I have always been a believer of the fact that to be successful in a business the only skills you need is spotting talent, convincing those with the talent to work with you and then managing them.
I am sure those are the most important skills for a person to succeed in business, be it an offline business or an online one. However, apart from that I think there are certain essential work specific skills which a person should possess that would allow him to run his business with greater efficiency.
Lets talk about an online business. It could be a blog, an e-commerce website, a membership site or an affiliate marketing business. If you have an idea related to any of these formats, you could just go out and hire people who could set up a blog or a website for you. So you see even the basic knowledge of things like HTML and FTP isn’t needed to get started.
But when it comes to running a business and managing day-to-day activities, it’s always good to have a basic knowledge of certain important aspects of your business.
For example, lets say you’ve got a WordPress blog which brings in a good sum every month. You’ve hired writers for producing content and a tech guy to take care of any technical glitches the blog might come across sometimes.
Now, one day you suddenly find that the blog is down since it has got to the Digg front page or due to some other reason. It could be a minor issue related to a plugin which can be easily taken care of by disabling it. But if you don’t have the basic knowledge of WordPress and how things work in a WordPress blog, you can do nothing except contacting your tech guy. And if he isn’t available at that time, you lose out on a huge number of visitors.
Recently, I faced a similar situation. I was working on a landing page template for one of my affiliate campaigns and needed some changes to the format. I don’t know CSS and never bothered to learn it. I always had my designer friends help me out in one way or the other. But this time, it was an odd hour of the day and I couldn’t find any of my friends online. Consequently, I had to postpone the work for the next day.
Later, when I consulted a friend on the issue, he found that it was just a minor CSS related hack which was needed. If only I had the basic knowledge of CSS, I could have easily resolved the issue myself.
So, the idea is to have the basic domain knowledge. You don’t need to become an expert on it. If you are an entrepreneur or aim to be one, process expertise will always be more important than the domain knowledge.
Having said that, here are some of the essential skills I think one should have if he is thinking about starting an online business.
- Knowledge of HTML and CSS.
- Knowledge of FTP.
- Some basic content producing skills.
- How blogs work and how to install a blog platform on a particular domain.
- How WordPress works.
- Basic knowledge of Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ).
- How RSS feeds work.
- Knowledge of Google Analytics.
- Basic knowledge of social media marketing.
The nice thing about these skills is that they can be acquired easily. There are huge number of resources online which help you learn these things. And believe me, none of them is rocket science.
Are you running an online business or thinking about starting one ? What are the skills you think is important in order to succeed in your business ?
Photo courtesy : nyki_m