Some of the most fascinating entrepreneurs – Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg – built their hugely successful companies on unique business ideas and personal visions. They have stamina, determination and incentive to turn their visions into reality. But, they were all missing one thing: a college degree. So, do you need one? No, not really. But building a successful company will, however, require certain knowledge and skills that many entrepreneurs learn along the way. Starting from the fundamental financial terms to the intricacies of the particular business, it is important to cultivate existing skills and knowledge, and continuously learn new ones. So, some of the basic concepts that every entrepreneur should be familiar with are:
Finances And Accounting
The first step in getting your project off the ground will be to formulate a viable financial plan which can reliably predict investments you will need, what to anticipate in the first year, and how to allocate remaining resources. What you can do in order to make everything work in your advantage is get a certificate IV in accounting or apply to one (of many) online courses.
An accounting class will teach you about balance sheets, which basically give you insight into financial health and capabilities of your company. You will also be able to better understand your assets, equities and liabilities, all of which affect the success of your business and future plans.
Project Planning and Management
Whether it’s a startup or an expanding business, the company is constantly in “project management mode”. Despite these continuous efforts and accumulated experience, it is always difficult to estimate the resources and time required to drive projects to completion. It is easy to imagine, then, that consequences can be devastating.
Courses in project management and planning will teach you the necessary skills and knowledge for every phase of implementation of your business plan. Moreover, you will learn many “troubleshooting” techniques for when things are not going as planned. After you complete the course, you will be awarded the Project Management Professional Certificate.
Product Development and Management
Every entrepreneur starts with a brilliant product (or idea), but it is the task of bringing that vision to life that imposes the biggest challenges. Product development entails design, development and marketing of new or rebranded products. Considering that not every product will appeal to every customer, it is necessary to predict and define the targeted market, which is usually done through extensive market research. Hence, it is the job of product managers to familiarize themselves with consumer groups, understand their needs, analyze the market and formulate solutions for those needs. Simply put, product managers are essentially bridging the gap between marketing (market demands) and engineering (core product design and development).
As you might anticipate, product managers and designers are one of the crucial players in both startup and expanding companies. Because of their professional experience and profound understanding of the “artistic” aspect of the design process, product managers are always in high demand. Having a team of competent PMs will drive the success of the business.
Web Design And Development
If you’re in tech industry, you have probably already mastered the skills of web design, and more advanced concepts of programing and coding. (In fact, you can probably code in your sleep.) Other entrepreneurs may not need such extensive programing and coding skills, but only basic knowledge of web design will come highly appreciated. Online presence and visibility (websites and social media outlets) opens new avenues for marketing, connecting to consumers, and building a reputable company. Of course, you can always outsource this job to professional web developers who offer services at different rates. However, if you consider that learning the basics of web development (HTML, CSS, etc.) is fairly easy, you will not pass up on the opportunity to learn a new skill. Fortunately, there are numerous excellent resources and courses. Using Codecademy, for instance, you will able to create your first webpage after just a few days.
This article has been written by Dan Radak . Dan is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.