Business Management Tips And Tricks – For example, it is important for business owners to ensure that everyone in their organizations has critical thinking, time management, and effective communication skills to ensure daily operations run smoothly and business goals are met.
Here’s an overview of why improving your business skills is important and should be a priority to advance your career.
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A foundation in business will not only instill more confidence in the workplace, but also open the door to countless career opportunities. For those who broadened their knowledge through studies at Harvard Business School, the experience led to results such as:
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If you want to achieve similar goals in your career, here are ten business skills you should develop.
A basic knowledge of economics can be valuable in any career. In addition to a deeper understanding of pricing strategies and market demand, studying economics can provide your organization with a set of tools for making key decisions.
For Nicholas Greco, a former COR participant who works as an educator and healthcare administrator, the lessons learned in Economics for Managers helped his company invest in solar energy.
“I knew investing in solar was a good opportunity, but the concept of willingness to sell (WTS) helped me understand and explain why,” says Grecco. “Due to the urban plan and the purchasing power of the group, electrical contractors were willing to sell solar systems at much lower prices than usual, increasing our consumer’s surplus. By explaining to WTS, we were able to convince the owner to go ahead with the project .
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The research shows that companies including Microsoft, Uber and Blue Apron are using analytics to drive growth and improve their services and operations.
According to LinkedIn, one of the most in-demand hard skills in today’s job market is analytical reasoning. Learn how to summarize data sets, recognize trends, and test hypotheses to provide an analytical framework to address complex business problems and help you make informed decisions that benefit your organization.
“Using data analytics is a very effective way to influence an organization,” says HBS professor John Hammond, who teaches the business analytics course. “If you can go to a meeting and other people have opinions, but you have data to back up your arguments and recommendations, you’re going to be influential.”
Even if you’re not in a numbers-focused role, accounting knowledge can be useful in your career. While this may seem like an intimidating topic, it’s actually more accessible than you might think.
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Concepts like cash flow and profitability are useful for understanding your company’s performance and potential, while how to read and interpret a balance sheet is critical to communicating financial results.
Pankaj Prashant, an engineer who picked up the canine, says the principles he learned in financial accounting helped build his technical background and advance his career.
“I keep track of my company’s annual reports, and the accounting I learned helps me understand where the business can go in the future,” says Prashant. “I’ve also been tracking a few other companies for investment purposes and realized that with my better knowledge of the company’s finances I could make more informed decisions.”
Whether you’re starting your career or operating at a higher level, being a skilled negotiator is essential. A report by the World Economic Forum identified negotiation as one of the top 10 people skills needed to thrive in the workforce of the future.
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Not only will it help secure your company’s value at the negotiating table, but it will also improve your negotiation skills when advocating for a higher starting salary or raise.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting a successful trading strategy. According to HBS professor Mike Wheeler, who teaches Negotiation Mastery, being open to improvisation and planning to think is key.
“However, even if you see yourself as a negotiator, most of the people you deal with will likely have a different style, at least to some degree,” says Wheeler. “To be successful you have to be agile. In other words, flex to be able to use different skills depending on the situation and who you are dealing with.”
Strong managerial skills are intrinsically linked to organizational performance. A study by Gallup found that managers accounted for 70 percent of the variation in employee engagement, underscoring the need for organizations to develop leaders who promote productivity and team morale.
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For both experienced and aspiring managers, knowing how to lead meetings and communicate organizational change is valuable. Equally important is being aware of the common mistakes team leaders make.
In the case of Monica Higgins, public relations account manager, taking the Management Essentials course was a way to increase her management knowledge and develop a new perspective on her role.
“I’m more aware of looking at things through a bigger lens from different perspectives,” says Higgins. “I’ve always been a fan of asking thoughtful and learning questions, rather than making statements, and now I’m a big fan of playing devil’s advocate.”
Whether you are in a managerial position or not, leadership skills are vital to success at work. Although some people think that leadership and management are the same thing, there are differences between the two. While management focuses on implementing processes, leadership focuses more on the people and vision that drive change.
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Honing your management skills and developing your leadership skills can be beneficial in any career. From learning how to stay calm under pressure to developing your own leadership style, these skills will help you understand how to make your vision a reality and position your team for success.
In any business organization, professionals rely on communication to coordinate efforts and achieve organizational goals. Ineffective communication, or no communication at all, can be disastrous.
In addition to developing your skills, understanding and adapting to other people’s communication styles is a huge contributor to success. Other key communication skills include active listening, empathy and reading body language.
Emotional intelligence is another essential business skill, and research shows it’s a leading indicator of workplace performance. According to a TalentSmart study, 90 percent of top performers have high levels of emotional intelligence.
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Emotional intelligence is generally divided into four concepts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. In short, this skill refers to your ability to understand your emotions and to recognize and influence others.
Regardless of your career or position, being aware of yourself and the people around you will help you gain more control over your interactions and achieve goals more effectively.
All professionals need strong decision-making skills to deal with complex challenges in the workplace. For those who work specifically in business or management, the demand for such skills is even greater.
How to allocate resources, what staff to deploy, and how to implement a new organizational initiative are all decisions that require careful consideration. As the number of tools and resources used to capture data increases, managers can feed their processes with valuable information to make data-driven decisions and create better results.
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Whether you want ideas or advice on a specific challenge or are preparing for a career change, the people in your professional network can be valuable resources.
To leverage your network, open up opportunities to step out of your comfort zone and build new relationships. Once you have your network, it’s important to maintain the relationships you’ve developed and find new ways to expand your network of contacts.
The value of business skills cannot be overstated if you are aiming to advance your career. In addition to hard skills (such as an understanding of financial accounting and economics), you need soft skills (such as emotional intelligence and leadership) as your business grows.
Regardless of your industry, understanding essential business concepts will help you better understand your organization’s performance, drive initiatives, and gain the tools you need to make strategic decisions.
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Looking to take your career to the next level? Explore our Business Essentials courses. Download our free flowchart to choose the right course for you.
Matt Gavin is a member of the Marketing Group at Harvard Business School. Before returning to her home state of Massachusetts and attending HBS, she lived in North Carolina, where she held roles in news and content marketing. He has a background in video production and has worked on several documentaries for Boston’s PBS station WGBH. In her free time, she enjoys running, exploring New England, and spending time with family. There are rules that most business owners follow religiously, regardless of the negative impact on their business, some of which are:
Customers sometimes receive undue favors from business owners and make unreasonable demands, business owners should take care of these customers and give them special attention. These customers should be treated with caution. “The right customer is always the right customer” is a suggested principle
New recruits are often eager to contribute positively to the growth of the organization. When business owners implement the 90-day trial policy, this interest is often dampened. A new employee should be welcomed