Becoming proficient in a set of fundamental business skills is a must for success!
Becoming Proficient in a Set of Fundamental Business
Skills is a Must for Success!
Terry H. Hill
To develop a small business into a successful enterprise demands more than the passion
that you may have for your business. Fortunately, or unfortunately, facts speak for themselves!
Over half of new businesses fail because the entrepreneur is unable to translate his passion into practical
business skills. Running a small business requires that you become a “jack-of-all-skills.”
Having solid business strategies are valuable, but without a set of fundamental business
skills to implement them, the strategies remain dormant. It is important to assess the skills
that you have, the skills that you will need to learn, or simply the skills that you will need to improve.
Success in your business demands more than hard work, expertise in your field, and
resilience. Success demands the use of fundamental business skills: General Management Skills,
Analytical Skills, Financial Skills, Communication Skills, Sales and Marketing Skills, and Strategic
No one is more determined to reveal the secrets of business success than Jim Collins. Jim
Collins is the author of two best-selling business books--Built to Last and Good to Great.
Both of his highly acclaimed books address the question: Why do some companies become great, while
others flounder? Bo Burlingham, an editor-at-large of Inc. Magazine, recently interviewed Mr. Collins. I
found his article to be very interesting. Here is just a snippet of the article.
Bo asks Mr. Collins, “Have you noticed any significant change/changes in the business of
building great companies over the last 30 years? Jim Collins replied, “I would say that the basic
principles of building a company have remained the same to a great degree, but it’s the skills that are
always changing! The skills . . . You need to be continually learning new skills.”
There is a great need for a wide range of business skills because each task requires a
different skill. For instance, the skills that you need to hatch a business concept, identify a market,
develop a product or service, or assemble the resources and operations to bring it to market are not the
same skills that you need “to shepherd” a company into the future. That’s why it is important to first
assess your skills so that you can accurately identify the voids in your skill set, and then take the
necessary steps to fill those voids and improve your critical business skill set. Your goal should be “to get
to the top of your game,” or “to remain at the top of your game,”, or both!
It is highly unlikely or unrealistic for one business owner to have all of the necessary skills
to effectively manage and control a business. A business owner may be proficient in several of the
required disciplines—sales, marketing, management, organizational control, financials, logistics—but
may not be proficient in all of the disciplines. The business owner must now develop a proactive
approach by surrounding himself with individuals who have greater expertise in the areas where he lacks
experience or “know how.”
Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computer, is a good example of a business owner who
realized his own shortcomings in certain areas. Mr. Dell has said, on more than one occasion,
that he realized early on in his career that he needed to surround himself with a strong management
team, a team whose members had the skills and experience that he lacked. The success of Michael Dell
and his company, Dell Computer, speaks for itself…
Terry H. Hill is an author, consultant, trainer, mentor, and the founder/managing partner of Legacy Associates, Inc., a business consulting firm
based in Sarasota, Florida. Legacy, http://www.legacyai.com, is the parent company of the online small business, entrepreneurship, and
management training website, http://www.TrainingforEntrepreneurs.com.