Skills All New Business Owners Should Learn

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By Marilyn Royce

Unless you have gone to college to obtain a business degree or otherwise taken business classes, it is not likely that someone has taught you everything you need to learn about running a business for the first time. Even if you have theoretical knowledge, using that knowledge in practice is always a little different than it looks in theory. Below are some skills that any new business owner can benefit from learning– and can help to make his or her business more profitable. 

Writing a Sales Plan

Many business classes will teach future business owners how to write a business plan, but that’s not the same thing as a sales plan. A business plan covers how the business as a whole will be run. A sales plan focuses on how salespeople can make more sales. These plans are valuable for both businesses that sell physical products and those that provide services.

There are a few different things that go into writing one of these plans. If you are a new business owner and have not yet made any sales, then the first step is to fit out how many products/how many services you need to sell in order to turn a profit. Once you have this number, you can begin to write a realistic plan that can help you to reach that number of sales. Of course, to do this, you will also need to know what your expected monthly business expenses are going to be. When in doubt, round up when calculating expenses and round down when calculating profits. With most things in business, making a good plan is more about doing simple math than anything else.

Managing Inventory

What you think is going to be your most popular item or service doesn’t always match up with reality. That’s part of the reason why it is so important to keep track of which items sell the best and the rate at which you tell them. This will give you a better idea of when to reorder these products. Making a spreadsheet to keep track of this is one useful tactic to try.

In the same line of thinking, it’s equally as important to know which items or services do not sell well. Business owners may do well to stop offering these items or services to try to help with the budget. However, instead of subtracting one item from the business entirely, it can be better to replace it with something that is more similar to the best-selling products and services. 

Either way, keeping a digital record of your sales is one of the most effective ways to know what the business’s exact numbers are. New business owners too often make the mistake of guessing which items or services will sell well, which doesn’t always work out well.

Advertising Online

Advertising is a skill in itself that every business owner should learn. Online advertising is becoming more important all of the time. Research also shows that it is usually more cost-effective than advertising offline or on television. Knowing this, business owners would do well to focus their resources on advertising online.

There are about a million and one ways to advertise online, so business owners should try a few different ways out to see what works best for their needs. Posting on social media is one of the most popular (and sometimes free) ways to advertise online. Business owners who do not have a social media presence need to think about making accounts right away. If social media isn’t your thing, then buying advertisements from search engines, like Google, is one of the most straightforward ways to get advertisements without knowing much about promoting them yourself.

Running a business in practice is always going to be different than running on in theory. Make sure to do your research before your business opens and keep track of sales after the business has been in operation. Both of these things can help to make your business more successful than other beginners.