Improve Your Business Skills with These Business Resources

Improve Your Business Skills with These Business Resources - Photograph by Marten Bjork | Kathy Ennis | LittlePiggy

If there’s one important lesson I’ve learned in 20-years in business, it’s this:

No one person can do absolutely everything it takes to run a successful micro or side hustle business!

When you start your business, it can feel like the world expects you to be able to do it all.  Particularly if you’re the only one in charge.

But the truth is that it’s going to take a very wide selection of skills to run your micro or side hustle business well, and just like everybody else in the world, you won’t possess them all.  If you study some of the world’s top entrepreneurs, you’ll find that they have one thing in common: they do what they do best, then outsource the rest.

As you get your business off the ground, performing a simple skills analysis will help you understand what skills you’re bringing into the business, what skills need to be developed, and what skills you need to buy in.

You can approach this by asking yourself three easy questions:

  1. what do I enjoy?
  2. what would I like to learn?
  3. what would I prefer to give someone else to do?

Don’t worry if you’d rather not do something you’re good at (this is a common concern for people who have shifted career into something completely different).  Just because you’re a qualified HR Manager, it doesn’t mean you have to recruit your own staff.  If you’d rather concentrate on day-to-day business operations, it’s fine to leave the hiring and firing with someone else who can, instead.

As a professional Business Mentor with plenty of business experience, I understand exactly how it feels to set out on your own, into all the knowns and unknowns, and all the highs and lows that the business world can throw at you.

Luckily, I’ve lived to tell the tale!  This means I’m able to share some fantastic business resources that will help you improve your own business skills, and give you clarity on those you might prefer to pass on to someone else.

(You might be surprised at how simple these business resources are – and better still, they’re all completely free).

Business Resources 1: Podcasts

It’s surprising what you can learn when you listen!

A podcast is a digital audio file that anyone can download online, then listen to whenever they like, either at their desk or on the move (‘pod’ cast gets its name from the original iPod downloads).

In the business world, anyone who’s anyone will have their own podcast – it’s a bit like having your own radio station – and they’re often a mine of information.

Head to iTunes, where you’ll find a dedicated business podcast library to select from.  Be warned, though: listening to podcasts can become addictive! You could also try a couple of apps I really like – BBC Sounds and Podbean.

If you’re feeling inspired enough to record your own podcast, I’ve written a series of blog posts on the subject. Here’s one to help you get started.

Business Resources 2: Twitter

A lot of business owners I speak to will tell me how they avoid Twitter.  It’s too fast-moving, they might say, or they don’t feel it’s informative enough.

But when you get past all the celebrity scandal and political comment, Twitter is well worth its weight in gold.

While in-depth, carefully-crafted business content has its place, getting business news, opinions and quotes in the form of a quick and simple tweet can be just the ‘snackable’ kind of information you’re looking for.

You can even create your own tailored lists in Twitter, so that you only see content from your favourite users – drowning out the rest of the noise in the process. One of my Twitter lists is ‘Business Journalists’; in this list I have all the big name business news people, as well as many of my local news journalists.

Another fantastic Twitter tip is to spend ten easy minutes every morning searching for tweets using specific PR-related hashtags, such as #journorequest and #PRrequest.

Often, journalists and PR experts will use these hashtags to search for people and/or businesses who can comment on or assist with a specific news story.  If you spot a request you could help with, all you need to do is tweet or email the journalist back, and you could gain some all-important PR for your business.

(This is exactly how I got into Forbes Magazine earlier this year!)

Business Resources 3: Support Organisations

Don’t miss out on help and support for your business – there’s a lot of it available, if you know where to look.

Your local council is a good place to start, as most will have dedicated resources to help small and micro businesses (such as the national Growth Hub Network).  The Enterprise Nation website is full of helpful resources, and you can join a community of like-minded business owners too.

Hopefully, these resources and tips have inspired you to get started on your own skills analysis.  To help you on your way, why not download my free Skills Analysis Template?

There’s a simple grid for you to complete, along with some further explanation and insight about essential business skills – so you’ll know exactly where to focus all that hard work!

And as ever, please feel free to post any questions or comments below.

Kathy Ennis

I mentor dynamic, action-taking micro business owners who are not making the profit they deserve or dream of. I help them transform their good ideas into a successful business. I enable them to create simple, sensible, achievable business plans and engagement marketing strategies that turn their passion into profit.