7 essential skills every small business owner should learn
This is a guest contribution from Willie Mcguire. (Want to be a contributor? Fill the form here.)
Owning a small business can be incredibly challenging. There are many things that you have to attend to – a website, product design, dealing with suppliers, marketing, and accounting. As a result, it helps if you have a wide skillset and can adapt to different situations. In this article, we look at 7 simple skills that small business owners would benefit from learning.
1. Proper email etiquette
Email communication is an important aspect of any online business. As you run your small business you will send and receive emails from a variety of different people. For example, you may have to email suppliers, other team members, or even customers. It is therefore important that you understand email etiquette and how to communicate effectively via email. Simple tips like utilizing instant proofreading tools like QuillBot or Grammarly, addressing the recipient in the correct manner, and using short and concise language can help.
2. Simple graphic design
If you can create some of your own marketing, or create images for social media and your website, this can help greatly. As a result, it is beneficial for a small business owner to have rudimentary graphic design skills. Luckily, in today’s online world, there are many simple apps you can use to create graphics. It could, therefore, be worthwhile to spend time learning how to use tools like Logocreator.io and Canva.
3. Making good use of live chat apps
Communication in business today has also changed. Traditional methods of communication like telephone are being replaced by video calls, conference calls, and live chat apps. Therefore, it would be useful for a small business owner to know how to use these forms of communication technology. For example, you could learn how to use live chat apps to help with customer service inquiries.
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4. A basic SEO understanding
Search Engine Optimization is an important process for any business. It is the process by which you improve your website so it is more visible for search engines like Google. There are many basic SEO tips and skills that anyone can learn – without needing technical knowledge. For example, you could learn how to add Alt Tags and META data to your web pages. Having a basic understanding of SEO could help your small business greatly.
If you want to take your SEO to the next level without having to invest too much time learning all the details, think about working together with an agency who have inhouse experts that can do everything for you.
5. Keyword research
Building on the above point, you could also learn about keywords. This would include what keywords are, their importance, and how to research them. Keywords are an important aspect of SEO, and having a basic understanding can help your marketing and web presence.
6. Customer service
There may be many times when you have to deal directly with customers. This can be a daunting experience and it can lead to some uncomfortable situations. You never know how a customer may react, or what they expect. Therefore, learning effective customer service can be a great bonus. There are many customer service training courses you can attend that can teach you how to interact effectively with customers.
7. Staff management
Teamwork makes the dream work. As your business grows, you may hire staff. Having a team of staff working for you requires a whole different set of skills. People management is often difficult and it can present many challenges. As a result, taking a course in staff management could also be hugely beneficial. You should provide different perks to motivate your team. Tangible things like comprehensive group medical insurance are basic while innovative perks such as books or movie allowance or pets day can surprisingly increase your employee loyalty.
As a small business owner, you often have to be multi-skilled which can be stressful. Having a wide variety of skills and knowledge can really help boost your growth and effectiveness. The above skills will also help you develop as a person, and potentially find a passion for things you never knew you would enjoy. And as an owner, you also have to manage your employees and allowing hybrid work mode seems like a good start. To keep them focused and efficient, flexible arrangements can let those susceptible to distractions to organise their workday around when their home is most likely to be quiet. Or those choosing to work remotely will not have to sacrifice "their sleep hygiene" for the sake of being online at a given time.
Great ideas do not require a million to start with. A home-based business or a side hustle can probably embark on an unexpectedly exciting journey.
Thanks, Willie Mcguire for the guest blog contribution.
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