotiation with your desired outcome but also work out what the opposition’s strategy is. Learning how to be a good negotiator can be beneficial in all aspects of a business.
Don’t be afraid to collaborate with others. This could be with another company or influencers. Working with others is a two-way learning process. You’ll learn from them and they’ll learn from you. Collaborating on products, ideas and strategies can really help your business grow. You don’t always have to outsource a collaboration, collaborating within your team is beneficial for teamwork as well as business growth and you might learn that your team has other skills which are beneficial to your business.
9. Being technology savvy
In the modern world, you need to be on top of your digital environment. This can range learning keyboard shortcuts through to planning, reading and skimming long content. Having tech-savvy skills also can help separate you from your competitors as you may be able to do things digitally that they aren’t capable of. Taking the time to learn how to do slightly more advanced skills than your competitors may help you move forward.
10. Leadership skills
What makes a good leader? It is widely debated what skills can make a person into a leader. Although there are no set skills that make a person into a successful leader, there are a few elements which never change. Learning how to manage people, your time and an organisation can be beneficial for all companies and potential leaders. Learning basic leadership skills is a must for anyone working in any form of business. Createxplore helps bring creative hobbyists together with small businesses and charities.