Learning the skills to become your own boss

Understandably, many people have ambitions to run their own business and be their own boss.
The aspiration to determine one’s own economic future, however, is generally mixed with a little trepidation about whether or not the right skills are in place to make sure everything runs smoothly.  Here’s a quick guide to the essential core skills needed to be one’s own boss and how to acquire them.

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Getting organized

With strong motivation and plenty of willingness, most new self-starters have to learn to be organized – that means good time management, disciplined task management, stringent financial management and the ability to develop a strategy to cope with the unexpected.  If these skills are unfamiliar or don’t come naturally, it is sometimes possible to build up a team of experts to help with administrative, accounting and similar jobs.  However, for start-up entrepreneurs, this represents yet another cost center, which is very likely to be unaffordable at the outset.

Acquiring information and skills

A cheaper alternative by far, and one that comes with extra benefits, is to acquire new knowledge and information by undertaking educational and training courses that will help achieve the required level of skill.  For example, to get a grip on the finances for any business, taking an accounting degree or similar course is an ideal way to add to the prospective business owner’s current portfolio of personal expertise.  The extra benefit is that, this way, the individual has a personal understanding and knowledge about how the business is operating and can stay on top of, and respond quickly to, the financial implications of any upheavals in the market.

Good time and task management

Taking a lot of time out for additional training or education during college – including travel time to and from an education center – is likely to have a very negative impact on the development plans for a new business idea.  Furthermore, budding entrepreneurs who are already working full-time while they develop their new enterprise during their downtime are likely to find that such a commitment is unrealistic and may result in exhaustion and premature failure.  A much better alternative is to seek out an accounting degree or an accounting professional development course that can be completed online, so that learning is flexible and can be accommodated in such a way as to suit the student.

Financial management

While administrative skills are important from an organizational point of view, the core of what a new self-made business owner needs to be able to deal with is finance.  Understanding even a little about the basic principles of bookkeeping, payroll, tax, billing and account collection will boost the confidence of budding business owners and provide a sufficient level of expertise to help them launch and sustain a successful enterprise.  Gaining the ability to confidently report their understanding of financial information will also make an important difference when analyzing and communicating financial decisions to existing and potential investors.

Coping with the unexpected

Having the knowledge to develop a good financial plan means that contingencies for coping with the unexpected will be included as a matter of course.  This also serves to reassure investors that a new business owner knows exactly what he or she is doing.

*This is a guest post by Dave Smith.

About the author 

Misty Kearns

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