9+ Business Skills You Should Possess & Acquire

Created by Henry Steele

By Henry Steele - May 29, 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Do you want to rise to the top of your company or create your own successful small business? Then you will need to hone your business skills. Whether you want to be an executive at a major corporation or the head of your own, you will need to have multifaceted business skills including these:

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#1 Data Sense

Across most types of business, workers can earn a higher salary when they are able to make sense out of large sets of data that are now available for the markets that their company serves. Companies have long tracked data about sales, customers and suppliers, businesses these days have access to a lot more data. Each time we click on a website or shop online, we leave behind bits of information.

Because of huge improvements in software that collect and store data, companies can use this information to target customers to sell them specific products, and to find new customers. Whether you call this skill big data or data science, this is a very important skill set.

If you are able to analyze large datasets and make sense of it, you will be very much in demand across business sectors. Specific skills to develop include SAS (Statistical Analysis System), data mining, data warehousing and data modeling.

#2 Managing Finances and the Bottom Line

If you are not a financial expert, you could be tempted to leave the numbers to the accountants. But no matter what your job title is in your company, you will improve your standing and potential salary by understanding dollars and cents. A professor at the renowned Northwestern University MBA program noted recently that many graduates wished they had taken more financial accounting courses. Understanding how day to day decisions affect the profits of the company become more important as you advance. Some research suggests that one of the major skills that sets about junior managers from executives is the ability to understand profit and loss statements.

To improve your salary and skills in this area, focus on contract negotiation and financial analysis.

#3 Understanding New Technology

It is not news that IT professionals have a big edge on valuable tech skills. According to a recent Linkedin.com analysis, 19 of the top 25 in demand skills were related to technology: cloud computing, software development for mobile devices and online security. Just in human resources, a Payscale.com analysis found that workers who know how to use Workday software can be paid almost 10% more than their peers.

Technology to get a handle on also includes search engine marketing, customer service metrics and SAP material management, which is a type of financial software.

#4 Strategic Thinking

High level thinking and organization is very important for obtaining a higher paying senior management position in a company. Strategy is important to understand because it is about understanding the business purpose of a job and not just job tasks.

The higher you go in the company, the more important strategic thinking will become. Strategy development and business strategy are both vital skills that sets successful executives apart. To improve in this area, take courses that focus on strategic planning and business analysis.

#5 Communication Skills

Of course. Management in our competitive environment is tight with the budget, and it will need to be sold on a new project idea. The ability to make a strong argument and make a good business case to your supervisor, coworkers or client will help to make your ideas happen. While computer systems can give you the information you need to make a decision, they do not know how to get the boss excited about lending support to a new business project.

#6 Time Management and Organization

Staying organized and prioritizing tasks will help you to move up the career ladder and will move your team projects forward. An application might finish a task in a fraction of a second, but it does not know the context or how it fits into the entire scheme of things. Just as critically, to be able to make decisions quickly and act on opportunity fast, without over analyzing, is what delivers results.

#7 Delegate

No matter how great and skilled you are, no one person can do all that needs to be done to keep a business on track to fulfill all goals. The ability to surround oneself with highly talented people who can highlight your skills will get things accomplished faster – every time.

#8 Presentation and Public Speaking

You really need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly to audiences so you can raise your business and personal profile to new levels in the company. Web based conferencing is good, but being good at face to face meetings is what makes the most lasting impression.

#9 Building Relationships

There is nothing that helps to get promotions than to cultivate and maintain good working relationships in the office. Social media and email help to keep us connected but the key is to develop those distant relationships into something more.

To move higher on the career ladder and make more money, developing the above business skills will be a big help.


Henry Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.

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