Soft skills for business success. These are skills that are important to small business growth and success.
Soft skills are important because they are needed by small business owners and entrepreneurs to:
- Attract customers.
- Retain customers.
- Motivate employees.
- Become effective leaders.
- Assure success of entrepreneurial undertakings.
What are soft skills for business success?
Soft skills for small business success are social and interpersonal components of entrepreneurial or small business leadership and management.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are often judged by the extent of their people skills, personal skills and the quality of their work.
Therefore, the extent to which these skills are well-developed, often determine whether a small business will thrive or fail.
They are different from hard or cognitive skills taught in schools.
Soft skills are associated with maturity and being socially well-adjusted.
How do soft skills impact small business success.
According to research, 80% of start-ups crash and burn within 18 months while 8 out of 10 businesses fail.
Many businesses fail not because of lack of technical skills and knowledge but due to inadequate soft skills.
Soft skills are inherent in an entrepreneur or small business owner. Attributes of soft skills that impact small businesses include:
Teamwork for business success.
This refers to an entrepreneur’s ability to get along with others. Being supportive, helpful and collaborative.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2016 Future of Jobs and Skills Report.
Teamwork or the ability to work collaboratively is viewed as important for the 2020 workplace. Indeed, we are in that future and have seen that already with the Covid-19.
Businesses are now increasingly relying on remote collaborations with freelancers and independent professionals.
Flexibility for business success.
Flexibility refers to willingness to change. Small business owners and entrepreneurs need to be adaptable and become lifelong learners.
With the constant change in technology and disruptions in the business environment.
Business owners and entrepreneurs that succeed are those that are able to accept new things and adjust. They stay aware of, and are up to date with, what is happening in their industry.
That is, those that are prepared for changes through investment in reskilling themselves and their employees.
Integrity and business success.
Entrepreneurs and business owners that possess integrity strive to do what is right in their business dealings.
They have personal values, they are honest, ethical and have high morals.
Being honest and upright in all business dealings also help a business owner attract good people.
Whether employees, suppliers or customers.
Such business owners build good reputation with minimal efforts because of their personal values.
As a result of this distinguishing characteristic, many businesses are able to draw-in and retain customers.
In addition, running a business with strong ethics is a sign of business success.
Soft skills for business success – Effective communication.
Good business communication involves oral, written, presenting and listening skills.
Businesses need to constantly communicate with customers about offers, promotions and new products.
In addition, businesses respond to customers reviews and enquiries.
However, only those small business owners and entrepreneurs with effective communication skills, are able to share their ideas and present them clearly.
This skill also helps in interactions and negotiations with investors, suppliers, team members and other stakeholders.
Positive attitude for business success.
Positive attitude for business success include: optimism, enthusiasm, encouragement and confidence.
These attributes of positive attitude distinguish business owners and entrepreneurs who give up after failing in their entrepreneurial pursuits.
Entrepreneurs with positive attitude would try again. This is a personal business survival trick.
Business owners are prone to stress. However, you’re able to better handle stress when you have positive attitude.
In addition, positive attitude is a mindset that motivates and also encourages creativity.
Courtesy and business success.
Courtesy refers to manners and etiquette. It refers to being gracious and respectful.
Business owners should be respectful. If they plan to stay in business for a long time and be successful.
Also, customers deserve to be treated with respect.
Attitudes like keeping customers waiting, arguing with customers or treating them like they are stupid would hurt your business and damage your reputation.
A smart business realises that customers are a powerful group that needs to be treated with courtesy.
Similarly, other business and professional relationships ought to be treated with courtesy.
For example, how a business treats its suppliers will play a big part in how they treat you.
Conflict resolution for business success.
This mediation skill is useful for dealing with conflict in a business.
As a business owner owner, at some point, you may have to deal with an unhappy customer, a disgruntled employee, legal action etc.
With this skill, a business owner may be able to resolve conflict without the use of the courtroom, incurring extra costs or wasting time.
Conflict resolution is a mediation process where you try to get the parties involved in a conflict to negotiate and settle the dispute.
By possessing this skill, a business owner is able to find a resolution that is as fair as possible for the parties involved.
Conflict resolution skill also involves respect. By showing respect to the other party, half the battle is won.
Time management for business success.
Time management is one of the biggest problems affecting small business owners.
They are involved in many daily activities that demand time.
Many work so hard that their personal life suffers due to trying to meet work commitments.
Good time management means you show up on time and get the work done.
It also involves setting boundaries – when to take breaks, stop for the day and week, take holidays etc.
Creativity and business success.
Creativity is important for business success.
It refers to the generation of useful and novel ideas needed for coping with daily business challenges.
In addition, creativity involves the ability recombine or completely change existing aspects of the business.
Creativity helps the entrepreneur to recognise business opportunities.
Also, it supports problem solving of daily administrative and other planning problems.
Why soft skills contribute to business success.
Finally, soft skills contribute to business success because of a number of reasons.
Small business owners that possess soft skills are able to stay ahead of competition because:
- Soft skills complement technical skills. However, business success depends more on the soft skills aspect than the technical aspect.
- Soft skills are character traits, attitudes and behaviours that often take time to be developed.
- People skills are the foundation of good customer service.
- Success is based not only on what you know but also on how you can communicate.