BizTips from SCORE – Skills Development Leads to Sustainability

BizTips from SCORE – Skills Development Leads to Sustainability

Lifelong learning needs to be a part of every brand and organization in today’s confusing business environment.  Skills can be categorized into several buckets:  management, leadership, organizational, and functional.  To begin the process, you might consider doing a personal inventory by asking yourself how your skills match with what you consider needed to take the next step in performance.  You may not be able to give yourself an objective accounting of your own skills. There are skill sets where others might be able to assist you.  Asking your network about your skill sets to give you an assessment will give insight into where you need to up your game or reach out to others. 

Communication skills.  Being able to communicate the vision of your business, the near and longer-term goals and objectives, and everyday tasks is vital to good management.  It means being competent in applying verbal and written communication techniques, as well as understanding how important your nonverbal messaging is to recipients.  55-60% of your communications in non-verbal.  Your team can interpret how important you believe a message is by viewing how you deliver it nonverbally.  What you say is important, but how you say it has to be considered.  And it also includes writing skills. 

Decision-making skills.  Making decisions whether they be small or large is a vital part of managing a business.  Timely decision making is important to smooth operations of your enterprise.  When decisions get put off, delayed, or just ignored puts the stability of an ongoing business in jeopardy.  Part of decision making is critical thinking skills.  Being nimble and agile is the name of the game today.  There is nothing more important than to pivot and change directions as the world as we knew it continues to change.  Scargo Café, in Dennis Village, moved from indoor/deck dining model to carry-out, to deck and parking lot dining under a temporary tent, to new patio and deck dining to Plexiglas dining pods/deck dining and limited indoor dining.  This is reimaging a business model. 

Leadership skills.  Empowerment, inspiring, and motivating others to achieve an organization’s mission and earn their loyalty is leadership.  It all begins with respect for one another regardless of their role or position and friendship that transpires the transactional nature of most business cultures.  Leading is showing the way by setting an example.  It is all about demonstrating the values that represent your brand in everything that you do as the owner/leader.  Leadership also entails having the personal discipline to do what you say to keep everyone’s eyes on the ball. 

Sales and Marketing Skills.  Every small business needs to build awareness of its brand (marketing) and know how to develop strong sales strategies to generate revenue to grow their businesses (sales).  Revenue from satisfied customers is the “beating heart” of a business.  The more they recognize your ability to meet their needs, wants, and desires, the more they will frequent your business.  Your business is more than just the products or services that are offered, it is all about having satisfied, loyal, and even delighted customers.  In order to accomplish this mission, management must have the skills to create relationships.  The connections go beyond customers.  It extends to the local community, supply chain and employees, and business partners.  Building relations with customers engender referrals and recommendations.    The basis of relationships is trust and that takes time and skill to develop.

Emma Fletcher, in 8 Essential Small Business Management Skills muses, “These are the skills an ideal manager must have. If you look close enough, we will find the skills are interrelated and irreplaceable.”

Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor.  Sourced:  EduNote, Ajeet Khurana, Regulations & Security, 2013, Emma Fletcher, Go Daddy, 8 Essential Small Business Management Skills.  Contact SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands to schedule an appointment with a Mentor or form an Advisory Team.  www.capecod.score.org, [email protected], 508/775-4884.  We go where you are!