The key skills and attributes you need to run a business

Whether you are starting your own small business, or you intend to run a corporation, the skills and attributes you need to run a business are the same. There are certain skills that are best suited to business, and having a combination of these skills is what can make you successful. It’s not simply finding a niche in the market, or having enough money to throw at a business, but the kind of person you are, can also make a difference. These kind of skills can of course be learned and improved on, but starting out with these skills already refined, definitely won’t hurt your chances of success. Whether you’re learning on the job, or you already have some of these attributes, there is always something even the best business person can improve on.


A lot of people underestimate the power of being able to talk to people easily, communicate ideas clearly, and get your point across. In every business, you need to talk to employees and negotiate with clients and other businesses. Being able to communicate and persuade can not only get you the best deal from your supplier, but can also help your company to run more smoothly, if you are able to talk and communicate with your employees.

These kind of soft skills are the kind they cannot teach you at business school, but ones which will help you get ahead. Likewise hiring people who are good at communicating, will probably succeed at negotiation and persuasion too.


This requires a mixture of different skills, that can often only come with experience. Leading your business and team means motivating them, and understanding their needs, so your business remains productive. This also means mentoring and teaching your team, perhaps even on a one to one basis if your have a small business.

Being able to understand how your team works, and being able to allocate work in an efficient way, are all signs of a good leader. Successful habits of leaders are keeping on their toes, being aware of how their own company is functioning, while keeping their eyes on the market and competitors. This juggling act comes down to planning and managing your own time as well as others, but are the skills every successful leader has.

Customer service and sales

If you have worked your way up from the bottom, then no doubt you will know about good customer service skills.  When getting higher up in the business, this can be applied to marketing and sales. Understanding how to sell your product or service is essential if you want your business to thrive.

Being creative with marketing your business, trying new things, and trying to reach people in different ways is a good approach to marketing. Understanding and researching the market you are going into, will make your business a competitive one.

Here are a few skills and attributes that every business leader needs. There are many aspects to running a business, and everyone can refine their skills to make them competitive leaders.

*This is a contributed post 

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