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Skills You Need to Be a Successful Business Owner – and Which You Don’t

Are you getting ready to start a business? Maybe you’re already a business owner, but you’re not sure if you have the skills needed to be a business owner yet. You might even have some serious impostor syndrome going on.

There are indeed some skills that most business owners would benefit from, especially if they take a hands-on approach to their work. It doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed without those business owner skills, but the skills help.

But with so many skills to learn business negotiation skills, how do you know which ones you need and which ones you should hire for instead? After all, part of the reason that you have employees is to benefit from the skills that they bring to the table.

We’re here to help you out. Keep reading to learn which skills you should learn and which you can leave to others.

Business Owner Skills You Need

While there are plenty of skills that you can benefit from as a business owner, there are a few that you need to have to get started. These are great for small business owner skills because they’re a great set of skills to build upon as you gain experience.

Here are a few of the top skills that you should focus on.

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are an absolute must-have if you want to start and run a successful business. You need to know that you’re able to direct your team and keep your business running like a well-oiled machine.

It’s not as easy as it looks, especially if you’re not a born leader. Leadership skills for business aren’t too different from the leadership skills you could have learned from former workplaces or schools, but you should still build upon them.

Make sure that you know how to be authoritative without being domineering. Many people make the mistake of trying to make their employees feel intimidated by them, but this isn’t an effective way to display leadership.

Your job as a leader is to guide your employees and make them successful. After all, their success is your success.


Part of being a good leader is having effective communication skills. While every employee at your business should have communication skills, as the leader, you need to display them to lead by example.

Communication isn’t as easy as just talking or delegating. You need to be able to build trust and a good rapport with your employees, and poor communication won’t allow that to happen.

When you communicate, make sure that you talk to your employees on their level rather than trying to assert dominance. You want them to feel safe and comfortable so that they’re able to come to you if they need help.

Part of having strong communication skills is also knowing how to listen and respond to a communication from your employees. Remember that your employees aren’t your adversaries. You’re there to help each other.

Time Management

Having effective time management skills is also crucial for any successful business owner. Like communication, time management is important for all of your employees as well, but you’re in charge of setting the bar and helping your employees manage their time.

Make sure that you use all tools at your disposal to help with time management. There are so many great apps and websites that can keep you on track and you can share them with your employees.

As a business owner, you’re dividing your time between work, employee management, negotiation with other businesses, hiring, and the many other tasks that are required of you.

When you learn to use your time effectively, you’ll have a more successful business.


Do you consider yourself an organized person?

If you want to run a successful business, you need to build up strong organizational skills. While you may be able to delegate serious organization to someone else in the future, you need to work within your resources. When you’re getting started, that means that you need to stay organized on your own.

Like time management skills, organizational skills benefit from the use of apps and websites. Make sure that you keep a planner, a calendar, and plenty of notes and reminders around the office.

If you handle sensitive information at your business, make sure that you have a safe and private place for it.

You also need to utilize organizational skills when it comes to hiring and leading employees. How can you know what kind of talent you need to hire if you aren’t keeping track of what you already have?

Skills That You Can Hire For

While there are plenty of skills that you need to run a tight ship, there are also skills that you can outsource. After all, you can only do so much, and you need help.

Keep in mind that you will also benefit from having these skills, so don’t rely on outsourcing as an alternative to learning. That said, here are a few skills that are easy to outsource when you need help.

Team Management

While you need leadership skills, team management (and team-building) may be better left to someone else. This is why business owners hire management teams.

You need to delegate responsibilities to your management team and teach them some of the leadership skills that you’ve picked up, but they can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to working with your other employees.

These managers should also have team-building skills so they can keep your employees functioning together and help you build a strong work culture.

Technical Skills

You’re a business owner, not a tech expert. While all businesses need to have strong IT support, you don’t need to be the person who takes care of it.

Your business is going to need tech professionals for many things, and your computer knowledge isn’t going to cut it. Even if you’re a computer whiz, tech changes all the time, and businesses benefit from 24/7 tech support to avoid emergencies.

You can hire in-house tech support to manage things like website building and occasional problems, but you can also look into “IT support near me” to find outsourced tech professionals.

Don’t risk data breaches or IT blackouts. Get a professional instead.

Marketing Skills

You know how important it is to market your business, but do you need to be the person to do it?

When you’re getting your business off the ground, you might find yourself doing a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to marketing. You build your social media profiles, spread the word to friends and family, and even make some business cards.

But if you want a successful business that everyone will notice, you need to hire someone who knows what they’re doing. After all, marketing is a sought-after skill.

These professionals can help you build and maintain effective social media campaigns so you can extend your reach. They can keep your website running and SEO-friendly and they can even help you connect with local customers.

Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that marketing is easy. It’s not as easy as it seems, so hire a professional for help.

Sales Skills

Your team needs a sales expert if you want to have a successful business, but that expert doesn’t have to be you.

Good salespeople are rare. You need someone who has a combination of great people skills, good business sense, and quick responses. They can close any deal and attract great leads.

Because this isn’t a skill that you can learn overnight (and because some people are born for sales), it’s best to outsource.

Design Skills

This goes alongside marketing skills, but it’s also its own thing.

All businesses are going to need art and design. From tech companies to hospitals, a strong design is part of your overall brand image.

If you don’t have a basic understanding of the principles of design, you aren’t going to be able to create an effective logo, company color scheme, or even good product design.

This is why you hire a professional artist or designer to do that work for you. While you might think that an artist is an unnecessary expense, consider how well-designed popular businesses are.

A designer came up with every flashy ad and unique logo that you’ve ever seen. Take advantage of their skill.

Do You Have the Right Skills to Run a Business?

Being a business owner isn’t easy, but if you work on nurturing the right business owner skills, you’ll be able to run a successful business in no time.

Remember, you don’t need to do everything. For the skills that you have a hard time with, don’t be afraid to outsource or hire appropriate employees! A successful workplace requires collaboration.

For more helpful posts that can help you boost your business (and more), visit the rest of our site.

Read Also: Undeniable Benefits of Hiring an SEO Marketing Agency

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