Do You Have What It Takes To Run A Business?

Paper Boat example of leadership.

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

So, you think that you have what it takes to run a company? Well, you’re not alone. A lot of people love the idea of running their own business, and you can certainly see the advantages of this career move. There will be no boss breathing down your neck throughout the day, and you can make your mark in the business world. As well as this, you’ll be able to decide how many hours you work each day and determine how much time you will spend on your business. It sounds like such a fantastic opportunity that it’s amazing more people don’t become entrepreneurs.

As it so happens, they do, they just tend to fall flat on their face rather quickly. Around 97 percent of new startups fail in their first year, and there is a significant amount of debate surrounding why this occurs. One theory is that it is simply far too easy to start a business these days. Anyone can do it, and you don’t need cash in the bank either. You can borrow a business loan, perhaps dodge a high level of interest, and you are ready to hit the market running.

This has lead to a number of people starting a company who don’t have the skills required of a business owner. That leaves us with two important questions. What skills do business owners need and do you possess them?

Following The Leader
Top business owners often have a long history of being a great leader, and you can often see evidence of this, dating as far back as their school career. Business owners might have been captains of sports teams, head of the debate club or possibly just involved in school social activities. In college, they could have taken an active role in guiding the student population and campaigning for changes to the school curriculum.

Of course, it’s equally possible that a business owner has never shown any signs of leadership throughout their life. Luckily, this is a skill that can be taught. That’s why budding business owners should pursue a leadership degree before they start a company. With an Organizational Leadership online degree program, it’s possible to complete this type of training without it taking up too much of your spare time. On a course like this, you will learn key business leadership skills such as problem-solving as well as how to fill a role in executive management.

Remember, leadership will help you motivate your staff, get them on your side and boost levels of productivity in your company.

Promote, Package, Profit
The rule here is simple. If you can promote and package your product or service effectively, you will be able to make large profits. You might wonder whether you need to know how to promote your business. After all, you could rely on an outsourcing marketing company to complete this job for you. While it is true to say that many businesses these days are relying on outsourcing for promotion, you still want to know the basics yourself.

You need to understand how to reach the target customer because ultimately as the business owner, you should be making the decisions for how to market your business. The sector of your company for marketing might fill in the details, but you should be creating a marketing strategy, determining where to focus most of your resources. Relying on others to make these decisions for you puts you in a weak position. Creating a great marketing strategy is going to help you generate the level of sales you need to keep your business afloat.

Communication And Connections
One of the key roles for the business owner will be to generate leads and make connections with individuals who can strengthen their position on the market. For instance, you might want to expand your business. To do this, you will need people to invest in your company. That means that you will have to get these key individuals to sign on the dotted line and provide the cash injections. How do you do this?

You need to know what they want to hear so that you can adopt a strong position of negotiation. Investors are just one of the groups of individuals who you will need to be able to communicate effectively with when running your company. You will also need to connect with your customers, your employees and your business board members. Excellent verbal and written communication skills will ensure you can be effective here.

It is worth pointing noting that communication is not mainly verbal. 55 percent of communication is based on nonverbal gestures such as hand movements while 38 percent is formed of other vocal factors such as tone of voice. An example of this would be folding your arms. Folding your arms often suggests that you are closed off and not open to new ideas. That’s why in meetings business leaders often have their arms resting on each arm of the chair, to represent an open demeanor while holding an authoritative position.

Or, to put it more bluntly, ‘you do it, I’m going home.’ Contrary to popular belief most business owners are not lazy and do not spend days of the week on holiday or at the golf club. Many business owners are the first one in at the start of the day and the last ones to leave. But this can be an issue because business owners can’t do everything and trying could lead to serious issues in the company model. You’ll quickly find that things you’re trying to retain control of start to slip through the cracks. That’s why you need to learn the skill of delegation to the business owner.

You need to be able to trust someone else to complete a job, ensure they are trained effectively and then let them run with it. Being unable to let others handle certain aspects of your business will diminish the productivity levels of your company.

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