Running a business is an art, and having good business skills can make or break a startup. And with the somewhat harrowing statistic that 20% of businesses fail within the first year, you’ll want to know what you can do to make your startup succeed in an increasingly competitive and crowded business marketplace.
But how do you identify the skills you need? And how do you go about building those skills? No matter how good the idea for your startup is, and no matter how much you know about the area, without the necessary skills, you won’t get far. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the essential business skills for startups.
From skills like great communication and interpersonal skills to web development and financial management, these are the tools that could bring success to your startup. Armed with these, you will put yourself in a much better position to succeed in the startup world, which certainly isn’t a world for the faint of heart.
What is a startup?
First of all, let’s unpick exactly what a startup is. While it may conjure up images of a small group of friends in a dingy basement who are trying to turn their hobby into a career, businesses that have been running for 5 years can still be described as a startup.
Startups are young businesses that aim to develop a particular product or service and make it irresistible to the consumer. They effectively work just like any other company – a group of employees work together to create a product that customers will buy.
However, startups differ in how they go about that. Other companies often try to duplicate what has been done before, working from an existing template of how a business should work. Startups address the deficiencies of these existing templates and products, or they create an entirely new product.
They’re rooted in innovation, and, if done properly, can completely disrupt entrenched ways of thinking as done by larger, established companies. This is why sometimes these big companies refer to them as ‘disruptors’. They also have a focus on speed and growth and look to build on ideas really quickly – a process known as iteration.
How do you start a new business?
When you look at the success of the startups commonly referred to as the FAANG group – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google – then starting your own seems like it could be profitable. Managing your own small business could also seem more appealing after the events surrounding COVID-19. However, there are a few steps you need to take.
First, you’ll want to come up with an idea for your business. Identifying both a problem and a solution will be one of the keys to success, and make your business idea more viable. This idea can be updating an existing product or service, or even creating a new one. Once you have this idea, you’ll want to write a business plan, where you’ll describe your business in detail.
Securing funding is the biggest hurdle many startups face. Funding a business is the key to success, and there are many ways to do this – from bank loans to angel investors. You’ll then want to create a marketing strategy, which will dictate how you market your startup to prospective customers. Brand and marketing are essential parts of any startup.
There is more to it than that, but using those bare bones for your new business, you’ll be able to get a good start. As you go along, you’ll want to be continually evaluating and planning as you work, ironing out any problems that might arise. And to make a proper good go of it, and to bring your startup to success, you’ll want to have some business skills at your disposal.