What specific skills do I need to start a business?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,428
    Business expert David Krauskopf discusses what specific skills you need to start a business.

    Host: What specific skills do I need to start a business?

    David Krauskopf: Well there is probably a long list of things that people could say, but there are three main scale areas that you really need to have and if you don't have them, you need to invest sometime into developing those skills and having them inside your business.

    The first one is sales, if you can't sell your product then you really can't have a business, you need to generate income through the selling process. So you need to invest a lot of time in figuring out how to go through the process of explaining the value that your product or service has, to those customers. It's not enough to simply just have a great invention or a great product, because you could have that and there might even be customers out there, that would love to have it, but it doesn't change the fact that you have to actually go through a sales process, in order to identify those customers and go out and sell to them and close the sales and bring your revenue in. So the sales skill in this sense is an important issue.

    One more point about sales skill, it's kind of a numbers game, in order to sell a lot of product, you have to get your offer in the front of more people, much more people than who actually make the decision to buy. So because of that de facto defective, you have to get a lot of Nos in order to get that Yes, and so, developing your sales skills, you need to be prepared for some rejection and getting all that Nos and as a result you are going to get more Yeses.

    Second skill, organization skills. You can start developing these skills or utilizing these skills in the business planning process. I am not saying that you have to plan every hour of every day in a time management notebook, that's not what I mean, what I mean by this is that, you have to be able to sit back on a daily, weekly, monthly basis and analyze all aspects of your business and from that analysis you have to prioritize, you have to determine which things are the most important to work on, and so general organizational skills and then utilizing some planning process and tools is very important skill to have in, in developing a good business.

    The third skill that we feel is very important are financial skills. And a lot of people cringe at this, but and we do have an observation that some of our clients and people who are initially successful in sales, really don't know their numbers very well, but what always seems to happen with these people are it comes back to haunt them, when they are growing very rapidly; all of a sudden they run out of cash or when they hit a low period and all of a sudden they run out of cash.

    You really need to invest the time to understand your basic numbers. Now there are templates and tools available to you, for example, on our score association website there are financial templates that can help you with some of this and we have a video later in our series about money and financial planning. So you might not feel you have strong financial skills now, but it's a critical factor to developing your business, being safe with not going bankrupt or running out of cash flow and so you need to spend some time on financial skills.

    If you have passion and you feel good about all of these points in helping you decide if you want to be an entrepreneur and if the timing is right now for you to be an entrepreneur, then you are in pretty good shape to go forward. If some red flags were raised in going through this list, then you need to pay attention to that, you really need to go back on those points and research and evaluate more closely what are the positive and negatives of making this leap, this jump, because it's a very significant change in really your entire life for a period of time of actually starting your business and getting it going.

    So be careful to go through this list of things, make sure you have that passion and get to the point where, Hey! I feel pretty good about it, and then you are ready to roll.