Our small business training was created after surveying 200 uber-successful Canadian entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs were asked what business skills they believed made the difference between success and failure for them.
Today, we’re sharing some of the most vital skills entrepreneurs need to know, and which ones GoForth entrepreneurs were surprised they didn’t know.
This is the importance of developing a small business brand, including brand experience, identity, image, pillars, equity and delivery. Brand pillars are the most important values and characteristics of your small business that you want to communicate in your branding. The brand experience is strategically developed to provoke thoughts, interact with, and persuade people to take action. Make sure your client’s brand experience is consistently positive!
Read more about brand experience.
How to build a financial plan
Most entrepreneurs don’t spend enough time understanding the numbers in their business — but the lead entrepreneur really should know the numbers inside and out. If you’re easily stumped by simple questions about profit, costs, or break-even, then others will lose confidence in your ability as an entrepreneur. Investigating financial feasibility before you start your business and while your business is running will help you tweak your business model canvas, which will raise your confidence that you’ll run a profitable company.
Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a client has with your business, either during one transaction or over the lifetime of your relationship. Research shows that customers do business with companies they like, so the more positive experiences a customer has with your business, the more they’ll continue to do business with you. To define your customer experience, it’s important that you know what your customers want and need.
Read more about CX.
How to manage a small business
Successful leaders are teachers, learners and visionaries. Your employees will look up to you for motivation, guidance and also as a model for their own performance. In order to lead effectively, you should consider your business and its staff to be like a team. Everything that’s done should focus on strengthening and improving your team. According to Bond Street Newsletter, these five skills are the essential toolkit for effective leadership in a small business: 1) Empathy; 2) Decisiveness; 3) Collaboration; 4) Planning; and 5) Support.
Staying on top of government compliance can greatly improve a business’ odds of success. There are income tax requirements, GST/HST requirements, rules for working with self-employed contractors, and documents and policies required if you become an employer. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Government compliance can lead to benefits for you as an entrepreneur. For example, there are many tax deductions that self-employed entrepreneurs can make, as well as employees and commissioned sales employees.
The importance of creativity in business
Creativity is the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things and to find solutions. This conceptual combination is seen often in the history of some of today’s most unique product innovations. For example, in 1941 George de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, returned home from a trip with his dog, and noticed burrs sticking to the dog’s fur. Like a good engineer, Mestral examined the burrs under a microscope. There, he noted their hundreds of “hooks” that caught on anything with a loop, such as clothing, animal fur, or hair. And with that, the idea for Velcro was created!
What about you? Are there small business skills you wished you knew before starting your entrepreneurship journey? To learn these, plus dozens of other vital small business skills, check out our online small business training!