Article by Guest Blogger Rose Julianne
More than the willingness to explore and take risks, what also characterizes an entrepreneur is the desire for continuous growth. Entrepreneurs should further their education through various avenues in order to expand their business knowledge and acumen. It goes without saying that they must also invest in skills development, especially now that the business landscape is ever-changing, with new opportunities and challenges each day.
Here are four skills entrepreneurs and business owners need to develop in 2023 to ensure their success and longevity in the industry.
1 - Financial Literacy
If you want to start, grow, and scale your business, it is not enough to simply have access to financial resources. Financial literacy is key to managing your cash flow and making informed business decisions. While it is essential to create a budget and track your expenses, you can step this up by diversifying your revenue streams. As the saying goes, you do not want to put all your eggs in one basket.
You can lessen your dependence on a single source of income by engaging in affiliate marketing to earn more from commissions, or by utilizing digital platforms to increase customers and sales. Part of financial literacy is also learning to adopt financial technology or fintech tools, which are becoming increasingly relevant in payment processing and access to business funding.
2 - Digital Marketing
Whether you're just starting out or simply want to augment your revenue, marketing your business across websites and social media promises a great return on investment. For businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, digital marketing can offer an opportunity to branch out into e-commerce. Meanwhile, enterprises that are already online can look into creative services like content creation and website design to increase brand awareness and recognition. Because digital platforms are here to stay, it's strategic and sustainable for entrepreneurs to learn how to use them for their benefit.
3 - People Management
Never has the demand to let go of conventional, top-down management been clearer than after the pandemic. When businesses needed to stay afloat, entrepreneurs who practiced people-centered management were able to work with their staff remotely and effectively—maintaining productivity without sacrificing employee engagement. This shift has changed how business is now taught in educational institutions. As such, business administration degrees today cover management skills in ways that intertwine finance, operations, and human resources so that the business relationships formed are not purely transactional, but built from trust and empathy.
People management entails a combination of skills like problem-solving and decision-making, as well as better communication and motivation. Investing in people management also enables entrepreneurs to become business leaders who can balance their formal authority with the openness to listen to and learn from their staff.
4 - Corporate Social Responsibility
Today’s entrepreneurs must also learn to give back instead of simply generating wealth for themselves. Now that customers and investors are geared towards supporting businesses that care about the greater good, entrepreneurs must learn corporate social responsibility (CSR) to reflect their stance and commitment to important social issues. CSR initiatives can range from reducing an enterprise’s environmental impact by using eco-friendly packaging to dedicating a portion of the profits to charity organizations or programs.
While a socially responsible business improves customer perception and satisfaction, you should still be careful to not exploit CSR as a quick cash-grab or marketing scheme. Conduct research on which sustainability efforts align with your business values, and look into CSR certification too, if possible.
The skills we've outlined show that entrepreneurs must learn to keep up with the changing demands of employees, customers, and other stakeholders if they want to thrive in the world of business. Being complacent will not get you anywhere; what helps you succeed and get ahead is a mindset that is agile, adaptive, and growth-oriented.