Small Business Management Tips For Success – For example, it is critical for business owners to ensure that all members of their organizations are equipped with skills such as critical thinking, time management, and effective communication to ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly. and achieve business objectives.
Here’s an overview of why it’s important to improve your business skills and ten you should prioritize to advance your career.
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A foundation in business can not only lead to greater confidence in the workplace but open the door to a large number of career opportunities. For those who broadened their knowledge by taking a Harvard Business School course, the experience led to results such as:
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If you want to achieve similar goals in your career, here are ten business skills you should develop.
A basic knowledge of economics can be valuable in any industry. In addition to in-depth knowledge of pricing strategies and market demand, the study of economics can provide a set of tools to make key decisions in your company.
For Nicholas Grecco, a former CORE participant who works as an educator and healthcare administrator, the lessons learned in Economics for Managers were instrumental in helping his organization invest in solar energy.
“I knew that investing in solar was a good opportunity, but the concept of willingness to sell (WTS) helped me understand and explain why,” says Grecco. “Due to extra incentives from the city program and the purchasing power of the group, electrical contractors were willing to sell solar energy systems for a much lower price than usual, thus increasing our consumer surplus. By explaining WTS, I was able to convince the owner to go ahead with this project.”
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Research shows that a growing share of firms—including Microsoft, Uber, and Blue Apron—have used analytics to generate growth and improve their services and operations.
According to LinkedIn, analytical reasoning is one of the most sought-after skills in today’s job market. Knowing how to summarize data sets, recognize patterns, and test hypotheses can provide an analytical framework for tackling complex business problems and help you make informed decisions that benefit your firm.
“Using data analytics is a very effective way to have influence in an organization,” says HBS Professor Jan Hammond, who teaches the Business Analytics course. “If you’re able to go into a meeting, and other people have opinions, but you have data to support your arguments and recommendations, you’re going to be influential.”
Knowledge of accounting can benefit your career, even if you’re not in a numbers-focused role. While it may seem like an intimidating subject, it is much more approachable than you might think.
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Concepts such as cash flow and profitability are useful in understanding your organization’s performance and potential, while knowing how to read and interpret a balance sheet is critical to communicating financial results.
Pankaj Prashant, an engineer who took CORe, says that the principles he learned in Financial Accounting helped him build on his technical background and advance his career.
“I have been following the annual reports of my company, and the accounting I have learned helps me understand where the business can lead in the future,” says Prashant. “I’ve also been following a few other companies for investment purposes, and I’ve realized that I can make more informed decisions with my improved knowledge of company finances.”
Whether you are starting your professional journey or operating at a high level, it pays to be an effective negotiator. In a report by the World Economic Forum, negotiation was identified as one of the top 10 people skills needed to succeed in the future workforce.
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Honing your deal-making skills can not only help ensure value for your organization at the negotiating table but for yourself when recommending a higher starting salary or a raise.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a successful negotiation strategy. The key, according to HBS Professor Mike Wheeler, who teaches Mastery of Negotiation, is to be open to improvisation and plan to think on your feet.
“However you see yourself as a marketer, most people you deal with will probably have a different style, at least to some extent,” says Wheeler. “To be successful, therefore, you must be agile. This means that you bend yourself to use different skills depending on the situation and who you are dealing with.”
Strong managerial skills are intrinsically linked to organizational performance. A study by Gallup found that managers account for 70 percent of the variance in employee engagement, highlighting the need for companies to develop leaders who drive productivity and team morale.
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For seasoned and aspiring managers alike, it is valuable to know how to lead meetings and communicate organizational change. Equally important is being aware of the common missteps team leaders make.
In the case of Monica Higgins, public relations account director, taking the Essentials of Management course was a way to expand her managerial knowledge and develop a new perspective in her role.
“I’m more aware of looking at things from a bigger lens, from a variety of perspectives,” says Higgins. “I’ve always been a fan of asking thoughtful questions and learning—as opposed to making statements—and now I’m a big fan of playing devil’s advocate.”
Whether you hold a management position or not, leadership skills are vital to success in the workplace. While some people think of leadership and management as one and the same, there are differences between the two. While management is centered on the implementation of processes, leadership is more focused on people and the vision that guides change.
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In addition to improving your management skills, building your leadership skills can be beneficial in any profession. From learning to keep calm in times of pressure to developing your own leadership style, these skills can help you understand how to bring your vision to life and position your team for success.
In any business environment, professionals rely on communication to coordinate efforts and accomplish organizational goals. Ineffective communication—or no communication at all—can be catastrophic.
Along with developing your skills, a big contributor to success is understanding and adapting to the communication styles of others. Other key communication skills include active listening, empathy and reading body language.
Emotional intelligence is another essential business skill, and research shows that it is a key indicator of workplace performance. According to a study by TalentSmart, 90 percent of the best performers have a high degree of emotional intelligence.
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Emotional intelligence is commonly divided into four concepts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. In short, this skill refers to your ability to understand your emotions and recognize and influence those of others.
No matter your industry or position, knowing yourself and those around you can allow you to have more control over your interactions and achieve goals effectively.
All professionals need strong decision-making skills to navigate complex challenges in the workplace. For those working specifically in business or management, the need for these skills is even greater.
Determining how to allocate resources, which employees form a team, and how to implement a new organizational initiative are all decisions that require careful consideration. With the growing number of tools and resources that can be used to capture data, managers can fuel their processes with valuable insights to make data-driven decisions and generate better results.
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Whether you want ideas or advice on a specific challenge or are preparing for a career change, the people who make up your professional network can be valuable resources.
To make the most of your network, be open to opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships. Once you have your network in place, it’s important to maintain the relationships you’ve formed and find new ways to expand your web of contacts.
If you aim to advance your career, the value of business skills cannot be overstated. In addition to hard skills (such as financial accounting and understanding economics), you need soft skills (such as emotional intelligence and leadership) as your organization grows.
No matter your industry, knowledge of essential business concepts can help you better understand your organization’s performance and acquire the tools needed to lead initiatives and drive strategic decision-making.
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Want to take your career to the next level? Explore our essential business courses, and download our free e-book on advancing your career with essential business skills to learn how improving your knowledge can help you make an impact on -your organization and be competitive in the labor market.
Matt Gavin is a member of the marketing team at Harvard Business School. Before returning to his home state of Massachusetts and joining HBS, he lived in North Carolina, where he held roles in news and content marketing. He has a background in video production and previously worked on several documentaries for Boston’s PBS station, WGBH. In his spare time, he enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with his family. You are here: Home / Celebrating Entrepreneurship / Continuing These 5 Habits To Manage A Successful Small Business!
Given the number of best-sellers written about the importance of cultivating certain habits to achieve success, we can no longer deny the truth in it. Successful people around the world, swear by incorporating a few simple habits to keep them focused on the goals they want to achieve.
For a small business owner too, it is beneficial to develop habits
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