4 under-rated skills you should learn to enhance your small business

1 year ago

You should never reach a point at which you can assert that your education is complete. Your greatest defence against uncertainty is continuous learning. Education comes in two flavours, neither of which should be neglected – learning for intellectual edification, and learning to acquire practical competence in some new area. The former category is the most free as you will be following your attention wherever it lands. The latter category, skills development, may also be interest-focussed. But the prerogative in this case is to create a functional understanding of actions that may enhance your life in some regard.

As a small business owner, you will have already acquired a working competency in financial management, marketing and sales, customer service, project management, negotiation, delegation, networking and time management.

When you’re a small business owner, you want to invest your practical learning time in areas that will show a return. Here are a few ideas that can enhance your small business’s performance.

  1. Take control of your knowledge

Too few small business owners know how to capture, process, and analyse their company data. Taking control of your data means capturing the useful information that comes to your company. Beyond your financials, this means getting to grips with people that enter your sales funnel at any stage. Too many businesses make the mistake of letting potential customers get away by not keeping track of the contact that they have with your business.

  1. Master mailers and modern marketing

Modern marketing techniques revolve around a golden axis of email marketing, search engine optimisation, paid search advertising, social media presence, and display advertising. For small businesses, the most effective means of advertising online is to set up a mailing list. Have a simple contact form on your website, and send regular monthly emails to those who sign up.

  1. Get to grips with negotiation

While you will have a great deal of experience in negotiating both with suppliers and customers, you may be falling prey to poor negotiation techniques that get you into contracts that don’t work in your favour and cut into your bottom line. Great negotiation involves being totally aware of your own situation, having as good an idea of your opponent’s position, and knowing how to leverage a few behavioural tricks to get your best offer. For the first half, you may need to rely on your ability to analyse your business position from a financial perspective.

  1. Organise your business better

There are default positions that people tend to use as a matter of course when it comes to creating a business structure – the top-down hierarchy predominates. But hierarchies can be unnecessarily rigid, and can restrain a business’s growth. Mastering structuring your business means learning about the various ways that you can move information across your business. If you’re looking to keep high-value employees, for instance, you might consider employee share schemes that incentivise your workers to give their best, and to keep going at the company.

How to help your clients expand their small business

As an accountant for small business, you act as your clients’ first point of contact […]

1 year ago
South Africa’s national minimum wage – what it could mean for you

The South African government has been making steady progress towards instituting a national minimum wage […]

1 year ago
South African small business environment, May 2017

In April, Statistics South Africa releases a large number of reports, detailing state of the […]

1 year ago
Support for small businesses in South Africa – a 2017 review

Small business owners are often so caught up in the running of their operations that […]

1 year ago
South African small business environment, April 2017

South African businesses have had to brace themselves for difficult times in 2017. The news […]

1 year ago
For every Rand of sales you make, how much of it is Gross Profit?

As a small business owner, getting a handle on your business’s financials doesn’t mean you […]

1 year ago
4 career pivots for accountants

Being an accountant is a lucrative and frequently rewarding career for many people. But as […]

1 year ago
Am I eligible for a VAT rebate?

VAT stands for value added tax, and is a tax levied on most goods and […]

1 year ago