5 Skills You’ll Need To Run A Successful Business (In 2024)

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Jan 23rd, 2024

Skills You’ll Need To Run A Successful Business - featured image

Whether you fancy yourself as a lone-wolf entrepreneur, or at the head of an agile team of professionals, there are a few essential skills you need to hone to succeed.

These include delegation, communication, scheduling, critical thinking, improving your productivity, as well as working with AI, and protecting your assets with viable cybersecurity protocols. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these skills and start implementing them in your day-to-day business operations.

Here are the top skills you’ll need to run a successful business:

1. Delegation

First of all, if you want to run a successful business, you are going to need to start delegating work to others. Learning the skill of delegation is all about identifying what tasks need to be completed, assigning them to other people, and turning them into a process. This means you will need to not only understand which of your employees is the best person for the task but also be able to establish how urgent and important a task is. The vital benefit that comes along with being able to delegate is that it frees up your time as the owner and leader of the business. Something that means you can oversee the running of your company more effectively without getting ‘stuck in the weeds’ of each task. Now, if you are a solopreneur, you may be wondering what delegation has to do with you. Well, things are not like they used to be, as there are a wealth of agencies and freelancers you can delegate various tasks to. Indeed, many entrepreneurs argue that delegating particularly specialist tasks such as website building, copywriting, and graphic design to an outside expert not only preserves their own time but ensures they get the highest level outcome for their business as well.

casual businesswoman working with a laptop

Taking advantage of delegation and outsourcing is one of the top ways to gain more peace of mind as a business person.

2. Communication

To run a successful business, you will need to excel at communication. Indeed, communication with both customers and staff is the backbone of any business, because if you can’t get others to understand what you are trying to tell them, your business will not go very far at all. Unfortunately, many of us who find ourselves in leadership positions get there through hard work, not necessarily because we are excellent communicators. This can often create a skills gap with the people at the top of the tree struggling to communicate effectively. The good news is that like many other important skills, better communication is something that can be learned. It is commonly taught under the banner of soft skills in the business community. In particular, the skill of active listening is something that should be prioritized if you want your business to succeed. This is because it focuses on engaging in communication where you actively listen to what the other person is saying, thereby making them both feel heard, and also ensuring that you truly take in what they have to say. After all, your employees, customers, and supplies all have vital insights that can help you grow and improve your business, so it makes sense to make sure you have the skills to hear those insights when they are communicated.

3. Employee Scheduling

It may seem like a pretty basic skill, but being able to create a schedule for your employees to ensure there are no dips in productivity is one of the most valuable skills of running a business. After all, if you don’t have the required number of employees on-site for each shift, you will struggle to hit your targets and offer high-quality service to your customers. Unfortunately, even those who are very skilled at this task can end up spending hours of precious time creating a schedule, only to have their employees call in sick and ask to swap shifts. Happily, there is a way to make the employee scheduling process better, as described in this post Workforce Scheduling: What It Is And How To Optimize It, written by scheduling expert Sling. For business owners, or managers struggling in this area, it’s a must-read!

girl with sticky notes posted on a glass wall

Google Calendar is one of the best apps for creating effective schedules for your whole team, so everyone stays organized throughout the week. You can also use time trackers like Clockify or Toggl especially if you’re doing a lot of hourly client work.

4. Critical Thinking & Problem-Solving

Another very important skill that anyone wanting to run a business will need is creative thinking and problem-solving. This is because much of running a business is solving problems before they start to make an impact on the success of your business. Indeed creativity is crucial for those running a business because they are often called to look at things from the vantage point of others. For example, an entrepreneur starting up a website that they want to monetize through advertising will need to think creatively about the kinds of content, and images that their target audience will want to see. Critical thinking is also crucial for business success because so much of running a business is making decisions that have the potential to greatly impact the bottom line. That means business owners must have the skills to critically evaluate the benefits, threats, and opportunities that each option could create so they can weigh them against each other. Lastly, solving problems as they occur is always a good skill to have for a business owner, dealing with issues before they become major problems is an even better approach. That is where the skill of proactive problem-solving comes into play.

man holding a hard drive

Creating regular backups, using a password manager, and having your data stored on a secure cloud is a must for modern business organizations.

5. Cybersecurity

Finally, when it comes to running a business, being skilled in cybersecurity is a must. This is because there are a myriad of serious cyber risks to your business out there at any time, and if you don’t have the skills to protect it you run the risk of not only losing a lot of money but also the loyalty of your customers as well. With this in mind, any business owner or leader must have at least a basic understanding of cybersecurity, and the skills to protect their business’s website and internal network. However, when it comes to more advanced threats and protections, there are highly qualified and expert specialists who can not only work with your business but come and teach you and your employees how to be more cyber security savvy in the workplace.

Wrap-up and next steps

It’s time to skill up, get out of the rut, and take your business to the next level. This will require taking some risks and being uncomfortable for a while, but that’s the only way, in which your business can expand. If you continue with the status quo, your business will stagnate and stop being so exciting. Set your sights on growth, expansions, and serving new types of customers, and spend at least an hour each week learning new skills mentioned above. Next up, you may want to explore a guide on money management skills for college students.

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building three small companies, an educator, digital marketer, freelance writer, editor, and content manager with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for writers, digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.