To run a successful business you need a diverse range of business management skills. When you start your business it’s likely that your responsibilities will include:
sales and marketing;
human resources; and
information technology (IT).
How confident do you feel in your ability to manage them?
It’s a good idea to plan ahead of time how you’re going to manage each area which may include delegating various functions to a business partner, undertaking additional training or contracting a specialist advisor such as a bookkeeper, graphic designer or merchandiser.
Remember that although you need to understand, manage and take responsibility for every aspect of your business, you don’t have to do everything yourself. Some of the key areas you’ll need to think about are outlined below.
Marketing, sales and promotion
Marketing is more than just selling and promoting your business. It’s about identifying your customers and working out how to get them to purchase your product or service. Go to Marketing for more information.
Human resources is about managing and looking after your staff. If you’re buying an existing business or taking on a franchise you may find that you’ve got employees to manage before you even start your business.
Understanding business financials
The primary objective of any business is to make a profit. Good financial management is essential to ensure your goal is achieved. The first step involves understanding your financial statements which is crucial to running a successful business.
Communication and negotiation skills
Business is all about people regardless of your industry or the product or service you’re offering. On a daily basis you will encounter a range of people including customers, suppliers, employees and business associates. Developing your communication and negotiation skills will be invaluable in a range of situations from negotiating a supplier contract to dealing with a difficult customer.
Knowledge of business legal issues
Starting a business can be full of legal potholes for the unwary, whether its industry regulation, tax requirements, industrial relations, business structures, negotiating a commercial tenancy lease or contracts with suppliers. There are many legal issues to be aware of, so before you start a business, it’s a good idea to engage a lawyer to advise you in these areas.
Logistics is about managing the procurement, supply and maintenance of products and operational goods. One of the major concerns for a business owner is stock control and there are many different approaches and programs to stock management.
Before you start your business you should think about how you’ll ensure you have the right amount of stock at the right place and at the right time. Efficiently managing stock is important and will ensure your capital isn’t tied up, and protects production if problems arise in the supply chain.