10 Essential Skills Every Small Business Owner Needs to Master

To start and run a successful business, there are a number of skills and traits that you need to develop beforehand. It’s important to identify the skills that you need to improve on to ensure your day-to-day business operations run according to plan.

Whether you’re the only member in your business, or you employ others in your company, developing a business into a successful enterprise is not an easy task. While being passionate and driven are attributes that can take you far, here are 10 essential skills that you need to master before launching a small business.

Sales and Marketing

As a small business, there are many likeminded individuals in the same boat as you, all of whom are trying to attract the same custom. No matter what field of business you’re in, it’s likely that you will have competitors nearby, so possessing sales and marketing skills is a must, especially when it comes to drawing customers in. Understandably, you will want your brand to be seen and heard by as many people as possible, so delivering powerful content and alluring messages can speak volumes and get people to take notice of your brand. To do this effectively, you will need to create a business plan that outlines your pricing, sales, and advertising techniques.


If you work alongside others in your small business, knowing how to take charge and be a leader is critical. Learning how to motivate individuals towards common goals can help make sure that everyone knows where they stand within your company. You will be surprised at how much you can get done with a team that are happy and comfortable in their roles. If you have noticed a decline in work, it’s up to you as the leader to identify problems and nip them in the bud before they have a damaging impact on your operation.

General Management

As a small business, you may need to take on numerous roles and responsibilities to ensure projects and tasks are completed within the set deadline. As a business owner, possessing general management skills is crucial for success. It’s no secret that management involves controlling and directing groups of people to help them accomplish specific goals. There are business training courses that you can enroll in, such as management skills for new managers which can equip you with the traits needed to run a business. You can search for business training options on findcourses.com, where you will find a wide variety of business training courses from top course providers.


To ensure everything is running smoothly in your small business, communication is everything. How you interact with colleagues, customers, and suppliers can say a lot about how your company operates, so knowing how to communicate effectively can build trust, resolve problems, provide clarity, as well as improve productivity within the workplace. When a new employee enters the business, effective communication is vital so they can understand how your organization works and help them feel comfortable and settled in their role. When in the workplace, communication lines can get blurred, which could cause problems further down the line in your business.


In the business world, you are going to need to master the art of negotiation. When closing a deal, you need to have the right traits to persuade the customer to purchase a product or service from your business. When meeting with clients, it’s important that you know how to negotiate contracts and deals so you can get the best offer possible. No successful business owner takes the first offer they’re presented with, so you will need to think about the long-term future of your company and how you can negotiate to get what you want.

Project Management

When setting up your own business, there will be a range of projects that you will have to manage. Whether it’s setting up a website, curating a range of policies and procedures, or finding premises to house your company, knowing how to manage your resources effectively, including money, time, and staff, will help make sure you achieve the goals you set out for yourself. To minimize the risk of anything going wrong when working on a project, it’s crucial that you know the project inside out, identify and meet the requirements set out by the stakeholder, as well as define critical milestones throughout the process.

Time Management

When working with clients and suppliers, it’s likely that you will be given strict deadlines that need to be adhered to. As a business owner, you need to not only make sure that projects and tasks are completed within the timeframe set, but know how to work well under pressure. Naturally, stress levels can rise in tense situations, however, it’s how you present yourself throughout which will set you apart and keep your company running in the right direction. Using your time in the most productive and effective way possible will mean that everything can get sorted and sent off to clients without any issues.


In many instances in the business world, it’s a case of not what you know, but who you know. When building your brand, having the right contacts can make all the difference and set you up for success. Networking is crucial in all aspects of business, regardless of the field you’re in. Whether you’re speaking in public, attending a networking event, or engaging with customers, getting to know industry experts and building a portfolio of contacts can be a great way to help keep your small business on top.


When working on projects and tasks, having a team that are confident in their abilities is key. So that you can be assured the work is up to standard, it’s up to you as a business owner to delegate duties and responsibilities correctly. Identifying your team’s strengths and weaknesses will mean you can hand out roles to the right people. To delegate roles correctly, you will need to find the right balance between effective controls and allowing your team to complete their job effectively. There are other principles that you should follow too, such as clearly articulating the desired outcome, identifying boundaries and constraints, as well as matching the amount of authority with the amount of responsibility.

Stress Management

If you’re going through a busy period in business, it’s likely that you and your team will be under immense amounts of stress. As a business owner, making the workplace environment a happy one to be in can make all the difference and boost self-esteem. Possessing stress management skills and utilizing them effectively at work can be beneficial to reduce blood pressure, heart disease, and many more physical ailments. It’s important that you respect and value your team for the hard work they put into your company, so providing an outlet for them to take a break and relax will help make sure they’re more productive when at their desk.

For your small business to be the success you envisaged, possessing all the characteristics listed above will help get you off to a good start. No matter the size of your company or what field you are in, above all, you need to put the groundwork in and stay committed to your enterprise in order to see results.