Skills and training for directors and owners

Core skills all businesses require


As a business director or owner, it's essential you can identify and meet the core skills your business needs to be successful.

These skills will be the same whatever business you run - whether you're a sole-trading graphic designer or you head a manufacturing company employing dozens of people.

There are intangible skills you will need, such as leadership skills, the ability to cope with long hours and hard work, and the inner resources to deal with stress and risk-taking. This also includes strategy-setting and the ability to build and manage a team. Step-by-step guide to starting a business.

Essential business skills

There are also functional skills that all businesses need. The smaller your business, the more of these skills you will need personally:

Financial skills

Including cashflow management, how to attract investment, and handling relationships with your bank and accountant

Marketing skills

Including digital marketing, advertising, social media promotion, and market strategy and planning

Sales skills

Including pricing, negotiating, customer service, market research, and tracking competitors

Procurement and purchasing skills

Including tendering for contracts, managing contracts, stock control, and inventory planning

Administration skills

Including record-keeping, billing, accounts preparation, and payroll handling

Personnel skills

Including recruiting staff, managing conflict, staff motivation, staff performance, and managing training

Core business skills

Including IT, written and oral communication, and organisational skills

Recognise your limits

To run a successful business it's essential you recognise the limits of your abilities.

So, as a business owner or director, you also need the skill to know when it's best to hand over tasks to others by delegating, recruiting, or outsourcing.