If you're considering running your own business, there will be plenty of industry-specific information and skills that you will need to gather. But there's one set of technical skills that all industries have in common: Business Administration and Accounting.
Of course, you will hopefully have some experience in the industry; in fact, it is more than likely this experience that encouraged you to take on business ownership in the first place. But expertise in one area isn't enough to build a successful business. It will be your business acumen— and a lot of hard work— that proves the difference between failure and fortune.
For instance, one of our students worked in hospitality during her teens. She eventually completed a short course and internship in administration. Today, she is running her own business as a writer.
At first glance, these three stepping stones may seem happenstance and not a path to her current career. They are, in fact, integral parts of what lead her to her success in business. Her experience running an office in her teens, and the administration and organizational skills learned from the course she took, both lead to her understanding the business concepts she knows now, and in now way could be successful without.
Our student's path was not from high school to a short business course to successful business, one directly after another. These were milestones throughout years that lead her to where she is today. In fact, it wasn't until after her children were in school that she was able to really put herself into her business full throttle and become a success.
No matter where you are in your career, it is not too late to start running your own business. Whether that be in an entrepreneurial role, as a freelancer, or as a franchisee, if you have the drive and dedication, you can become your own boss.
Your passion is the first step, educating yourself is the second step. A four year degree from a university in business is not the only way to gain the knowledge you need to become a successful business owner. There are many courses you can take that will get you started on your path to your dream job much quicker and without all the extra requirements that a four year degree would take.
1.) Your Accounts
The financial systems of a business are complex, and it takes skill to ensure bills and staff are paid on time and government regulations are complied with and, at the same time, also ensure that there is still a profit at the end of the week for you to live on.
The highest priority in your business knowledge should be an understanding of your finances You need to know what it takes to run a profitable business and how to implement effective procedures. You will need to have an understanding of the relevant governmental and industry regulations, taxation and ethics, as well as bookkeeping, cash flow, lines of credit, financial reporting and payroll.
Developing an understanding of the mechanics of financial management will enable you to control your economic position and keep an eye on what is going wrong, and right. If you are ready to go out on your own or want to earn some additional cash in a 'side gig,' then an understanding of your financial responsibilities, and knowing how to meet them, will prove invaluable.
This holds true even if you are in a position to hire someone else to handle your finances. You don't want to just hand over your money and bank accounts and let someone else do the job— you need to be able to double check their work.
This person might be a trusted associate, but it is irresponsible on your part to not ensure that they are doing their work correctly. In order to ensure the safety of your finances you must have a clear understanding of what it takes to financially manage your business.
2.) Your Legal Requirements
To start your own business or take on a franchise you need to know exactly what government rules and regulations are applicable. These can change from city to city and from state to state, so always ensure you are looking at the right information for your situation. If you are selling goods online to other states or countries, there may be other jurisdictions that your work comes under too.
In Texas, a good place to start to gather information is the Secretary of State's list of Guides and Resources for Small Businesses. The Small Business Association's page on Texas business licenses and regulations also provides a useful list of resources.
At some point you may even require the use of an attorney for your business. If that is the case, make sure that your attorney has a background in business law. It is crucial that you do not just use a family friend who will give you a discount if they do not have experience in the right kind of law. A family law or criminal defense attorney will not have the same kind of expertise as a corporate lawyer.
3.) Your Strategic Plan
If you want to run a successful business, you need to know your definition of success. Planning for the future will clarify the steps you have to take and the goals you need to achieve to take your business where you want it to go. A strategic business plan not only gives you a framework for the future, implementing the plan will also provide you with vital project management skills you can then apply to your clients.
Your strategic plan is how you turn your dreams into a reality, an action plan that provides the bigger picture. This plan can also help you avoid getting bogged down in the minor details of your business. Set aside specific times to work on both your administration tasks and strategic planning, so that each aspect of your business gets the attention it deserves.
Writing down your goals with a pen and paper will help you to make your business a success. Putting pen to paper tells your brain that these are no longer just dreams, but concrete things that you need to make happen in order to succeed. Take the time, not just in the beginning, but as your business grows to write out the things that you want to make happen.
4.) Your Product
Some people are born for sales. There is a great saying from a just such a person who was born for sales, and it is a piece of advice you should never forget: Never assume no. If someone says "I can't afford that", they are not actually saying no. Until you get an "I'm not interested" treat every objection as a potential sales opportunity.
Even if you aren't going to sell directly (although every investor, every partnership is a sale), you still need to have an understanding of how the sales process works in your business. From pricing structure to relationships building, not only do you need to know how to sell your product but you also need to know how to market your business, so people are aware of and want to use it.
Truly, there is no part of your business that you won't have a hand in, or be an expert in the knowledge of. How can you teach others how you want it done if you don't know how to do it yourself?
5.) How to Delegate
When you have multiple responsibilities you need to be able to manage your time and your tasks to ensure you get everything done. You will have lots of people demanding your time and attention, and you'll need to be able made on-the-spot decisions as to who and what is most important.
As the boss, you will need to develop a way to figure out what is worth spending your time on and what isn't. Like a successful Office Manager, you need to be able to delegate effectively to make the best use of your time and your staff. While you will probably spend a lot of time doing absolutely everything during the start-up phase of your business, the ability to offload tasks onto staff or contractors will help you focus on reaching the next level.
Run a Business the Right Way From the Start
At CCI Training Center we have courses for business administration and accounting that can help get you on your way to success. Our courses are offered year round, so whenever you are ready, the start of a class will not be far away. Our instructors have real life experience when it comes to business accounting and administration, so you know you will be getting information that is useful in your day to day business life. You'll find other students at CCI Training Center who will become the foundation of your professional network, as well as possible clients and/or business partners. The benefits to CCI Training Center courses are plenty.