You already have many skills that you’ve learned through life, education and work experience. Any business, just like any job requires certain basic skills to perform well. What skills do you have now? Make a list of them. Here are some skills to help you get started:
- Good Writer
- Experienced Public Speaker
- Excellent Critical Thinker
- Expert Computer Skills
- Proficient Graphic Designer
- Care about people
- Good Judgment
- Handle stress well
Write a list of your own that you have learned over the years either via work, education or life experiences. All skills that you have learned no matter how you learned them are valuable skills to include. If you’ve learned budgeting via being a housewife and mother, then you have executive level budgeting skills. Write it down! Remember that starting your own business means that you will be the boss so you need to exaggerate or try to impress anyone by writing down skills. Write down the actual skills and knowledge that you have.
Now, write a list of skills that you need to run the business that you’ve decided upon. If you are missing something important such as the ability to organize, work under stress, delegate responsibility then you will need to learn it. But what if you are lacking something more necessary such as you want to have a business designing graphics but you lack the graphic design skills? Write down the skill needed and then write down what you are going to do about your lacking skill. Can you learn it? Can you outsource it? What are the steps needed to overcome this obstacle?
Outside of specific skills for the type of business you want to start there are some general skills that you need to have or develop to have your own business such as:
- Financial Knowledge – It’s important to understand the basics about bookkeeping. You can use a program such as QuickBooks, or Outright.com along with invoicing software such as Freshbooks.com, but you still need to understand about the financials of owning a business. I recommend the book: Small Business Taxes Made Easy, Second Edition by Eva Rosenberg. Follow her advice and you’ll be set.
- Self-Motivation — When you have your own business you’ve got to be self-motivated. No one is going to tell you what time to get up in the morning, what to do each day. You are going to need to have the ability to motivate yourself to do things that you normally dread doing. No matter what business you choose there are always going to be tasks to accomplish that aren’t your favorite. You’ve got to have what it takes to do them.
- Time-Management – No one is going to tell you to stop playing around on FaceBook.com, or to stop watching TV or even to stop texting at work. You’re on your own as to how you use your time and without excellent time management skills you will get off track. Not everyone is born with this skill but it can be learned and developed. Keeping a good schedule on a calendar is important but once you make a schedule you’ve got to follow it.